The wine-grower at the wine merchant’s shop in Mertesdorf

Oldest example of wine-growing in the Ruwer region

There is evidence of wine-growing in the Moselle region dating back to as early as the first century AD, i.e. not long after the Romans took over Gaul and the area left of the Rhine (Niederrhein). The southern hillside locations along the Ruwer are also said to have been used for vine-growing during this time.

A cubic tombstone found near Grünhaus last century constitutes the earliest example of viticulture in the Ruwer Valley. A wine merchant’s shop is depicted on this tomb in the form of a relief. A wine-grower, probably a Treveri, wearing long garments sits at a chest-like table, seemingly checking the payments or inventory in his ledger. Lying on the table is a moneybag, and next to it, some sort of ink jar. In the background, five small wine casks are clearly stored on a shelf crafted out of solid timber beams and supported by three strong posts. It appears as if small quantities of wine were also sold here.

The findings show that this tomb was that of a wine-grower who had settled by the Ruwer. The artistry of the relief is in line with the grand funerary monuments in Trier and Neumagen, which graphically illustrate scenes from the tomb owner’s everyday life, and which thus dates back to the 2nd century AD.

Unfortunately, the original in the Trier State Museum is extremely weathered. A reconstruction drawing of this relief can be viewed in the wine tavern at the Karlsmühle Hotel.

The hard work and ambitious efforts by the wine-growers resulted in significant expansion of the wine-growing region by the Ruwer in post-Roman times. Today, three million grapevines, particularly those of the oldest and finest German white grape varieties, "Riesling", grow in weathered slate soil on sunny slopes and hillsides along the Ruwer Valley. As the speciality among German wines, Ruwer wine has greatly contributed to the good international reputation of the Moselle-Saar-Ruwer wine-growing region.

Öffnungszeiten: freely accessible

Karte des Ruwertals

Please click on the map to enlarge.

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