Friday, September 14, 2012

From the Juffer-Sonnenuhr to the juffrou

I've been spreading the word far and wide about my holiday; about the wines, the vineyards, the food and hospitality, the history and culture, and just the fact that there's more out there than my little world.

I've visited and worked in many wine regions, from Marlborough, Nelson, Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Tuscany, Napa, Sonoma, Santa Ynez Valley and more recently Champagne, Mosel and Stellenbosch - which I call home -  and yet nowhere have I seen anything like the vines in the Mittel Mosel region.

Hosts Weingut Karp-Schreiber's steepest vines on the Juffer ("spinster") mountain grows at slopes of up to 80°. In retelling this fact, no-one believed me and it sounded to extreme that I started doubting my memory too. I have many photos yet none do the steep slopes justice.

In 1806 a classification of vineyards in the Mosel ranked the south facing 10ha Juffer-Sonnenuhr vines above all others along the Mosel. Napoleon agreed, and the wines remain highly prized today.* This section of vineyards has deep slate and stoney soils, limiting erosion. To plant the vines, farmers need to break up the rock layers which is why you can spot many rocks with holes in when strolling through the rows. 

Silvia spotted a tiny one and now this a part of my daily jewelry collection.

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