Wine and vineyards in Trier-Olewig

November 19, 2007

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The wine village of Olewig near the city centre of Trier

Olewig is one of four villages within the city boundaries of Trier were vines are grown till today (the others are St. Matthias-Feyen, Krüenz and Pallien) since Roman times. Vines, wine production and wine trade were basic features of city life, its culture and its economy. Many famous poets eulegized the beauty of the town (among them Goethe of course). In the drinking song of Carmina Burana of the 13th century one verse praises the city of Trier and its comforts, the dedication of its citizens to “the vines and the wines” and the culture of enjoying the fruits of the vintners labour.

One of my many walks around the town brought me to Olewig, a village nestled between two steep hills in the South-East of the town. Early in the morning I sat out from the banks of the Mosel river, from my parental home in “Britannia” (Britannien), as our neighbourhood is called. Its the area where the old city harbour had been, roughly between the two cranes to unload barges moored on the river.

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The view of the city from Petrisberg (left: Roman Basilica, Cathedral, and in the background the red sandstone cliffs)

I climbed the gentle slopes of the Petrisberg and turned South where the wine appreciation path (Weinlehrpfad) starts. This walk leads the wine interested rambler along ruins of Roman tombs through vine gardens and vineyards to the village of Olewig. I did not enter the village but instead walked in a long circle through the vineyards and returned to the Petrisberg where one has a wonderful view of the old city. It was vintage time and crews of grape pickers were busy harvesting.

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The start of the path/walk: Between Sucellus (left) and Bacchus (right), the Celtic and Roman gods of wine respectively

The poster says that the wine appreciation path is about 1500 m long. It leads through the open fields of the Trier wine district and ends in Olewig. Along the way large posters are displayed educating and informing the wanderer of the various historical, cultural and technical aspects related to the vineyards and the production of grapes. One of the signs gives the total area under vines as 373 ha. The number of full-time vintners is about 100 family farms. Main grapes grown are Riesling (86 %), Rivaner (8 %), Pinot Blanc (4 %) and Pinot Noir (2 %).

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The map of the Olewig “Terroir”

The main locations of Trier-Olewig are

– St. Maximiner Kreuzberg
– Deutschherrenberg
– Deutschherrenköpfchen
– Burgberg
– Jesuitenwingert
– Thiergarten unterm Kreuz
– Thiergarten Felsenkoepfchen
– Benediktinerberg
– Kurfürstenhofberg
– St. Martiner Hofberg

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The slopes are steep, only caterpillar tractors are able to scale them (in the background Olewig)