Germany - Mosel
Mosel is one of 13 German wine regions – the country’s 3rd largest in terms of production and one of the more internationally known. It is mainly famous for its Riesling wines that are often light, crisp, lower in alcohol and a distinctive ‘flowery’ character.
The region covers the valleys of the rivers Mosel, Saar, and Ruwer from near the mouth of the Mosel at Koblenz and upstream to the vicinity of Trier in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate – its wine-growing neighbour to the east.. The area is known for the steep slopes of the region’s vineyards overlooking the river. With a 65° degree incline, the steepest recorded vineyard in the world is the Calmont vineyard in Bremm.
The steep river bank slopes that are scattered around the Mosel region are considered some of the most labor-intensive vineyards in the world. Mechanical harvesting is impractical and nearly seven times more man hours are needed in the Mosel than in flatter terrain. A benefit of the steep Mosel vineyards is that the incline allows for more direct sunlight to have contact with the vines.
The Riesling grape accounts for around 60% the region’s vineyards but planting needs to be selective as ripening will not happen in micro-climates made cool by altitude, aspect and lack of sunlight. The easier cultivated Müller-Thurgau and other Riesling crossings like Kerner are planted in large quantities on the sites that were not suitable for Riesling, but produce less characterful wines.