1. White wines make up 90% of Luxembourg’s wine production
Less sunny than its counterparts in southern climes, Luxembourg’s Moselle valley is one of the northernmost cultivation areas for quality. While Luxembourg also produces some red wine, mainly Pinot noir, most wineries prefer to focus on white wine, Luxembourg’s speciality.
While Riesling is clearly the most famous of the Moselle whites, Rivaner is the most cultivated grape type in the country. Auxerrois, a rather rare cultivar used to produce gastronomic wines, is also typical of Luxembourg. Other “cépages” include Pinot Gris, whose Italian counterpart ‘Pinot Grigio’ is familiar to many, Gewürztraminer, a very fruity wine also common in Alsace, Pinot Blanc, a basic wine for crémant and low-alcohol Elbling.
2. Luxembourg is the only country outside of France where the term ‘crémant’ can be legally used for sparkling wines
‘Crémant de Luxembourg’ is one of the nine different crémant that exist, next to ‘Crémant d’Alsace’, ‘Crémant de Bourgogne’, ‘Crémant de Loire’, ‘Crémant de Bordeaux’, ‘Crémant du Jura’, ‘Crémant de Savoie’, ‘Crémant de Die’ and ‘Crémant de Limoux’.
These categories of sparkling wines are basically made with the same technique as Champagne but are from outside the Champagne region. About 25% of Luxembourg’s wines are sparkling wines, i.e. crémant.
3. Wine growing in Luxembourg’s Moselle Valley dates back to Roman times
Already in 370 A.D. the Roman poet Ausonius contemplated the slopes rising from the banks of the Moselle where vines were planted. In the middle ages, the monasteries then perpetuated the wine-making tradition.
4. In the late middle-ages, viti-culture had expanded to the entire country, even up to the Ösling
However, this expansion thanks to a warmer climatic period ended suddenly. These new vineyards disappeared again after the Great Frost of 1709.
5. A tiny number of parcels are also grown on the banks of the Sauer river
The few vineyards around the town of Rosport, some of them the oldest in the country, are the only commercialised parcels that are not grown on the banks of the Moselle.
Source: AOP – Moselle Luxembourgeoise, www.aop.lu