Rheingau or no? Highly specific German travel question

Hi everyone. I’m hoping a Germany enthusiast on this board has some insight for me. I have what I think is a sweet itinerary in September of two nights each in Deidesheim, Kayserberg in Alsace and Bernkastel. I am flying into Frankfurt and then making my way down to Deidesheim, just north of Neustadt.
My question is what route should I take to get to Deidesheim? Option A is spending a morning exploring the Rheingau, probably going no further than Bacharach, and then heading south through the Rheinhessen. Option B is heading south from Mainz and stopping in the area of Nierstein and Oppenheim before heading SW toward Deidesheim through that part of the Rheinhessen. Obviously tons of wineries in each spot. B seems less touristy, right? I don’t really want to hang out with hordes of cruise boats passengers if I can help it. (Although I’m sure those cruises are lovely.)
Thanks for any and all advice.

Hi Dave,

I’m not sure if you want to stop in at wineries or see other wine-related attractions, but all things being equal, i prefer option A. Eltville is a bit of a hidden gem in the Rheingau, with a small, but quaint old town. In terms of wine, there are a couple of historic estates, including Schloss Eltz and Langwerth von Simmern, whose properties literally form some of the infrastructure of the old town. You’d have to work hard to get a tour at either property, however. Schloss Vaux, a respectable producer of Sekt, is also in Eltville. In the Rheingau, the only towns in which you might find anything approaching hordes of cruise boat tourists are Rudesheim and Bacharach…both towns are quite beautiful, though. If you really wanted to geek out on wine, you might pop-in at the Wine School in Geisenheim (Rheingau), the German equivalent to UC Davis’s wine program.

In any event, none of this will prepare for you for how delightful Bernkastel is. In my 2 years in Germany, i’m hard-pressed to remember a town as lovely.

I hope this helps.


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This is helpful. Thanks so much.

We very much liked staying in Assmannshausen and taking the chairlift/walk/gondola over and thru the vineyards to Rudesheim. Took the passenger ferry from Rudesheim up and down the river. Breuer, Leitz, Schloss Johannisberg, Kesseler are all close by and it is an hour and change driving to the wineries of the Nahe.

Thanks! The chairlift up/walk down does look like a great morning activity. We won’t make the Nahe because we’ll be backtracking down into the Pfalz.