The best of wines from Mosel

The Moselle River, along with the Saar and Ruwer Rivers, is what defines the Moselle wine area.The Mosel begins in Perl, where France,Germany, and also Luxemburg converge, and flows until it meets the powerful Rhine River.

The world's greatest steep slope wine production region is made up of the vineyards that follow the Moselle. Notably, the Mosel is home to Europe's steepest vineyard, the Calmont, which is characterised by a 68% slope.

The Mosel boasts ten major vineyards, including Bernkasteler Doctor, renowned as one of the finest single vineyard sites in Germany. It's part of the Großlage Badstube, known for its exclusive, first-class sites that define the region's esteemed wine-growing areas.

Some of the best German wines come from Mosel.

All wines in Mosel

History of wines from Mosel

Approximately two thousand years ago, inhabitants recognized the geological, topographical, and microclimatic benefits of the area, thereby instigating viticultural practices on the sunlit steep inclines facing south.

The geological narrative of the region dates back to the Devonian period when it lay submerged beneath an ancient ocean. During this epoch, sedimentary deposits accumulated on the seabed, later undergoing metamorphosis into slate under the pressures exerted by continental collisions during the formation of Pangea. The slate, subsequently uplifted during the Variscan Orogeny, contributed to the unique terroir, yielding structured and concentrated wines despite being challenging for most agricultural purposes.

Terroir of Mosel wines

The Mosel Valley is characterized by a cool climate and is particularly prone to fluctuations in weather conditions. Because slate soils retain heat better than other soil types and river surfaces are reflecting, steep slopes maximize sunshine exposure for grape growth. Slopes that face south are exposed to up to 10 times as much sunshine than northern ones, benefiting from enhanced irradiation.

Despite these advantages, steep terrain requires up to seven times more manual labor due to inaccessibility to machinery. During the winter, rains transport slate from the higher elevations to the riverbanks, requiring labour-intensive efforts to return it to the vineyards for its crucial heat-retaining properties.

The diversity of soils in the Mosel Valley consists primarily of two types of slate, namely red and blue slate. Red slate has a higher clay content and can add depth to Rieslings. Meanwhile, the blue variant can add floral notes to the wine. The soils consisting of slate provide essential benefits to Mosel viticulture, such as efficient drainage during rainy periods, heat retention during cooler seasons, and the fostering of indigenous microorganisms that enhance the mineral characteristics in wines.

The grapes of wines from Mosel

White grapes account for more over 90% of total vineyard area, the greatest proportion among any of the 13 wine regions in the German wine country. Riesling is the dominant grape variety, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the total vineyard area. It is closely followed by Müller-Thurgau, which covers about 10% of the vineyards. Elbling, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir each account for 4 to 5% of the vineyard area. Additionally, smaller proportions of various other grape varieties are also cultivated in the region.

Classifications of wines from Mosel

Quality classification in German wine, specifically in the Mosel region, is divided into three categories: Qualitätswein (QbA), Prädikatswein, and VDP.

The meaning of QbA reflects that the wines are meeting minimum ripeness standards. Prädikatswein assesses the quality level of a wine that is based on ripeness the influence of noble rot. The ripeness was incorporated in the classification due to the regions cool climate. Prädikatswein's levels include the following categories:

  • Kabinett
  • Spätlese
  • Auslese
  • Beerenauslese
  • Trockenbeerenauslese
  • Eiswein

The VDP categorizes wines by the quality of the vineyard, namely and ranging from Gutswein to Grosse Lage, denoting the finest vineyards in Germany. Approximately 200 German wineries adhere to VDP standards, reflected in Mosel Riesling bottle neck labels.

The Mosel area boasts over 500 designated vineyard sites. There are many sub-regions within the Mosel, those include:

  • Bernkastel
  • Brauneberg
  • Dhron
  • Erden
  • Graach
  • Hatzenport
  • Leiwen
  • Piesport
  • Punderich
  • Ruwer
  • Saar
  • Trittenheim
  • Urzig
  • Wehlen
  • Winningen
  • Wintrich
  • Zeltingen-Rachtig

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