WINE IS HISTORY AND TRADITION – the Mosel is Germany’s oldest wine region. The steep slopes of the river valleys are densely planted with vines and characterise this area more than any other wine-producing region in the world. The Mosel and its tributaries, the Saar and Ruwer, flow through a tradition-steeped cultural landscape where Celts and Romans cultivated their vines 2,000 years ago.
What exactly is behind the notorious Riesling Kartell?
They look like dubious Mafia members and have produced Germany`s coolest wine. These winegrowers are different, that’s for sure.
WINE IS LANDSCAPE – the Mosel’s unique cultural landscape is characterised by its steep, in part world renowned, vineyards. The conservation of this landscape and its biologically diverse vineyard habitat is a matter close to the hearts of those of us living in the Mosel region. There are a number of exciting events focusing on “The Living World of Mosel Vineyards” for you to experience as part of The Living World of Mosel Vineyards Days. Also worth visiting are the `Leuchtpunkte`, highlighted points of biological diversity in the area, which form a chain of characteristic destinations offering rich experiences.
… since when grapevines have been cultivated in the Mosel area?
Winemakers have been pressing their grapes along the Mosel since antiquity. They arrived in the wake of Caesar’s legions, who had conquered the Mosel region in the Gallic Wars. Trier, the first city founded in the Germany we know today, became an imperial residence and metropolis – the demand for wine, a drink already favoured by the Celts and Romans, was correspondingly high. Therefore, the Mosel region offers you 2,000 years of wine culture.
… how many vineyards there are along the Mosel?
The wine region is divided into six districts according to wine law: Burg Cochem (known as “Terrace Mosel”, from Koblenz to Zell), Bernkastel (Middle Mosel from Briedel to Trier), Saar, Ruwer, Upper Mosel (the Mosel from Trier to the border of the federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland) and Moseltor (Mosel area in Saarland to the German-French state border). In terms of landscape, Upper Mosel and Moseltor form the Southern Wine Mosel region. These areas are subdivided into 19 major sites as well as around 520 individual ones. It’s not so easy keeping track of them all...
… what percentage of the wine region’s vineyards are located on steep slopes?
Around 40 percent of vineyards in Mosel, Saar and Ruwer regions are located on the steep slopes of river valleys. Vineyards with a gradient of more than 30 percent are considered steep slopes. With approx. 3,500 ha of vineyards on steep slopes, the Mosel region is the largest steep-slope wine region in the world.
… what the steepest vineyard in the world is called?
The steepest vineyard in the world is located along the Mosel, between Bremm and Ediger-Eller, and has a gradient of up to 68 degrees. Do you feel like climbing the Mount Everest of Mosel vineyards? The Calmont via ferrata takes you on narrow paths, via ladders and steel cables, along rock edges through the vineyard and rewards you with breathtaking views of the Mosel.
… which grape variety is the absolute favourite of Mosel winemakers?
White wine is dominant in the Mosel wine region. More than 91 percent of vineyard coverage is planted with white grape varieties. With 62 percent, Riesling is the most important grape variety along the Mosel, Saar and Ruwer. In the Saar and Ruwer Valley areas, the percentage is significantly higher than in the region as a whole, at around 83 and 88 percent respectively. The “queen of white vines” is particularly well suited for cultivation on the steep slopes of the Mosel, Saar and Ruwer river valleys. Because of the grape's long ripening phase, it produces mineral, delicately fruity, elegant wines that age well. Müller-Thurgau, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir as well as the Mosel speciality Elbling are also important regional grape varieties. Have you found your personal favourite among grape varieties? A wine tasting allows you to to get to know the diverse variety of Mosel wines.
… what the German quality labels are that differentiate high-quality wines?
The first level of so-called “Prädikat” wines is Kabinett, which is followed by Spätlese (late harvest) and Auslese (select harvest). For Kabinett wines, ripe grapes are harvested earlier with less must weight, meaning that this category is characterised by wines with low alcohol content and a fresh, acidic structure. Spätlese wines are produced from very ripe grapes; Auslese wines from individually “selected” grapes. Beerenauslese wines (berry select harvest) and Trockenbeerenauslese (dry berry select harvest) wines are more rare and are made from dehydrated grapes. Noble rot or botrytis plays an important role here as this fungus befalls grapes in autumn and causes them to dehydrate. The level of sweetness and other characteristics are concentrated. Eiswein (ice wine) is pressed from grapes frozen on the vine so that the grapes’ water content is reduced.
… why Mosel wines have a mineral taste to them?
The answer lies in the soil conditions, which have a particular influence on Mosel wine. Along the Mosel, slate dominates. Slate soil stores heat during the day and releases it again at night. Fine weathered slate constantly disintegrates and provides the soil with minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. Vine roots transport these minerals to the fruit. This is why wines from the slate vineyards along the Mosel are particularly spicy and mineral in taste.
… how the bubbles get into sparkling wine?
Sparkling wine is produced when a secondary fermentation takes place in the wine. For this to happen, yeast is added to the base wine, which converts the residual sugar in the wine into alcohol. Carbonic acid is also released and this remains contained in the wine, producing the fine bubbles that give sparkling wine its character.
The sparkling wine must be aged on the lees for a minimum of nine months, for Crémant this is set at twelve months. To remove the lees from the natural sparkling wine, the bottles are riddled in special riddle racks. This allows the lees, which have previously settled on the wall of the lying bottle, to move into the bottle neck. To remove the sediment, the neck of the bottle is frozen. When the crown cork is removed, the ice plug containing the sediment is ejected due to the pressure of the carbonic acid in the bottle. This process is called disgorgement. The dosage that follows, i.e. the addition of a sweet wine to replace the liquid lost during disgorgement, serves to define the flavour of the finished sparkling wine.
… which wine is your personal favourite?
YES? Then we're really happy that you've already found your favourite.
NO? Then what are you still waiting for? Immerse yourself in the wonderful world of Mosel wine! You’re certain to find a perfect match here – a wine to fall in love with. This could be at a wine tasting in one of our vinotheks or directly at the source, at one of our wineries. At a winery, you get to know the winemaker personally and learn first-hand how much work goes into a bottle of wine. Or, perhaps, you’ll discover your favourite over dinner at a restaurantor at one of our wine events. The opportunities are abundant here in the Mosel region and when your chosen wine proves itself back at home and makes you just as happy as it did on your Mosel holiday, then you’ll know you've found your favourite!