Mosel has been among the best white wine-producing regions in Europe. There here might be some geographical confusion related to the name of this region, as you might have heard of the French department of Moselle, where the city of Metz is. Well, the Mosel area that includes the valleys of the Moselle, Saar, and Ruwer rivers is in Germany. Wine Region of Mosel boasts spectacular landscapes of terraced vineyards, medieval castles, small charming towns and villages and of course, one of the best Riesling you can try.
Mosel is named after the Mosel River and is one of the 13 wine-growing regions in the south-west of Germany. Vineyards here are planted along the Mosel river, which boasts one of the most breathtaking landscapes of steep, hillside vinyeards.
Why Mosel Wines are So Special?
The specific location of the Mosel wine region lends to the creation of crisper style white wines, lower in alcohol, 6-9% and higher in acidity. The aromas of the wine are also more floral rather than fruit forward. This flavour of the wines is a direct result of the type of soil of the Mosel Valley vineyards, which is composed of different kinds of slate deposits. Mosel Riesling has, in fact, a very specific flavour profile due to the slate deposit in the soil. The clean, saline wines often reflect aromas of what a fresh rain smells like as it hits on rock and stone. This is a defining characteristic of the wine style of the Mosel region. Due to the effects of climate change, a lot of work has been done by winemakers in the region to market dry Rieslings.
“The fire of the sun, the gold of the stars, and the cool moonlight.”
An unknown local poet described the wines of the Mosel wine region as: “Sonnenfeuer, Sternengold, Kühlen Mondlichtschein” (The fire of the sun, the gold of the stars, and the cool moonlight). Mosel wines are considered by many the most excellent wines across the whole of Germany which could be as a result of many being aged gracefully for as long as 50-100 years.
Mosel is Germany’s third-largest wine region in terms of volume but is considered to be one of the top regions in terms of prestigious wine production. Dramatic steep slopes line both sides of the river adding to the stunning landscape as you tour through the valley. Winemaking has been a dominant presence in the region since the 2nd century when the Romans started planting vineyards along the Mosel river.
Wines of Mosel
Mosel grapes produce wines of many flavours and qualities. The character of the wine is determined by the various soil types, the sun on the vines, the angle of the slopes and the influence of wind seeping through the valley This will determine how they are classified: table wine, vin ordinaire, quality wine and special quality wine. The last two decades have seen a dramatic increase in the production of red wine, especially from Spätburgunder, also known as Pinot noir. These red wines have caught the attention of wine lovers across the globe, but the focus remains on the region’s beautiful and noble white wines.
Riesling at its Best
The most famous wines coming from the Mosel wine region are those made from the Riesling grape. The Mosel Valley Rieslings require a high level of acidity to balance the sugar in the grapes helping to create balanced, fruit-forward notes in the wines. A characteristic of all Mosel wines is their high acidity and clearly defined flavours. The wines produced in this wine region are normally packaged in the traditional long, green, “hock style” wine bottle. Historically the green colour distinguished Mosel wines from the brown bottles of other German winemaking regions.
Are You Sweet Wine Lover?
A large proportion of the Mosel wines produced are a result of the extensive plantations of Müller-Thurgau grape variety, which is more typically used for the production of sweet wine. At a lower 9% of the region’s production is the Elbling grape. The region is also famous for the production of Eiswein, which has a high level of acidity as well as a distinct sweetness because of the high concentration of sugar in the frozen grapes used. The peculiarity of Eiswein is that the grapes remain on the vine until they freeze; the water is frozen so the sugar concentration increases creating absolutely delectable sweet wines with notes of apricot jam, honey and deep melon tones.
General Characteristics of Mosel Wines
White wines of the Mosel wine region are light and low in alcohol; they can be extremely fragrant with underlying floral and mineral notes, and a wonderful balance of sweetness and acidity. The freshness of the Mosel Riesling discloses a slight lime and honey aroma, that are more enhanced in aged wines.
Red wines from the Mosel Valley region express profound minerality and have relatively low alcohol levels. Even for the medium-bodied wines, there tends to be a lot of minerality. The sparkling wines of the region can be described as exhilarating and fresh.
