To blog or not to blog?

December 23, 2012

Mosel Bullay

Mosel in mid December near Bullay (shot taken from the train)

Is the retirement of the Man from Mosel River imminent?

Every December I ponder the very same question. Shall I continue this blog or not?

You might have noticed that I am struggling this year. The last three months were particularly painful. My day job is sucking up all my energies. I have been feeling drained and empty for a while. One could say that I am Gulliverized by my professional responsibilities, which have grown over the years and weigh more heavily on me now that I am getting older.

My stats show this too. I have been sliding a little, and continue to slide a little every month.

I started this blog in January 2007 and have posted a couple of hundred entries. At the end of this month I have six years of blogging under my belt. They say ‘people do not read blogs any more’; these days people are on Twitter and Facebook instead.

So why waste so much energy and time?

When I scroll though older posts I also notice that I am repeating myself. I eat the same food, visit the same places, and tend to drink (if possible) my favourite wines. Am I spent?

Not quite, I think.

Let me tell you what happened to me last weekend in my home town Trier. I had only about 43 hours available. I arrived late the first evening and was much too tired to do anything.

Saturday night, after a family meal, we watched some slides and family photos, before I could go on a stroll and check out the Christmas market. I also intended to have a glass of wine. My favourite wine bar, ‘Weinsinnig’ was my destination.

The place was crowded and I only found a table at the back. That table, however, was reserved and I was asked to swap with a place right across the “wine list”, a wall with about 20 or so wine bottles in metal holders and a description of the wine and the producer. I will tell you another time which wines I sampled that night.

When I went up to that wall with my phone to document what I had tasted (two reds) and returned to my table, a woman approached me and asked: “Are you the Man from Mosel River”? You cannot image how flabbergasted I was. How could she know?

It turned out the the woman was Manuela Schewe, the owner and initiator of ‘Weinsinnig’. She had seen my last post about the wine bar. After the introduction, we had a good chat about wine, wine bars, the vagaries of life and so on.

Well, and when I was leaving I thought that I should think it over again before giving up my blog and retiring the Man from Mosel River.

Along the Mosel river – impressions from a train ride

October 6, 2011

Taking pictures from a train usuallay did not work for me in the past. However, the other day when I visited the Mosel river and my home town Trier, I tried it again with my new digital camera.

The outcome is not too bad, I think. And this is why I want to share it with you here on my blog. Unfortunately, I did not catch famous terroir, single vineyard locations and/or famous wine villages and towns, just some no-name impressions.

In any case, this is maybe the best view one can get of the Mosel: exploring the region on a train.

I suggest to any tourist and casual visitor to this part of Germany to take the train from Koblenz to Trier and enjoy from the regional express train the sometimes spectacular views of the Mosel valley and its vineyards.

You can feel the speed of the train – above the ‘Autobahn’ bridge at Winningen

Most ‘grand cru’ locations are to be found on the steep slopes (right) but there are also flat parts with vineyards (left)

Train station in Bullay with the view of two Mosel bridges

Vineyards on steep slopes

An autumn feeling

Blue slate on the roofs of the houses along the Mosel

The river bed, train tracks, and a country raod, all three have to find a space in the narrow Mosel river valley. That the vineyards are located on the steep slopes is not an accident. This is where the slate underground reflects the sunlight and keeps the vines warm for the optimal ripening of mainly Riesling grapes. The steep slopes are hard work for the vintners.

I love the Mosel. I find it extremely relaxing to sit on the train and watch the landscape along the winding valley.

Alternatively one can also visit the Mosel by pushbike or car. Every way of transport, every way of movement will bring new insights and offer other aspects of this magificent river landscape.