State of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Area: 19,853 sq. km
Population: 3.99 million
Located in western Germany, the Rhineland-Palatinate borders (from the north and clockwise) the German Bundesl？nder North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, and Baden-Württemberg. It shares an international border with France, followed by another Bundesland, Saarland, and cute borders with Luxembourg and Belgium.The Rhine Valley is bounded by mountain chains and it contains several of the historically significant places in Germany.The modern state consists of a conglomeration of the historic regions of southern Rhine Province, Rheinhessen, and the Palatinate.Rhineland-Palatinate is divided into 24 districts, formerly grouped into the three administrative regions: Koblenz, Trier and Rheinhessen-Pfalz. Elections for the Rhineland-Palatinate Landtag are held every five years. This regional parliament or legislature then elects the premier and confirms the cabinet members. Rhineland-Palatinate is the only German state to have a cabinet minister for winegrowing (Ministry of Economy, Traffic, Agriculture and Winegrowing).
Rhineland-Palatinate leads all German states with an export rate of approximately 50%. Important sectors are the winegrowing industry, chemical industry, pharmaceutical industry and auto parts industry. "Distinctive regional industries" includes gemstone industry, ceramic and glass industry and leather industry. Small and medium enterprises are considered the "backbone" of the economy in Rhineland-Palatinate.
Rhineland-Palatinate is Germany's leading producer of wine in terms of grape cultivation and wine export. Its capital, Mainz, may be called the capital of the German wine industry, being the home of the German Wine Institute, the German Wine Fund in the Haus des Deutschen Weines (House of German Wine), and the Verband Deutscher Pr？dikats- und Qualit？tsweingüter Wine Bourse, which brings together the top winemakers of Germany and the wine merchants of the world. Of thirteen wine regions producing quality wine in Germany, six are located in Rhineland-Palatinate, with 65% to 70% of the production of wine grapes in Germany having their origin within the state. 13,000 wine producers generate 80% to 90% of the German wine export.