Here is an article (UK) about a year old about a route to take if you wish
to do a wine tour, I did the boldfacing. I'd love to do this route.....
Great Wine Route: Mosel
Three rivers give their name to this much-loved wine region: the Mosel, Saar
and Ruwer. The Mosel is by far the most important, and lengthy, and the other
two are its tributaries, but the landscape is similar in all three: majestic,
vertiginously steep hills rising up like cliffs from the river shore. Vineyards
are planted only on slopes with maximum exposure to sunlight, and the soils are
predominantly slate, which imparts a bracing minerality to the wines. The best
sites are planted with Riesling. Nowhere in the world does this variety achieve
such elegance and piercing purity of fruit as here. Most wines are delicately
sweet, but are rarely cloying or sugary thanks to the fine lacy acidity that
supports the fruit.
The region is geared up for tourism, so visiting the Mosel/ Saar/Ruwer and its wineries is a pleasure, facilitated by an abundance of hotels, restaurants and wine bars.
The heart of the Mosel valley is the bustling town of Bernkastel, twinned with the less characterful Kues across the river. High season is not during the summer months, but in September and October, when cars can queue for half an hour to enter the town, and parking is difficult. The pedestrianised streets of old Bernkastel are a delight, lined with half-timbered houses, and a surfeit of cafés and restaurants.
The Marktplatz (marketplace) is especially charming. Here you can eat a lunch of traditional dishes at the friendly Ratskeller, which has a good selection of 'open wines' by the glass from top growers. Walk off the calories by taking the path up to the ruinous castle, from where there is a terrific view of the town and its vineyards. (There is also an hourly bus service from the quay.)
Just across the bridge in Kues is the Cusanius complex. This 15th-century charitable foundation still supports an old people's home from its vineyards, and you can visit its fine Gothic chapel and cloisters. Its other buildings house a wine museum and the brilliant Vinothek. For t12 you can grab a glass, disappear into the vaulted cellars, and help yourself to any of 130 open bottles of the wines offered for sale here.
One excellent estate is based in Bernkastel itself, close to the bridge. Dr Pauly-Bergweiler (and its sister estate Peter Nicolay) produce gorgeous sweet wines from some of the Mosel's finest vineyards. The tasting room close to the bridge is open without appointment.
Just downstream from Bernkastel is the village of Graach; here you can taste some of the valley's greatest wines from Willi Schaefer. These are classic Rieslings, but just across the river, in Wehlen, is the tasting room of a more radical producer, Markus Molitor, who produces a staggering range of wines, including Pinot Noir of surprising quality. Also in Wehlen, along the quayside, is Heribert Kerpen (appointment advisable), a traditional Riesling producer of reliable quality and fair prices. Wander down the quay to admire the imposing mansions, most of which belong to the various members of the Prüm family. Continue driving downstream to the village of Urzig. The striking gabled building near the shore is the venerable Mönchhof estate, where you can taste well-crafted wines from the superb vineyards of Urzig and the neighbouring village of Erden.
Rather than return to Bernkastel for the night, stay in Zeltingen (midway between Urzig and Bernkastel) at the Hotel St Stephanus, where you can dine well in the main restaurant or in the informal basement wine bar. Alternatively, make the most of the rare old vintages at bargain prices at the Moselschild restaurant in Urzig.
Drive back through Bernkastel and continue to the village of Lieser. Pause for a tasting at Sybille Kuntz along the quayside (appointment advisable). Here the speciality is full-bodied dry Rieslings of varying degrees of intensity and power. Continue to the renowned village of Piesport. At the foot of the steep Goldtröpfchen vineyard you can visit a restored Roman press-house, the best preserved of four along the valley. Nearby is the tasting room of Reinhold Haart, the village's best grower (by appointment). Alternatively, visit Lehnert-Veit, especially in summer, when their wine bar is open.
The next village is Trittenheim, a good spot to pause for lunch on the terrace of the stylish Wein & Tafelhaus, one of the valley's top restaurants. (Alternatively try the new Kabinett in Piesport near the church.) Trittenheim is also home to the excellent Clüsserath-Weiler estate near the river (by appointment).
Continue towards Trier, pausing at Neumagen to see the remarkable 2nd-century Roman carving of a ship laden with wine barrels. It was brought here from Trier, where it was a funerary monument.
