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The Moselle river
© Deutsches Weininstitut (DWI)
The Moselle region - wine-making traditions and Roman heritage

April 09, 2008

The Moselle wine-growing region is situated in western Germany, between the German-French border and the Rhine. It is a region of superlatives. This is where wine-growers produce first-rate, internationally renowned wines and where visitors can experience a fantastic blend of ancient culture, wine making traditions and spectacular countryside.

The Moselle Valley between Koblenz and Trier is a romantic river landscape, known throughout the world for its wine, which has also lent the valley its unique character. Vineyards at altitudes of up to 285 metres and famously steep, neatly terraced hillsides of slate are the remarkable hallmarks of the Moselle, along with the tranquil valleys of this stunning wine-growing region. Vineyards line the entire length of the Moselle river, which runs for around 240 kilometres, as well as its tributaries the Saar and Ruwer, which carve their way through the Rhenish-Westphalian Slate Mountains providing the perfect conditions for wine-growing.

There's plenty of opportunity to sample the wide variety of wines produced in the region at one of the many wine-growing estates and wineries. From traditional wine-tasting to wine appreciation seminars, you'll find out everything there is to know about wine in the Moselle region. Famous scenic routes exploring the theme of wine include the Moselle Wine Route from Perl to Koblenz, the Saar-Riesling Route from Konz to Serrig and the Ruwer-Riesling Route. Wine tasting and guided tours of vineyards and wine cellars are an opportunity for visitors to enjoy wine and learn about wine growing at the same time. The grape harvest and the countless festivals celebrated throughout the year attract large numbers of people to the Moselle region.

Spectacular though it might be, this landscape creates especially demanding working conditions for the winegrowers. The best vines are often situated on dangerously steep slopes or in soils with a high slate content. However, that is what gives the wine its characteristic mineral quality. The Moselle area owes its special reputation to the world-famous Riesling. The queen of vines flourishes there under ideal conditions, and with their committed work the quality-conscious wine-makers make sure that the grapes are turned into stimulating, easily digestible wines with a unique variety of flavours. This is why the Riesling from the Moselle can pride itself on being the preferred wine of many connoisseurs all over the world.

The Moselle region has a rich Roman heritage - from Germany's oldest town, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Trier, to Germany's oldest wine-growing village, Neumagen, where the famous Roman wine ship (a stone relief) was found, and the former Roman settlement of Koblenz. At the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle, you'll find a variety of Roman villas, manor houses, temples, graves, historical wine presses and limeworks that take you back in time to the world of Roman Antiquity. You can follow in the footsteps of the ancient Romans along the Roman Road, which links up around 120 ancient attractions along the Moselle and Saar rivers, in the Hunsrück and Eifel regions, in the Saarland and in Luxembourg.

The Moselle countryside is like a fascinating cultural open-air museum. At almost every bend in the river there is a castle dating from the Middle Ages, many of which can still be visited today, including Elz Castle, Pyrmont Castle near Roes, Thurant Castle near Alken, Cochem Castle or Landshut Castle overlooking Bernkastel-Kues, to name but a few. The Moselle also has two younger sisters - the Saar and Ruwer. All three rivers have given their name to Germany's most northerly wine growing area, the Moselle-Saar-Ruwer region.

Cultural events are a year-round feature in the region. Every April and May, the International Wine & Gourmet Festival places the region's wines, cuisine and culture firmly in the spotlight. The Moselle-Saar-Ruwer wine growing region, neighbouring Luxembourg and the adjoining regions all take part. Local winegrowers and chefs work closely together, organising events to present their products in imaginative ways. Thousands of visitors spend many happy hours discovering the food and wines along the Moselle, Saar, Ruwer and Sauer rivers.

In June and July, Trier stages its Antiquity Festival - classical plays performed by glittering casts in the magnificent setting of the amphitheatre or the imperial baths. The Moselle Festival is held from May to November. With more than 60 concerts along the Moselle and the Saar, it is Rhineland-Palatinate's biggest classical music festival. Its hallmarks are outstanding musicians and soloists, a very special ambience and events with a bit of a twist, often involving the region's wines, both still and sparkling.

© German Information Centre New Delhi
With inputs from DZT & Moselland Tourism
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