It is no coincidence that the valley of the Moselle is one of Luxembourg’s major tourist attractions. The mild climate (typically one or two degrees above the country average) and the spectacular beauty of the hilly vineyards at whose feet the Moselle ambles, gives the region its quite unique character. Moreover the Moselle valley fulfills all the right conditions allowing vintners to grow excellent wines which are appreciated far beyond the borders of our tiny country.
Nine different grape varieties are grown:Riesling, Pinot noir, Pinot blanc, Pinot gris, Gewürztraminer, Auxerrois, Rivaner, Elbling and Chardonnay.
While the limestone soils of the area around Grevenmacher make for fine and vivacious wines, the keuper and marl soils around Remich give the wines a more opulent character. Furthermore, Luxembourg’s vintners have in the last decades acquired an impressive mastery in the manufacture of sparkling wines and crémants.
Over the course of the centuries Luxembourg’s vintners have firmed down their craft in tradition, yet they are nevertheless open to technical innovation and the latest oenological methods. Thus they manage the perfect symbiosis between ancient and modern and can therefore extract the full potential from their grapes. The results speak for themselves; year on year they garner numerous prizes and medals at international competitions.
Luxemburgish wines, sparkling wines and crémants are tangy and elegant.
The wine label "Marque Nationale-Appellation contrôlée" grants provenance and quality. "Crémant de Luxembourg" are made of best grapes, fully mature, and best peserved. The maturation achieves in the traditional way of a second degree fermenting and a barrelling on own sediment during a period of nine months. Each winegrower assembles the grape varieties of his own choice, to succeed in a wine product of best quality.
The white wines come from nine varieties, of which they bear the name.
The term "Luxembourg Crémant" was coinced in 1991. Thanks to their fresh, fine and vivid character these sparkling wines made according to the traditional method of secondary fermentation in the bottle have enjoyed massive success, evidenced by the multitude of medals they win in international competitions. Crémants are a perfect accompaniment to every course of a festive meal.
Thanks to modern oenological techniques and the vintners mastery of his craft, speciality wines such as late harvests, straw or ice wines, are a further successful addition to the repertoire of local production. With "late harvest wines" the vintner pushes the harvesting date as far as possible as it improves the grapes' sugar content. For the so-called "straw wine", mature and healthy grapes are laid out on a grill (formerly on straw, hence the name) to allow them to dry slowly. "Ice wine", however, demands that the grape be left on the vine right into winter, protected by nets from birds. Harvesting must be done at a maximum temperature of -7°C, which usually implies a night-time harvest, and the still frozen solid grapes must immediately be pressed out. All of these cases produce an elitist and ultimately rare wine of the highest quality.
"Friture de la Moselle" is a typical dish of the Moselle region: Small fish - a little larger than whitebait - deep fried and eaten whole. After a pleasant Sunday afternoon stroll through the vineyards, one should seek out a typical Moselle restaurant. Don’t look at the menu for long. Order "Friture". And don’t forget, fish should swim; so study the wine list. Fish should swim first in water, then in hot fat, and lastly in good wine. A first class Riesling is the best.
Much to the delight of vintners who love sharing the fruit of their labour, wine tasting -whether in private or in business circles- are increasingly popular. For number of years now the "Wine tasting with friends" initiative gives individuals the opportunity of visiting wineries.