People have been pressing their grapes on Moselle river since antiquity.
They had settled in the area along with the Roman legions who had conquered parts of the Germanic territories.
A close city called Augusta Treverorum, present-day Trier, was a cosmopolitan city, and accordingly there was a high demand for wine,
a drink that was popular with the Romans.
The Celtic inhabitants of the region enjoyed drinking wine as early as 500 BC. It is not known whether they planted vines themselves. Around 50 BC, Roman legions conquered the Moselle region and founded the city of Trier in 17 BC. The increasing demand of the growing military and civilian population of the city led to the installation of a large-scale system of vineyards. This heralded the era of viticulture on the Moselle river. Today, you can still visit what remains of Roman wine pressing facilities. The Neumagen Wine Vessel, a stone Roman burial ground, is an impressive relic from this period.
After the end of the Roman Empire, the monasteries became the largest landowners, taking on a central role in the development of viticulture. In the High Middle Ages, Cistercian monks came from the Burgundy region to the Moselle, bringing knowledge of viticulture, and quickly established a significant competitive edge for the region.
Early quality assurance
Testimony of the importance of viticulture for the region can be seen by the fact that the last elector of Trier, Archbishop Clement Wenceslas of Saxony, laid out measures to promote the production of quality wine in the 18th century: He had low-quality vines cleared and replaced with better varieties, mainly Riesling, and this decree can still be felt in the region today: Of the 8,776 hectares (approx. 34 sq mi) of vineyards, 5,350 ha (approx. 20.5 sq mi) are planted with this noble grape.
After the French Revolution, the expropriation of Church goods brought an end to the age of monastic viticulture. At the same time, an early form of wine tourism emerged: English artists were attracted to the dramatic landscape and the fine wines of the Moselle region, including one of the most important Romanticist painters, William Turner, and it was here that he created a number of watercolours and gouaches. Even Goethe referred to the area in his writing.
Crisis and height of the Mosel Riesling
After the end of the Napoleonic era in 1815, the Kingdom of Prussia’s repressive trade policies brought many vintners to the brink of existence in the 1830s. Their great hardship also influenced the ideas of probably the most famous son of the city of Trier, Karl Marx.
Towards the end of the 19th century, viticulture in the Moselle Valley regained prominence, mostly thanks to support from the State of Prussia. Its steep slopes of Riesling vines produced the most sought after and most expensive white wines in the world. They were served at royal courts from London to St. Petersburg and in elite restaurants from Berlin to Paris.
Progress and heritage
After the Second World War, the great demand for fruity white wines and the mechanization of viticulture led to a huge increase in wine production in the Moselle region, sometimes in exchange for quality. The area of the vines grew by 7,500 hectares (29 sq mi) from the late 1950s to 12,300 hectares (47.5 sq mi) in the early 1990s.
Today, a new generation of vintners now harks back to the original strengths of the region: Steep slopes that have remained unused for some time have now been planted with Riesling and kept by manual work. An international training of ambitious young vintners and the characteristic combination of slate rock, microclimates and the grape variety produce mineral wines of unique character and outspoken elegance that are coveted around the world.
The wines we grow:
* Riesling (61 % of total vineyard area)
* Müller-Thurgau, also called Rivaner (12.4 % of total vineyard area)
* Elbling (6 % of total vineyard area)
* Pinot blanc (3.4 % of total vineyard area)
* Pinot noir (4.3 % of total vineyard area)
* Dornfelder (3.7 % of total vineyard area)
* Other varieties (9.2 % of total vineyard area)