Half an hour drive from the downtown core we found ourselves surrounded by luscious vineyards and pulled over on the side of the road to take in the scene: vines everywhere you look, leaves sparkling under the bright blue sky, grapes ripening in the sun.
Luxembourg wine country lives along the Moselle river, which serves as a wine route and stretches from north-eastern France through Luxembourg to western Germany. A short walk or drive over the bridge from any town along the river bank and you enter Germany.
Grape varieties grown: Riesling, Pinot noir, Pinot blanc, Pinot gris, Gewürztraminer, Auxerrois, Rivaner, Elbling, and Chardonnay.
Wine culture differs from country to country and the North American set up I’m used to isn’t always the type of hospitality everywhere, in Portugal for example, without an appointment you can’t even see the vineyard but that’s a whole other story. In Luxembourg, especially now with limited capacity and new health regulations, most places require a tasting reservation, these tastings no longer include site visits (of course), and the tasting often takes place in the wine bar.
Must try wine: Luxembourgish champagne is called Crémant and there are many delicious options.
While planning this day trip I looked at nearly every winery on the Luxembourg side of the river and out of those which were open to visitors many simply advised you to visit their wine bar, most of which open after 3pm. In many instances, as expected, to make a tasting reservation you either need to call or email and my last minute planning didn’t quite allow for that so we made reservations for those that allowed online booking.
Domaines Vinsmoselle in Wellenstein: large wine production facility with a spacious tasting room located on the outskirts of Wellenstein, lovely town surrounded by vineyards. We chose the “Wine Lover Tasting” which included 7, mostly white varietals, from premier and grand cru regions. This was a proper sit down tasting and we had a great time learning and chit-chatting with our lovely host [collection of images above].
Poll-Fabaire in Wormeldange: Here for the tasting we were ushered into the wine bar, handed a 3-page brochure and left to our own devices to learn about the wines 2 bottles of crémant at a time. There was also cheesecake, so that helped. The wine bar seemed like a popular spot for dates and hangouts and most people were drinking Crémant Rosé Brut.
Domaine Viticole Schumacher-Lethal: right next door to Vinsmoselle cupped by a stunning vineyard you can see from the road, people strolling through it taking pictures. The wine bar has a lovely view on the river and a great wine selection.
Note: Make lunch plans ahead of time, most places stop serving food between lunch and dinner so you might be limited to eating baked goods.
To end the day with a great sunset view drive up the hill to Koeppchen, one of the most famous vineyards in the region wrapping around a small chapel. From up here, through the isles of grape bushes, you get a near 360-degree view on the town and Moselle river. The setting sun on a good day makes this a fairly tear-inducing experience, not kidding, I almost cried.