My beloved Mosel river – 1868 map of its terroir

March 6, 2012

I am very excited. Finally, my historical map of the Mosel river, which I had bought some years ago at Karlsmuehle, a winery cum restaurant at the Ruwer river, was put in a proper frame here in Bangkok. It’s a replica and not an original of course. But I looks very nice on my wall.

Vineyard location and quality map of 1868

The map shows the quality of the terroir in different shades of red. The more intense the red is, the better the quality and the higher the tax category. The Royal Prussian government had produced this map in order to streamline their tax collection.

The newly framed map of the Mosel, Saar and Ruwer

I can already see this map hanging in my house in Australia on our vineyard in Glenburn. I will tell my grand-children where I come from and how much I love my native town, Trier, and the Mosel river.


Wine village Kasel, Ruwer – Mosel Riesling at its best

October 7, 2011

This is the coat of arms of Kasel, a small village located at ther Ruwer river not far from my beloved Trier. The Ruwer river is one of the tributaries to the Mosel.

Originally our wine region was called ‘Mosel-Saar-Ruwer’ which named the two smaller rivers explicitely.

Grape vines all over the place

The slopes around Kasel are planted with grape vines

The Pauliner Landgasthof is part of Weingut von Nell

Von Nell Estate – Weingut von Nell

The newly refurbished Pauliner Hof is part of the Weingut von Nell.

We wanted to check it out and dropped in for lunch on a beautiful late summer’s day. The sky was blue and the Ruwer valley showed its most beautiful side.

I must say that I love this country inn right in the middle of Kasel, the lovely wine village.

During our high school days my brother Wolfgang and his friends used to help in vintage time and picked grapes at the steep slopes in the vineyards of the Von Nell Estate.

The interior of the inn is light and bright. The air well is covered by a glass roof and the subdivisions with rod iron and sheets of textiles give it a warm feeling. The big olive tree right in the middle of the restaurant gives the place a mediterranean flair. The service was excellent.

We had pork nuckle and a delicious mushroom dish, great German country food in my view.

Pork knuckel

The mushroom stew

My old folks

A shot of the wine list

I had an estate grown Riesling of course. The ‘2010 Kaseler Dominkanerberg Hochgewaechs’ was a very nice and fresh house wine, something for easy drinking and enjoyment with hearty country food. I just wish I would have access to it here in Bangkok (sight). Well, one cannot have it all.

The Ruwer valley is a true jewel, you should go there and check it out.

Pauliner Hof
Bahnhofstraße 41
54317 Kasel
Tel +49-651-9679090
Fax +49-651-96790916

Ruwer Riesling – Van Elkan semi-dry, slate Riesling, Mertesdorf

September 18, 2011

Many of my friends in Trier just love off-dry Riesling wines. One of them is my old high-school friend Juergen Olk who lives in Eitelsbach.

When we visited him and his family in July he produced this wonderful bottle of Riesling from the Ruwer valley. The Ruwer river is a tributary to my beloved Mosel.

I did not know the Van Elkan winery. Although I am not that much a lover of semi-dry (or semi sweat) wines, I must say that I liked this wine.

Christina and Marco van Elkan started their venture into the wine industry in 2003. Their philosophy of low yields and minimum intervention pays off. The quality of their wines is already well recognized.

2010 Van Elkan semi-dry, slate Riesling

The van Elkan wines are reasonably priced (7.00 to 9.80 EURO per bottle).

I wonder what the dry wines of the van Elkan family estate taste like. Something to explore further.

Christina and Marco van Elkan
Rieslingweg 1
54318 Mertesdorf
Tel: +49-651-9954475
Fax: +49-651-9954476

Wine bars in Trier: Weinstube Kesselstatt

April 10, 2011

Wine bar Kesselstatt in Trier

A place I just love to visit while in my home town Trier, Mosel is a cosy wine bar-cum-restaurant near the cathedral, called Weinstube (wine bar) Kesselstatt.

It is housed in the historic administrative building of the Estate Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, a well known winery with a long tradition (more than 600 years – difficult for us Australians to comprehend).

In front of the building is a replica of a tomb stone called the “Roman wine ship” found in Neumagen-Drohn, a village at the Mosel river, in 1878. In 220 it used to be one of two stones marking the grave of a Roman wine merchant. Honestly, I would love to get such a tombstone set on my own grave. What a hoot.

Today the winery is owned by the Reh family. Annegret Reh-Gartner manages the 36 ha of prime vineyards located along the rivers: Mosel (12 ha), Saar (12 ha) and Ruwer (12) ha. 98% of the area is under Riesling. The estate calls itself “the Riesling winery”.

