If you asked Luxembourgers to name things connected with the Moselle, Vinsmoselle and MS Marie-Astrid would come out at the top of the list. And quite rightly! For the past 50 years, these two initiatives - one in the winegrowing sector and the other in the tourism sector - have served as ambassadors for this charming part of the Grand Duchy, visited by both Luxembourgers and tourists from elsewhere.
Vinsmoselle - a success story in a bottle
Vinsmoselle is a cooperative of winegrowers in the Luxembourg Moselle area resulting from a merger of a number of smaller cooperatives. It initially brought together the cooperatives of Grevenmacher, Greiveldange, Remerschen, Stadtbredimus and Wellenstein - joined later by the Wormeldange cooperative - and revolutionised the Grand Duchy's wine market. The cooperative began by centralising the technical process, thereby saving individual winegrowers the cost of having to equip themselves with the technical installations necessary for producing wine. Then, as part of a general reorganisation of land, the distribution of vineyards was revised to ensure a more efficient use of the areas available and to improve both accessibility and profitability.
Everyone knows what the result has been: under the auspices of Vinsmoselle, the range of grape varieties cultivated has been diversified, quality has been improved, and - in a masterstroke - Vinsmoselle produced the first sparkling wine in the Grand Duchy, under the brand name Poll-Fabaire.
The present-day winegrowing market in the Grand Duchy is still benefiting from the initiative. Luxembourg wines are nowadays of high quality, and indeed are regular prizewinners at world-class competitions, including the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. Although the Grand Duchy has traditionally been a producer of white wines such as Riesling and Rivaner, Luxembourg vineyards now produce Pinot Noir red wines and Chardonnay, as well as popular and very high quality sparling wines.
That's enough reading about it - it's time to move on to trying out the Grand Duchy's still and sparkling wines, with winetasting.lu!
The Moselle from on board ship
1966 was also the year in which the first MS Marie-Astrid was named, by Grand Duke Jean's daughter, Princess Marie-Astrid. The vessel, now in its fifth generation, has since become an institution on the Moselle. It is operated by the Entente Touristique de la Moselle, and has a total capacity of 500 passengers. Whether you are inside or out on deck, you won't miss any of the fabulous views of the Luxembourg Moselle. The vessel is particularly popular - among both residents and tourists - at the weekend; it calls in at all the main villages on the Moselle. It plies between Schengen and Trier (in Germany), travelling as far as Bernkastel and Saarburg. It can also be hired for unforgettable MICE events.
It was on the second MS Marie-Astrid that the Schengen Agreement was signed on 14 June 1985. This was a perfect setting for such a historic moment: for the occasions, the vessel was in the middle of the river, facing Schengen in the Grand Duchy, just metres away from the German and French borders.
It's a fine day and you're looking for a day trip combining spectacular views and the culinary delights of the Grand Duchy? You're looking for a bit of relaxation? Combine food and tourism - schedule your visit to the Luxembourg Moselle right now!
(Article written by the editorial team of the portal www.luxembourg.lu)