A valley located in the north-eastern region of France, south-western Germany and eastern Luxembourg, Moselle is a naturally beautiful and rich area. The valley is known primarily for its white wine production, and visitors travel miles to taste the famous Moselle wines. The best way to experience the Moselle Valley, and to sample the fruits of its vineyards, is to travel up the valley by river cruise. Avalon Waterways offers a special Moselle Valley river cruise that allows travelers to see the beautiful valley as well as become acquainted with three grape varieties of the region, including Riesling, Muller-Thurgau and Elbling.
The Riesling is an especially popular grape, which originated in the Rhine region, Germany. Used mainly for sweet and sparkling wines, but also known for its dry qualities, the Riesling is quite flowery with a touch of floral perfume. Light and tangy, it complements fish and chicken dishes incredibly well, as well as adding a real depth of flavour to various herb and aromatics. For its sheer versatility and accessibility, the Riesling is often voted into the top white wine lists, alongside the classic Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Another white grape, the Muller-Thurgau was created by Hermann-Muller of Germany. The grape was created by crossing the Riesling with Madeleine Royale and has an iridescent quality to the skin. Used for wine production all over the world, including Italy, Austria, USA and New Zealand, the grape has international fame and regularly makes the wine list at top restaurants worldwide. Fruity and “moreish,” it complements light canapés very well.
A favorite among Moselle Valley river cruisers, the Elbling is a characteristic grape. Quite acidic, it is primarily grown for the sparkling wine list, but it also works well as a still wine because of its elegant flavor. For this reason, it is possibly best served with white fish. The Elbling is quite dry and often used in Germany to produce beautiful wines such as Sekt, which is very dry but has a real depth of flavor.