Vins Sans Frontières (The Official Launch of Terroir Moselle)
In the beautiful and historic city of Trier (Trèves) on the banks of the Moselle river, I attended the official launch of the “Terroir Moselle” project. This concept brings together under one theme, 3 countries, 5 wine regions and one river – the Moselle. With the help of the Leader programme of the European Union, the wine growers in the Moselle valley are getting together to promote the important elements of the region – wine, water, sunshine and climate. It has taken over two years to bring together the 20 or so partners in this project which today flies under the flag of the “Terroir Moselle”. Originally created by the representatives of the viticultural and geological institutes of Rhineland-Palatine and of Luxembourg, they were later joined by the Lorraine, representing the AOC Côtes de Toul and the Pays Terre de Lorraine as well as representatives from the Moselle Sarroise under the banner of the AOC Moselle.
The expression “terroir” brings under the same umbrella the authenticity of the wines, the climate, the traditions and the history from these three countries, notwithstanding the individual differences between its more than 4000 producers. They hope that this strong image will eventually prevail as the most European of the all the wine regions in Europe. The grand panoply of the different varietals of the valley and its magnificent countryside ensures that the region will continue to be attractive to thousands of tourists and it is the wine producers who should continue to be the engine of Mosellian tourism.
As an example of this co-operation between the producers of the German, Luxembourg and French Moselle, the 2008 harvest has produced the birth of the of the first trans-frontier awards of quality, namely “Schengen Prestige”. The members of the Schengen Prestige Charter have agreed to respect certain criteria such as limiting yields, full details of which can be found on their website, www.schengenprestige.eu. This is the first of many initiatives which Terroir Moselle hopes to promote.
This project marks the beginning of a common promotion of the wines of the Moselle. This complements strategies already in place to render the image of the marque of the wines of the Moselle on an international level. Developments will be posted regularly on their internet site, www.terroirmoselle.eu, and an eventual publication of a guide to the wines of the Moselle in English.