In an effort to shed some light on how I study for WSET Diploma Course’s D3 exam, Le Club des Vins is running a series of posts covering wine regions. Today’s topic: Mosel
The Mosel region one of the most northerly wine-producing regions and considered as the oldest German winegrowing area. The region is defined by the Mosel river which emerges from the Vosges and flows eastwards into Germany. The banks of the river have steep slopes ranging from 30-70%. The Mosel area contains 8.796ha of vineyard which is managed by around 5.000 growers.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In a nutshell
- Cool continental climate
- Devonian blue slate
- Mostly RVS
The Mosel has a cool continental climate, site selection is essential to get the grapes fully ripe. The best vineyards have a southerly aspect on the steep slopes. The Mosel river moderates the climate, extends the growing season and its reflection causes extra sun exposure 👍 The Mosel has warm and rather wet summers, a long dry autumn (annual rainfall of 658mm). Frost is the biggest risk.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The soil is mostly Devonian blue slate. The slate retains heat during the day and releases it at night. Slate is rich of minerals and has a good drainage. Irrigation is allowed but doesn’t happen often. The vine roots penetrate the slate in search of a deep water source. There’s a variety of slate types in the area. Around Urzig and Erden, there is more iron rich red slate, which gives a spicy style.⠀⠀
🍇 Grapes & styles
Riesling is king here (62%). Second and third are Müller-Thürgau (10%, mainly used for bulk) and Spätburgunder (5%). Riesling is a late budding variety (avoiding spring frost) and ripens late. 😋 Taste
In general, Mosel rieslings are pale in color, low alcohol and have high aromatics and acidity. The latter is balanced by some residual sugar.
The Mosel has a strong reputation for sweet wines, but dry styles are also gaining importance.⠀
Riesling can be made in a number of styles. Traditionally, German wines were fermented and matured in large old oak casks to allow for some oxygenation, some producers of premium Riesling still do so today. Nowadays, RVS is most commonly used.
Your turn now
I always put a new region on instagram first. If you have any additions or comments on a region, please do share. You can drop a comment on instagram or on the website – see below. Your help is much appreciated!