Mosel is one of 13 wine regions in Germany, and it has received worldwide acclaim for the high quality Rieslings produced there.
The Mosel region is located on the western border of Germany, above France and next to Luxembourg, and runs along the Mosel River for about 145 miles. Its wine-growing history dates back to Roman times, making it the oldest producing region in Germany.
It has a cool, Continental climate and the best vineyard sites are located on steep slopes along the river, to benefit from the reflected sunlight and heat. These slate soiled slopes typically have a 30° angle, although Bremmer Calmont holds the world record for steepest vineyard with a staggering 65° incline! Working these slopes is difficult and dangerous, and it’s practically impossible for any sort of machinery to be utilized; most work is done by hand, with workers often being tied for safety. Vines are individually staked into the ground and connected by wires, so that workers can work horizontally rather than vertically. While safety is paramount, there have been fatalities working these treacherous vineyard sites.
The Mosel is separated into three sections: the Upper, Middle, and Lower Mosel.
The Upper Mosel is at the southernmost section where the Mosel river meets the French and Luxembourg borders, centers around the village of Trier, and is also where it meets with the Saar and Ruwer tributaries.
The Middle Mosel (Mittelmosel) is where production is predominantly focused and centers around the villages of Piesport, Bernkastel, and Wehlen. While the soil is slate heavy throughout the entire Mosel region, the Middle Mosel is particularly noted for its minerally, terroir-expressive wines.
The Lower Mosel is the northernmost part of the region and is where the Mosel meets with the Rhein.
In cooler vintages, even grapes from the best sites do not ripen fully, and are then often used for sparkling wine. Germany sparkling wines are typically labelled Sekt and are made with the Tank Method.
Rieslings from Mosel are typically light in body, low in alcohol, with high acidity and prominent floral and green fruit notes, with wines from the Middle Mosel expressing a strong minerality typical of the region’s terroir. While it’s best known for producing quality Rieslings, there are also plantings of Müller-Thurgau, Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir), and Elbling.