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German Riesling Wine Route – Mosel River Valley

The Mosel River (die Mosel) in German is the region’s sinuous spine that changes direction so often and draws almost 250 km of bends.

The Mosel valley makes up a wine-growing region, considered to be the oldest in Germany. Numerous discoveries, including several wine presses from Roman times, testify to the long history of viticulture here and the large scale of its introduction by the Romans.

Our tour of the German riesling wine route began at the source of the Moselle River in the Vosges Mountains in France. 

Enjoy wine in the Mosel Valley

 Mosel is also the name of one of Germany’s 13 wine regions for quality wines – Qualitätswein. 

Many consider the spectacular wine region to be the leader in terms of prestige

Moselle – Mosel in German, is also the name of one of Germany’s 13 wine regions for quality wines – Qualitätswein. 

Many consider the spectacular wine region the leader in terms of international prestige, despite being Germany’s third largest in terms of production. They cover approx. 9,000 hectares of steep, terraced slopes with gradients of up to 60 percent.

international prestige, despite being Germany’s third-largest in terms of production. They cover approx. 9,000 hectares of steep, terraced slopes with gradients of up to 60 percent.

top typ

If you are travelling by car, I recommend a stop in Metz in France. The city is beautiful and especially the cathedral and the market are worth a visit.  

Tréveris - Germany's oldest city

Our next stop is the city of Trier.   The city was founded by the Romans in the 1st century B.C. Trier became the capital of the Roman Empire. In addition, the Romans began planting vineyards on the banks of the Moselle River, as well as castles, houses for pressing grapes, and temples.  

Thus the city is not only charming but also very rich in history. We slept our first night on the wine route in Trier. 

What makes Mosel wine so special

Several factors make Riesling wine from Mosel so successful. First, it is one of the northernmost vineyard regions in the world. Also, the average annual temperature is around 10 degrees Celsius, but the hills protect the vineyards from cold winds. Summer, was the time when we made the trip, was very hot.

The combination of cool nights and warm days, makes the grapes ripen fresh with a delicate ripeness. 

Most importantly, the vineyards are on steep hillsides, perfectly positioned to capture the heat of the sun. 

The super colourful Bernkastel

Bernkastel is surely the town that most resembles the collective fantasy of what German cities are like.  Its name means bear castle. The town developed in the Middle Ages, although there are records of activity in the region dating back some 5000 years. 

The colourful medieval market square is certainly one of the prettiest in the Moselle Valley. It is surrounded by many well-preserved half-timbered houses.  The town, which lies in the heart of Germany’s most famous wine-growing region, hosts the Moselle Wine Museum.

Zell

A wine town of more than 2,000 years, Zell is located on the narrowest loop of the Moselle River. It became world-famous as the location of the “Zeller Schwarze Katz” vineyards.

With more than 4 million vines, it is one of the largest “wine-growing” communities in Germany. But when we decided to stay in Zell, we had no idea how much fun we would have. This was because in the town across the river – Kaimt – there was a huge party going on. 

Pedestrian bridge connecting the two cities

Kaimt

Although we seem to be in the same town, because of the proximity of only one footbridge over the Moselle River, Zell and Kaimt remain “miles apart” in terms of relationship and the history of the towns. 
Zell was a Roman city, while Kaimt already existed in the Celtic period. In other words, the “war” between them has existed since Roman times. 

During our stay in Zell we crossed the bridge to enjoy the wine festival that was taking place in Kaimt. The local producers dress up as Celts, Romans, sing folk songs, elect the Wine Queen, and go through all the houses that serve wine, usually vineyards with their outlets, bars, restaurants, and stop to drink the wine from that place. Consequently, after a few hours, everyone is very drunk.

The Wine Rarinha being carried from "bar to bar".
I could not resist and asked this "Roman soldier" to lend me his helmet

Das deutsches Eck - Koblenz

And after three days of drinking a lot of white wine, we arrived in Koblenz, where the Moselle meets the Rhine. 

It was hard to say goodbye to this river because on its banks we lived unforgettable moments. 

What to expect from Riesling from the Mosel River region

Due to Mosel’s northern location, Riesling wines are generally light, tending toward low alcohol, crisp and high in acidity, and generally exhibit “flowery” aromas rather than or in addition to “fruity” aromas. After all, their most common vineyard soil is derived primarily from various types of slate deposits, which tend to give the wines a transparent, appearance that generally exhibits a great depth of flavour.

Throughout the German riesling wine route, there are many options for buying, tasting, and even staying in small wineries.

Sustainable viticulture with certificate

Choose a winery in your region that carries the FAIR’N GREEN seal – the seal for sustainable viticulture.

The seal helps wine producers to set objectively measurable and verifiable sustainability goals (e.g. reduction of CO 2 emissions, increased biodiversity, social commitment) and to achieve them in an integrated way.

Consumers recognize sustainable wines by the seal on the bottle.

The FAIR’N GREEN standard for sustainable viticulture stipulates that each winery must establish processes to continuously improve its entire management, vineyard work, winery management and marketing within the framework of holistic sustainability analysis. 

Watch the trip on Youtube

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