Wine Guide
There are 13 official fine wine regions in Germany, the most famous of which is easily Mosel-Saar-Ruwer (the region has been called simply Mosel since a change in the labelling system in 2006). Although not the biggest - it is, in fact, only fifth on the list, it is easily first in terms of quality. The triumvirate of villages border the Moselle River (with the Saar and Ruwer rivers either side of the larger Moselle) and topography is characterised by steep vineyards (over 50% are planted at 30 degrees) and slate soils. 8,800 hectares of vineyard are planted with over half given over to Reisling (the rest is 11.6% Müller-Thurgau and 5.6% Elbling) and those found along the banks of the Moselle are bathed by the sun for most of the summer months wines. However, wide variations in temperature from one end of the river to the other can result in wines ranging from being Haribo sweet to bone dry. Because of the complicated structure of the land and difficult growing conditions, farming is done mainly by hand which proves both labour intensive and expensive. This has resulted in lower yields which have worked in some cases (see J.J. Prum as an example) but it also means that many vineyards are being abandoned, as qualified workers become more and more scarce (workers have to be trained to be able to harvest horizontally due to the steepness of the slopes. Lives have also been lost which does not look good on a job description). Additionally, Mosel wines are ludicrously underpriced, another reason for Mosel’s dwindling production.

A mention must be given here to Saar, officially part of the larger Mosel region but unique in a number of ways. Saar itself has approximately 750-hectares of vineyards, but the cold easterly wind does not allow for long ripening as on the south facing banks. Saar wines tend to stick to traditional Riesling as the "standard" style, although dry wines are also produced. The region’s most famous wineries, Egon Muller and Van Volxem are testament to this.

With Mosel taking up pride of place on Germany’s fine wine leader board (seven of the top ten are from the region, including the no.1 spot Egon Muller’s top scoring Scharzhofberger Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese), in terms of fine wine this is the region that warrants the closest attention. It can also be erratic (the same Egon Muller wine gained €6,000 in three years, then lost €2,000 in 12 months), so you’ll need to act swiftly if you’re looking to make a profit.