Terroir Moselle – A marketing initiative for wine from the Mosel

December 27, 2012

The Mosel

Steep vineyards along the Mosel river

When I visited my home town Trier recently, I came across an article in the local newspaper about the joint marketing efforts of vintners of the Mosel river.

With the help of government (in this case the European Union), producers from three countries – France, Luxembourg and Germany – have united their efforts to promote their produce: wine from the Mosel river.

Terroir Moselle is the name of the undertaking. The project shall benefit about 4,000 vintners across the borders of the three countries. It includes about 229 villages and hamlets along the river Mosel which are involved in grape and wine production.

The project was started in 2010 for a duration of three years. About 20 associations, institutes and other bodies from the three countries had initiated it after preparatory work in 2009.

The total area under vines along the Mosel is about 10,500 ha, 180 ha of which in the Lorraine, France; 1,350 ha in Luxembourg, and the remainder in Germany (Saar 110 ha and Mosel 8,880 ha).

Map Vignobles Moselle

The Moselle

“River, terroir, grape production and wine making” are the unifying features of the project. Producers in the three countries face similar challenges. Many are small family units with insufficient “muscle” to raise awareness for their products: high quality wines from the Mosel river, in highly competitive markets.

Unfortunately, the website does not give an account of the achievements and the impact of the joint undertaking. The newspaper article mentioned ‘joint tasting across borders’ and ‘presentations in international wine shows’ as examples.

The members of “Terroir Moselle” have now to come up with a plan to sustain activities after the end of the funding period (December 2013). The total amount of EU support for the three years is 250,000 EURO.

I wish them well.


Wine bars – Le Sommelier in Metz, Lorraine, France

August 22, 2011

One of the good things when in Trier is that one is very close to Luxembourg and France. Both countries are ideal destinations for day tours. It was a cloudy day when we set out. Our first stop was at Nennig where we visited the Roman villa with its fantastic tessellated floor.

When the weather changed and the sun cam out, we spontaneously decided to continue our tour and visit Metz, the capital of the Lorraine region of France, just about an hour from the German-French border.

My last visit to this historic and picturesque town was when I was at the gymnasium, about 40 years ago. Because I belonged to the “French branch” of my high school, and French was our first foreign language, school trip brought us regularly to neighbouring French regions. My family had never been there, and of course Metz is also situated at my beloved Mosel river, and French vintner produce good wines as well.

When another rain shower surprised us during our city walk, we found refuge in a wine bar which we had spotted earlier; Le Sommelier, it was called. While writing this blog entry I learned that Le Sommelier gets extremely good ratings in trip advisor which doesn’t surprise me at all. The service was just excellent.

Wine bar Le Sommelier ‘cave à vin’

The entrance to ‘Le Sommelier’ with the blackboards with wine list

The bar

Shelves with wine bottles

The lady behind the counter was very friendly, rearranged chairs and tables to accommodate the four of us. The children had soft drinks and we adults embarked on a tasting of Moselle wines. We were also served a platter of various cheeses and cold cuts, delicious stuff. The wine list if short but there are many more bottles on the shelves which one can buy.

A well kept secret: Pinot Noir from the Moselle

The Saint-Stephen Cathedral of Metz just opposite of ‘Le Sommelier’ with some stained glass windows by Marc Chagall

We settled for two wines by ‘Le Domaine les Béliers’ in d’Ancy-sur-Moselle, Moselle. The Maurice family is working the vineyards at ‘Domaine les Béliers’ since 1650. The total area under vines is only about 4 ha. This is a small vintner to my liking. The main varieties are Auxerrois, Pinot Noir, Gamay and Pinot Gris. No Riesling, as the Riesling lovers will notice.

We tasted the Auxerrois and the Pinot Noir, which we liked best. Needless to say that we bought some bottles of these wines. More about the wines and the winery another time.

Visit the cities of the Moselle/Mosel Metz, Thionville, Trier and all the rest. Its truly worth it.

Address:
Le Sommelier
Cave à vins
27 place de chambre, 57000 METZ, France
Te.: +33-3 87 36 84 91
Open Weekdays 9:30am-1pm, 3pm-8:30pm; Sat 9:30am-1pm, 9:30pm-8:30pm;
also open Sun