Wineries With Open Cellar Door
Visiting Mosel Wine Region is one of the greatest experience either you are a wine lover or not. Vineyards here are located on the slopes and offers a spectacular view on Mosel River.
The oldest winery in Mosel Valley
Dominikaner Weingut C. von Nell-Breuning is the oldest in the entire Mosel Valley. The winery was officially established around the year 1890 and has been owned and managed by the von Nell-Breuning family ever since. Riesling and Pinot Noir are the two main grape varieties cultivated here, Their wines have been tasted by great past personalities such as the Russian Tsar in 1912 and Queen Margarete of Denmark in 1974.
The winery of the Dötsch-Haupt family is located on the slopes overlooking the Mosel River and provide visitors with a fascinating view of the Valley. The current owner Martin Dötsch owns 12 hectares of vineyards, where mainly Riesling and Pinot Noir varieties are cultivated. Grapes are still harvested with manual methods, in order to preserve their freshness and juices.
F-J Regnery winery is located in the south-facing rolling hills of MoselleRiesling, Spatbürgunder, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are the wines produced in this winery established in the 1800s. The shop of the winery is awarded as one of the 50 best in Germany. The Weingut F-J Regnery also produces high-quality brandy, Riesling grappa and Verjus.
Check the full list of Wineries in Mosel, choose your favourite and we will take care of the rest together with our local partners for a memorable wine experience.
When Visiting the Mosel Region
Don’t miss to visit little charming towns, medieval castles, UNESCO heritage sites and natural surroundings. We created a list of places you can enjoy with your travel partner/s while in Mosel Wine Region.
Traben Trarbach and Bernkastel-Kues – The Meeting Point of the Mosel
Traben Trarbach is a charming destination with a sense of flair which is beautifully surrounded by forests and vineyards. The central location of Traben Trarbach in the Mosel Valley makes it a great destination filled with several activities for visitors.
The ruins of the medieval castle of Gravensburg are a great place to spot the Mosel River and its vineyards. Also, the great production of fine wine during the beginning of the 20th century, and the abundant money made by traders and winemakers, brought a new fashion to Traben Trarbach. New buildings were constructed following the Belle Epoque architectural features. Nowadays these iconic houses and buildings are all linked through a trail.
If you follow the river towards the west from Traben Trarbach, you will arrive in Bernkastel-Kues. This town is divided by the Moselle River into two twin towns that overlook each other. Bernkastel-Kues is considered to be the centre of the Mosel wine region. Indeed, the Wine Festival of the Middle Mosel takes place here every September; the festival presents many tasting possibilities, live music and a parade.
Sightseeing is not the only thing you can do in Traben Trarbach and surroundings. A lot of activities in nature are available and the trails are good for both cycling and hiking. Another great way to experience the valley is by taking a riverboat cruise down the Mosel taking in all of the incredible views.
Tawern – On the Road to Rome
Tawern is a small town with 2.500 inhabitants but has ancient Roman roots with buildings that are more than 2000 years old. The town is located at the starting point for trips to the region of Trier-Saarburg. Tawern was populated as early as the Roman times because it was on a road that connected Trier with the Roman Empire. In the area of Tawern there was a road station with rest stops before the climb to the Saargau Plateau.
During an excavation activity in 1986 and 1987, an extensive Roman temple complex was discovered in Tawern. The temple was usually visited by merchants passing through to offer their gifts to Mercury, the God of Trade. The ancient atmosphere can still be felt in the partially reconstructed 46 x 36-meter temple district, which was used from the 1st to the 4th century.
Burg Eltz – Back to the Middle Ages
Burg Eltz is one of the most famous and best-preserved castles in Germany. It springs up from the hills of the Mosel Valley and it’s 10km away from the river. The first settlement of the castle dates back to the 12th century and it has ever since been in possession of the same family, the Eltz.
The architecture of the castle is absolutely striking. The eight towers and the timber frame structure give the impression that Burg Eltz just came out of a fairytale. The inner courtyard tells, through the various styles and constructions, the history of the castle and represents all the various changes it underwent.
Visitors will immediately feel in the middle of a medieval court and experience a day in the life of a courtier.
