Rheinhessen – excellent wineries and a sky-high experience

Vines as far as the eye can see. The largest wine-growing area in Germany lies in the sunny uplands of Rheinhessen. Top-class wines mature within a sweeping curve of the Rhine. Wine is taken very seriously here. The Rheinhessen seal of excellence (Rheinhessen Ausgezeichnet) has so far been awarded to 13 wineries to commend their expert advice on wine purchases, unusual architecture and authentic atmosphere. The Wasem winery in Ingelheim, the winery in Bingen on the banks of the Rhine and Böhm's wine cellar in Wörrstadt are all free of obstacles to allow wheelchair users access.

In Mainz, the capital of Rhineland-Palatinate, which, with Rheinhessen, is a member of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network of the ten most exclusive wine-growing towns of the world, there are accessible tours of the town, and an audio guide for people with impaired vision, which describes the route and provides information about the attractions. There is a raised-relief map of the town and a scale model of Mainz Cathedral so that they can feel their way around.

In the Museum in Mainz, there are video guides in sign language, audio guides with descriptions of the exhibitions and touch and feel books. The touch model of the historic town centre of Ingelheim with legends in braille and normal script appeals to everyone, not just people with no or impaired sight. This method of finding information is also a stimulating experience for sighted people.

The Mainz Gutenberg Express tourist train is fitted with a lift to help wheelchair users to get on and off.

An almost completely level-access door and a special seat with a safety belt allows wheelchair users to enjoy the spectacular thrill of a hot-air balloon ride from Stadecken-Elsheim over the acres of vineyards in Rheinhessen.

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