For almost two thousand years, wine connoisseurs have been savouring the fruits of the Moselle region of West Germany.
For almost two thousand years, wine connoisseurs have been savouring the fruits of the Moselle region of West Germany. This year promises to be both a wine-grower's and a wine drinker's delight.
Harvesting the light green of the beautiful Moselle valley is now well under way... and vintners report a bumper crop.
Despite unseasonal frosts and a cold snap late in spring, the vines have flourished in the late, hot summer sun, their stems bending under the weight of the plump grapes.
Growers say the high sugar content of the grape juice promises a matured wine of exceptional quality.
Picking the grapes is hard work... but the vineyard owners find plenty of willing helpers. This year, as they have done for many seasons many members of the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) take their annual leave to coincide with the harvest, spending their holiday's with German families, collecting the grapes.
Tractor-drawn hoppers, each holding enough grapes to produce 1,000 litres (220 gallons) of the fragment Mosselle wine, make regular trips from the busy vineyards to the cellars. There, the grapes are transferred to crushers and presses, and the juice poured into age-old wooden cakes to ripen.
By October 1976, -- providing nothing goes away -- connoisseurs should be commenting on the superb 1975 vintage... and vintners hoping that 1976 provides a crop of equal quality and profit.
SYNOPSIS: When all the pressing is done, the pure juice is poured into age-old wooden barrels...and stored deep and undisturbed in the cellar vaults, for a year.
The unmatured grape juice tastes good...but the wine-growers say the matured 1975 vintage will be unbeatable.