Trier – The Rome of the North
Even though Trier is one of the oldest cities in Germany and is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, this small city is often overlooked by international tourists to Germany. Around the time of 17 BC, after the Romans arrived in the region, Trier was established as a permanent city and from this point quickly developed to become an important city of the Roman Empire.
A large number of well-preserved Roman monuments in Trier is unlike anywhere else in northern Europe and has earned the city the nickname ‘Rome of the North’. Among the ancient ruins that can be seen by tourists, there’s the beautiful Porta Nigra Gate. Other sites that give proof of the presence of the Romans are Constantine’s Throne Room, the imperial bathhouses, the Roman Bridge and an amphitheatre.
Trier is also known for its 13th-century cathedral, the Church of Our Lady; this is Germany’s oldest Gothic church. The city centre is built around the Hauptmarkt, the main market square. The square is surrounded by townhouses which have been well preserved over time and create a mixed environment of Renaissance, Baroque and Classical architecture overlooked by the tower of St. Gangolf’s Church.
It must be mentioned that in 1818 the famous Communist revolutionary Karl Marx was born in Trier. His birthplace can still be visited at Brückengasse 10, which has been converted into a museum that illustrates his childhood, his ground-breaking concepts, and his influence on the history of the world until he died in London at the age of 64.
Natural Beauty in the Mosel Valley
The natural beauty of the Mosel Valley is greatly influenced by the winding rivers (the Moselle and Saar Rivers) and the dramatic valleys they create.They both are home to various incredible species of flora and fauna. On the flat riverbanks, softwood forests with alders and willows extend into the Moselle River. During springtime, various small birds such as the reed-bunting or marsh warblers can be heard playing in the natural surroundings. One can often spot a grey heron along the banks. On the open banks, meadows and bush land border the water one can find purple loosestrife or yellow loosestrife in colourful patches.
Pulvermaar – A Picture from A Storybook
The Pulvermaar is a water filled lake or volcanic crater that was formed by the bog formations of the neighbouring Strohner Maar. Studies conducted in recent years have shown that the lake was formed during the last Ice Age, approx 20 000 – 30 000 years ago; this could explain its great depth and the ice wedges that can be found inside.
The Pulvermaar is a natural pool with deep blue waters surrounded by a leafy green forest. The maar is the best place to have a swim, go with a pedal boat or rent a stand up paddle.
Erlebnisweg Tal der Wilden Endert – An Unforgettable Adventure
A hike through the wild and romantic Endert Valley offers a unique and original experience of nature. Adventure seekers can complete a 20-km hike in the region which passes through the Postplatz in Ulmen, the Crusader Castle, and the Ulmener Martberg through the forest to the famous “Antoniuskreuz” (Cross of Anthony). According to a legend, a bag of earth from the tomb of Christ is said to have been deposited on the 17th century Antonius cross.
The path continues on a section of the “Karolingerweg” (Road of the Carolingians) through the forest. A highlight of the route is the Rausch waterfall. The roaring waterfall plunges 7 m deep into a water basin. A small bridge leads over the waterfall to the church of Maria Martental, which belongs to a monastery that has the same name.
Nationalpark Hunsrück-Hochwald – A National Park Steeped in History
The Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park is hidden in a rural region, about an hour’s drive from the cities of Trier, Saarbrücken and Mainz. It extends over the high areas of the Hunsrück. Hikers will find a refuge for relaxation here and nature conservationists will find an important large-scale conservation area. The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation already ranks the Hunsrück as a “hotspot region for biological diversity”.
What to Eat In the Heart of the Mosel
Good food, good people, good times
Tresterfleisch – A speciality from Traben-Trarbach
This dish is a local favourite in all the Middle Mosel area; it is made with pork neck, good broth, Riesling wine, bay leaves, juniper berries, and spices. Tourists trying this for the first time do not need to worry as no Schnapps are added to the dish, which was traditionally cooked in the same pot in which brandy was distilled.
Winzer Steak – Traditional Steak with Fine Wine
Winzer Steak is a German steak marinated and served with onions and roasted potatoes. The steaks are marinated overnight in a mixture of Riesling white wine, a mix of spices and oil. During the summertime, many locals enjoy cooking the steaks outdoors on an open grill and serve it at family gatherings.
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