The Mosel is one of the great wine regions of Germany, many would say the greatest. This is Riesling country at its best, the combination of microclimates and soils bringing out the very best in this noble grape.
Vineyards cling to the banks of the river, some precipitously steep and dramatic. Few of consequence are far from the river whose steepest valley slopes make the best wine.
At this most northerly of latitudes, winemaking can be a bit hit and miss and a huge variety of microclimates exists, each dependent on the angle and exposure of each slope to the sun. As the Mosel winds north, river bends provide in places perfect exposure to the sun and make the region immensely beautiful and dramatic.
The Mosel is arguably currently the best overall Riesling region in Germany, with many excellent makers producing exquisite wines that are full of fruit.
The region has many unique sites and styles. However, in general the wines are characterised by a minerality and citrus acidity derived from the slate soils, which hold the heat of the day and ensure full ripeness.
Thin topsoils here force the vine roots deep in their search for nutrients, producing wines with high minerality. Phylloxera cannot survive in slate soils, meaning that many vines here are older, on original ungrafted rootstocks, with the lower yields promoting higher concentration and complexity of flavour.
The region is divided into three main areas, Lower, Middle, and Upper Mosel, whose wines are generally similar in character, but which vary immensely in quality. Middle Mosel, centred around the picture-postcard town of Bernkastel-Kues is generally acknowledged as producing the best wines. Though Erden, a few bends down river, would beg to disagree.
We have both, so make up your own mind :)