It is worth spending some time in Trier, a city of Roman origin that is still packed with ancient buildings. There are plenty of good hotels here, notably the new and comfortable Park Plaza in the city centre (parking available). In the late afternoon enjoy a stroll around the city. The principal sights include the vast Roman gate, the Porta Nigra, the immense Romanesque cathedral and, adjoining it, the lofty early-gothic Frauenkirche. The vast basilica of Constantine, now a Protestant church, is a finely preserved structure of Roman brick. Attached to it, and in complete contrast, is the pink rococo Elector's palace and its gardens.
For dinner try one of Trier's fine restaurants, such as
the Bagatelle with its riverside terrace, or the handsome Schloss Monaise. A new addition to Trier's wine shop and dining scene is the excellent Weinhaus in Brückenstrasse, where wines from leading estates can be drunk for a
modest $6 corkage fee.
There's more to see in Trier. There are three Roman bath complexes, the largest being the Kaiserthermen. Roman tombs, mosaics and carvings are displayed at the Landesmuseum. And on the outskirts of Trier stands the Roman amphitheatre. Enjoy a light lunch in the cathedral square at either the Walderdorff wine bar or the more rustic Kesselstatt Weinstube.
Leave Trier in the direction of Konz and head down the Saar valley towards Wiltingen. The Saar's most famous estate, the exquisite Scharzhof, is not open to visitors, but you can see its charming manor house at the foot of the majestic Scharzhofberg. In Wiltingen, near the church, is the Van Volxem estate (by appointment). This is an avant-garde property specialising in very rich, ripe styles quite at odds with the traditional racy, steely style of Saar Riesling. Opinions differ as to the merits of these wines, so taste and decide for yourself!
Head back to Trier and continue to the hamlet of Ruwer. Then bear right into the Ruwer valley. Maximin Grünhaus is the most famous estate here (preferably by appointment), its ancient buildings at the foot of the perilously steep vineyards. There's another superb monastic estate in the next village, Eitelsbach, the Karthäuserhof. Both estates offer intense Rieslings with maximum flavour and minimum alcohol. You can either return to Trier for the night, or stay and dine in Mertesdorf at the Hotel Weis, which is also the headquarters of the Beulwitz estate, specialising in excellent wines from the Kaseler Nies'chen site.
if you have time...
By far the best-known stretch of the Mosel valley lies between Trittenheim and Urzig. Further downstream, between Urzig and Koblenz, the wines are not as highly esteemed. However, many young producers, unable to invest in more prestigious areas, have started to produce excellent wines herei, often in a drier style. Moving downstream from Urzig, the pretty town of Traben-Trarbach is home to Daniel Vollenweider and Martin Müllen; Enkirch is the site of the historic Immich-Batterieberg estate; and Clemens Busch makes dry Rieslings in Pünderich. Bremm is the site of Europe's steepest vineyard, the Calmont, and its top grower is Ulrich Franzen. Finally, in Winningen, superb dry Rieslings and lush TBAs, are produced by Heymann-Löwenstein (Germany's Winemaker of the year 2006) and Beate Knebel. Many of these wineries welcome visitors, preferably by appointment.
Return to Trier in December and enjoy the annual Christmas fair, located in its main squares, with almost 100 booths offering handicrafts, mulled wine, grilled sausages and sweets.
Mosel Valley: http://www.mosellandtouristik.de
St Stephanus, Zeltingen.+49 6532 680
Park Plaza, Trier.+49 651 99930
Hotel Weis, Mertesdorf.+49 651 95610
Hotel Greiveldinger, Perl.+49 6867 271
Ratskeller, Bernkastel.+49 6531 7474
Weinhaus Porn, Bernkastel. +49 6531 6258
Moselschild, Urzig.+49 6532 93930
Wein & Tafelhaus, Trittenheim. +49 6507 702 803
Kabinett, Piesport.+49 6507 702 064
Weinhaus in Brückenstrasse, Trier. +49 651 170 4924
Bagatelle, Trier. +49 651 29722
Schloss Monaise.+49 651 828 670
Pauly-Bergweiler, Bernkastel.+49 6531 3002
Willi Schaefer, Graach.+49 6531 8041
Markus Molitor, Wehlen.+49 6532 3939
Heribert Kerpen, Wehlen.+49 6531 6868
Mönchhof, Urzig.+49 6532 93164
Sybille Kuntz, Lieser.+49 6531 91000
Reinhold Haart, Piesport.+49 6507 2015
Lehnert-Veit, Piesport.+49 6507 2123
Clüsserath-Weiler, Trittenheim. +49 6507 5011
Van Volxem, Wiltingen.+49 6501 16510
Maximin Grünhaus, Mertesdorf. +49 651 5111
Karthäuserhof, Eitelsbach. +49 651 5121
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