Piesport - Home of Great Wines
The community of Piesport, with its suburbs Old Piesport and Ferres on the left bank of the Mosel, and Niederemmel, Müstert and Reinsport on the right bank of the Mosel, lies 17 km (10.5 miles) from Bernkastel to the north and about 35 km (22 miles) from Trier to the south.
For the first time on the Mosel, a large Roman grape pressing facility was unearthed at the foot of the Piesporter Goldtröpfchen site in 1985 – only footsteps away from our estate. Later, near the Mosel bridge in Müstert, another pressing house was discovered. These findings make clear that a considerable number of vines must have been cultivated on the slopes of Piesport since at least A.D. 3.
The Romans recognized that the Mosel region provided ideal natural prerequisites for successful viticulture. When the Roman poet Ausonius spoke of a “natural theatre” in “Mosella”, his travelogue written in the 4th century, he was referring to the great loop of the Mosel at Piesport, which is unique among the many bends of the meandering river. Its shape resembles that of a large, extended theatre, open precisely to the south – ideally positioned for the sun to warm up the slate soils of the hillside, supplemented by solar radiation to the vineyards from the relatively broad surface of the river in Piesport. The slope is well-protected from cold winds thanks to the east- and west-facing foothills which form a basin, a natural greenhouse with a unique microclimate. The forest above the vineyards and the deep, clayish slate soils ensure a good water supply, even in hot, dry summers.
The steep slopes of the Mosel loop at Piesport have always yielded wines that made Piesport famous early on, and its vineyards were quite sought after by, and often the cause of strife between, the church and nobility. In the 18th century, the pastor of Piesport, Johannes Hau, did much to see to it that the noble Riesling grape was planted in the community’s vineyards. By 1763, he succeeded in convincing local growers to exclusively cultivate Riesling. In the 19th century, Piesporter wines were so famous that they were virtually synonymous with Mosel Rieslings, in general. Today, the wines from the original vineyards of Piesport are marketed under the vineyard appellations Goldtröpfchen, Domherr, Grafenberg, Kreuzwingert, Schubertslay, Falkenberg and Günterslay. On the opposite, or right, bank of the Mosel lie some 300 ha (741 acres) of vines, which for the most part, are planted on flatlands or gentle slopes – a few hectares are steep, with good slate soils. They jointly comprise the site “Piesporter Treppchen”. It is possible to produce decent and even quite good wines from these vineyards. They benefit from the climatically favourable conditions of Piesport’s protective basin situation. Yet they can never achieve the class or tremendous aging potential of the wines produced from grapes grown on the original Piesporter hillside on the left bank of the river.