When I strolled through the town at the end of March, I could not resist its magnetism and dropped in for a quick glass of wine.

The inside of wine bar Kesselstatt

Because the Kesselstatt estate owns vineyards along the three rivers constituting the former wine region of Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, one has a great choice of different Riesling wines.

I ordered a semi-dry Riesling from Scharzhofberg, a grand-cru of the outstanding Saar Riesling wines. Normally I avoid semi-dry wines but because of the early hours of my visit I just could not go for a dry Riesling.

2010 Scharzhofberger Riesling semi-dry, Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt

What a delight this wine is! I dissolved, so to say, this is Riesling at its best, and I tend to argue that none in the world is better. Lush and full, round but with zest, a titillating pleasure for the palate.

Below you will find pictures of the inside of the bar. There are old barrels filled with bottles, a old wooden press, and a side room with a map of the estates’ vineyard locations and other interesting wine paraphernalia.

Wine bottles in old barrels

A huge wooden wine press with a church bench in front

The function room

When I left the Kesselstatt wine bar revitalized and in high spirits, I walked out to a cherry tree in full blossom with a splendid view of the adjacent church of St. Liebfrauen and the cathedral (Dom, left).

The Old Man with the Beard

February 9, 2010

Famous last words

As a native of Trier, I treasure the most famous son of our city, Karl Marx, though he left rather early and spent most of his time in exile in London. He used to love wine, especially Riesling from the Ruwer where the Marx family used to own a vineyard and of course my beloved Mosel.

I like the poster above (this is why I took a shot through the window to get a glimpse of it), but unfortunately these were not his last words. he did not say: “Sorry folks, it was just an idea.” Only later generations could come to that conclusion. As family gathered around the dying Marx awaiting his final utterance. It is reported that he barked at them and said: “Go on, get out! Last words are for fools.”

The best German vintners and wine makers

June 1, 2009


The wine gods (photo taken from a building in Berlin)

Its certainly a great honour to be called “vintner of the year”. Since 1994 Gault Millau, Germany’s wine guide and major authority regarding wine, wine business and the wine sector, is awarding the “vintner of the year” award.

Today the total number of vintners of the year is 16, seven of which come from the Mosel wine region. The current one, however, comes from the Pfalz (Knipser brothers).

But in the years 2007 (Theo Haart, Mosel), 2005 (Kartaeuserhof, Ruwer), 2001 (Loosen, Mosel), 1998 (Mueller-Scharzhof, Saar), 1996 (Joh. Jos. Pruem, Mosel), 1995 (von Schubert, Ruwer) and 1994 (Fritz Haag, Mosel) the vintner of the year came from my home, the Mosel river and its tributaries.

(Remark: the Mosel wine region was originally called: Mosel-Saar-Ruwer)

No other German wine region has provided that many “champions”. So far the Nahe and Pfalz wine regions had two vintners of the year; and Rheinhessen, Rheingau, Frankonia, Ahr and Baden had one each (for the names of the vintners of the year: Gault Millau).

I came about this fact only by accident while researching a story, I was going to write. I have to find more Mosel wines here in Bangkok, I guess. Wish me luck.

Riesling, Riesling….heaven on a stick

March 16, 2009


My welcome meal consisted of wild boar goulash, mushrooms and Suebian dumplings (Spaetzle). What a treat, so delicious. I washed it down with a bottle of my house wine, a ‘2007 Alte Reben, Van Volxem Riesling’ from Wiltingen, Saar river. I just love the Van Volxem wines.


The very same day, a parcel arrived for me containing a bottle of wine which I won when participating in an opinion survey of a German wine magazine, Weinwelt ( I could not believe it. What a pleasant surprise this was. The wine is a “grand crue” (GG: Grosses Gewaechs) from the Pfalz, a ‘2007 Forster Ungeheuer GG, Reichsrat von Buhl in Deidesheim, Rheinpfalz. I decided to taste this wine another time and cellared it in my “treasure trove”. Thank you Weinwelt.


However, I could not resist to buy some more bottles of Mosel Riesling. I decided to try wines from Bischoefliches Konvikt. The two terroirs are very famous, one is Ayler Kupp at the Saar, the other is Eitelsbacher Marienholz from the Ruwer, another tributary of the Mosel.

The ‘2007 Eitelsbacher Marienholz Riesling’ I had with another serve of wild boar goulash the next day. It had all the zest I expected from a fresh Riesling from the Ruwer. The wine from the Saar I packed into my suitcase. Destination: Bangkok and reserved for a leisurely Sunday family meal in the tropics. I can only say: visit the Mosel and its tributaries. Here you’ll find heavenly Riesling wines. Cheers and zum Wohl.