Niederhausen is an acclaimed German wine-growing village in the Nahe region, with several prestigious vineyards. It is famed for its expressive wines made from Riesling, and the variety accounts for the vast majority of planting. Weingut Dönnhoff is widely regarded as being Niederhausen's premier wine producer, and is also one of the top estates in Germany. Weingut Jakob Schneider is gaining attention as an emerging talent.
The village is on the northern banks of the river, and its top vineyards lie on steep, south-facing sites that stretch up from the river's edge. This steep topography is a key ingredient in the production of most of the quality wine in the region, and there are four Grosse Lage sites: Hermannshöhle, Hermannsberg, Steinberg and Kertz. Like the wider Nahe region, Niederhausen hosts a variety of different soil types, though slate is common.
The Niederhauser Hermannshöhle and Hermannsberg vineyards, on southwest-facing slopes, are the village's top vineyards, and are both named after the Roman god of messengers, Hermes. Hermannshöhle has long been rated as the single best site in the Nahe, and the Riesling wines made here are prized for their concentration, elegance and powerful ability to age. The vineyard's soils are mostly black slate with some igneous rock and limestone.
Hermannsberg faces due south in a protected position, making it an ideal location for producing Eiswein. Cool air rolls down the face of the vineyard and into the nearby town of Oberhausen an der Nahe on the opposite side of the river. The 6-hectare (15-acre) site sits on shale rock interspersed with loess and clay.
Immediately to the north of Hermannsberg is the dramatic Steinberg site, named after the high proportion of stone on the slope. Riesling wine grown in this 8-ha (20 acre) site is said to be very distinctive due to the unique composition of the fossil-rich volcanic soils. The Kertz vineyard is equally as steep as Steinberg. This tiny vineyard is known for its excellent heat retention due to the presence of black-grey slate in the soils and the sun's reflection from the nearby Nahe river. This results in drier, more mineral-accented Rieslings than those of neighbouring vineyards.
Riesling is Niederhausen's most important grape variety, but Silvaner, Grauer Burgunder, Weissburgunder, Dornfelder and Spätburgunder are also planted in the vineyards.