Bernkasteler Ring

German Moselle Wines

The Moselle wine area is located in the south-west part of Germany, 100 km west of Frankfurt near the French/Luxembourg border, and has an area of 30,000 acres.

From the 12th Century up to 1805, it belonged to the Catholic Church. In 1805 Napoleon destroyed „Kur-Trier“, the so-called Church state. He needed money to wage war in Europe and sold the Church’s property at auctions in Paris where the ancestors of nearly all of the owners of today’s wine estates bought their vineyards. The Peter Nicolay label shows the coats of arms of the abbeys Himmerod and Springiersbach, from which the vineyards originated. Napoleon extended the Code Napoleon to the Rhine border. The law stipulated that, after the death of a father, his property would be divided into as many parts as he had children - this was a consequence of the ideals of the French revolution. The result is a very poor agricultural structure for all provinces on the left side of the Rhine, i.e. property has been divided between a very large number of people.

Today Germany is part of the European Union (EEC) and has given up its right to make its own laws when it comes to agriculture, mining of coal and the steel industry. Thus, in 1971 Brussels decided to harmonise the wine laws. From this time onwards, all of Europe has had two categories of wine: table wine and quality wine. The only difference between these is that table wine grows in very large areas whereas quality wines are sourced from smaller areas. This distinction has nothing to do with the quality of the wine in your glass. It is simply a marketing instrument to say that wines from large areas are less exclusive and less expensive than those from smaller areas.

Of all the Europeans, only the Germans insisted on having an additional guarantee of wine quality, i.e. a guarantee, as previously under the old German wine law, that no additional sugar is added to the wines.  This results in light wines given the name Qualitätswein mit Prädikat (quality wine with predicate). The six designated Prädikat quality levels outlined below are related to the ripeness of the grapes and the winemaking technique.

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