German wine regions (I) - Mosel Valley and Rheingau

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There are 13 wine-growing regions (Anbaugebiet) in Germany. Today let’s take a closer look at two of the most famous regions among them.

Image: Weinberge ander Mosel,Urzig, provided by German Wine Institute

The Mosel Valley

The Mosel Valley is arguably the best-known wine region in Germany. The name ‘Mosel’ comes from the famous river this region embraces. Its official name is Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, though the wine trade usually refer to this region simply as the Mosel.

The Mosel is primarily a white wine region. Its best vineyards are planted on the steep, south-facing slopes, and the combination of chilling climate and plenty of sunshine help to produce elegant, delicate, and light whites.

Widely planted white varieties include Elbling, Kerner and Müller-Thurgau, but the best quality wines are most likely made from Riesling. The best Rieslings can be found in the Saar and Ruwer valleys and the Middle Mosel (Mittelmosel). Generally speaking, wines from the Saar and Ruwer valleys are higher in acidity than those from Mittelmosel.

Image: Assmannshausen im Herbst, provided by German Wine Institute

Rheingau

In terms of global fame, Rheingau is a good rival to the Mosel.

Most of the vineyards in Rheingau are situated on the north bank of the river Rhine, and planted with Riesling. The dark, heat-absorbing soil is especially beneficial to retain heat and protect the vines.

The styles of wine in Rheingau vary more than the Mosel. Wines produced in the western areas of the region tend to be lighter and more elegant, while wines from the east are more likely to be riper and richer. The best-quality Rheingau Riesling can be found in the Middle Rheingau area between Rüdsheim and Wiesbaden. East of Rüdesheim, the town of Assmannshausen is known for producing Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) of exceptional quality.

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