The name of the famous German wine producing region Mosel comes from the Mosel River, which winds through this part of Germany. Three river valleys – the Mosel, Saar, and Ruwer – account for the unique topography and growing conditions of the Mosel region, which is world-famous for its production of Riesling wines.
One of the defining characteristics of wine production in Mosel is the steeply sloped vineyards, which overlook the three rivers. At one point of the Mosel river, vineyards are arranged at a steep, 65-degree incline. As might be imagined, that significantly increases the difficulty of wine production. In fact, Mosel is widely considered to have some of the most labor-intensive vineyards in the world.
Despite the difficulty of production, winemaking has been going in Mosel since the ancient Roman era. At that time, the Romans planted vineyards along both the Mosel and the Rhine. By the Middle Ages, there were wine villages along the Mosel. And by the end of the 17th century, Riesling had established itself as the dominant grape varietal of Mosel.
In terms of overall production, Riesling wines account for nearly 60% of all wine produced in Mosel. In addition, Müller-Thurgau (14%) and Elbling (6.3%) also play a role. Wines of the region are known for being light, low in alcohol, crisp and high in acidity. While many Rieslings are characterized as being “fruity,” the wines of Mosel are more often characterized as having floral notes.
In the 1920s, Blue Nun became arguably the most famous German wine from Mosel in the world. By the 1950s, Blue Nun was being exported to North America, and until the late 1980s, Blue Nun was a huge commercial hit with the American wine- drinking audience, which enjoyed the sweeter, lighter wine.
The Mosel wine region is divided into 6 districts, as well as 19 collective vineyard designations and 524 single vineyard designations. The wines of Mosel are often bottled with very distinctive long, green-colored “hock style” bottles that help them stand out on wine retailer shelves.
Here is a brief audio guide on Mosel wine region. Check it out.