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Mosel Valley

  • The Mosel Valley runs from the Vosges Mountains in France, where it is referred to as Moselle, to its confluence with the Rhine River at Koblenz, Germany.
  • The dramatic twists and turns of the river, as well as the steepness of the slopes, produce conditions which make world-class Rieslings possible.
  • The south-facing slopes allow for greater ripening of the fruit due to the reflective river. However, the gradient of these slopes makes the working of the vines almost impossible.
  • While wine was introduced to this region by the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago, what is considered to be high-quality wine has only been produced in this area for the last 200 years; very young by Old World standards.
  • The steepest vineyard along the Mosel is the Calmont near Bremm, Germany and has a pitch of more than 65 degrees. Just imagine trying to harvest fruit in a vineyard like this!
  • The Mosel region is one of the top 13 wine regions of Germany. Identified on wine labels with the term Qualitätswein, meaning the wine is made with late harvest or over-ripe fruit and the wine is made from an approved grape varietal.
  • Qualitätswein has two categories; Qualitätswein bestmitter Angbaugebiete which simply means the fruit is of a specific varietal and was grown in an approved region. Qualitätswein Pradikat is a process of harvesting over-ripe grapes for wine production. Wines labels Qualitätswein Pradikat fall into one of six categories based on how the fruit was harvested and the level of sweetness in the wine.
  • Kabinett – The lightest of these six categories. All the fruit is harvested, and this wine can typically be enjoyed with a meal.
  • Spatlese – This is the first late harvest version of Riesling under this classification.
  • Auslese – Similar to Spatlese, however only very select grapes from full clusters are harvested resulting in a wine that is much sweeter, fruiter, and intense.
  • Beerenauslese – Often referred to as BA, this is a late harvest which has been affected by botrytis; commonly referred to as ‘noble rot’. This fungus pulls water from the fruit which intensifies the sugars and flavors of the wine.
  • Trokenbeenerauslese – Within the Qualitätswein classifications, this wine has the highest sweetness. Individual grapes highly effected by botrytis were hand-selected to make this wine.
  • Eiswein – otherwise known as ice wine, this is one of the most exclusive wine styles in the world. Having to be harvested at -7C or below, makes for challenging working conditions. At this temperature, the water in the grapes freezes and since the pressing usually happens in the vineyard, the frozen water remains in the press while the sugar-heavy juice drains out. With this amount of sugar, the yeast can’t convert it all into alcohol, hence the highest concentration of remaining sugar (usually around 100 grams per liter) while only having approximately 7% alcohol.
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