We should be thinking more about Luxembourg. Especially in those champagne moments. Wine production in the Grand Duchy has been in gentle decline since the late 1990s but the country even smaller than Andorra is not giving up.
The fifth generation of leading producer Bernard-Massard is celebrating its centenary this year and has launched a Chardonnay Pinot Noir and Riesling Pinot Blanc Cuvee 2021. Inspired by a fresco of old Bernard-Massard letterhead, the label is the work of Luxembourg artist Anne Mélan and features the flags of the winery’s main foreign markets – Finland, Canada, and Belgium. The house is now run by the Clasen family, which represents the fifth generation.
The company was founded by Jean-Bernard, who had trained in Epernay and Reims. Massard was his wife’s maiden name. The flagship Cuvee Ecusson range was launched in 1971 on the firm’s fiftieth birthday. The company also owns Chateau du Schengen (Domaine Trill). Luxembourg may not yet have become the new Alsace, but it makes over 100,000 hectolitres of wine every year. Shropshire-based Hard to Find Wines offers a range of Duchy wines from the spicy Domaines Vinsmoselle Luxembourg, Auxerrois Premier Cru to the Chateau Edmond De La Fontaine Pinot Noir. Luxembourg may not have an appellation but it has a Route du Vin which begins in Wasserbillig in the north, following the Moselle River as it flows along the country’s border, through Grevenmacher (which hosts the country’s largest wine festival), the Caves St Martin at Remich (“fervent ambassador of the traditional method as advocated by Benedictine monk Dom Perignon since 1919”), Wormeldange (home of Domaine Alice Hartmann) and ending in Schengen and Henri Ruppert. Grape varieties include Elbling, Rivaner, and Auxerrois. Made in Luxembourg Riesling tends to be less sweet than those produced in Germany. Also, there’s Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer, the ideal drink for Coronation Chicken -heavy picnics. As Cremant for any al fresco fun and summer buffets.
Crémant is produced in the traditional Champagne method in wineries like Caves St. Martin in Remich and Pundel. Winemaking is centered in southeast Luxembourg. Established in 1935, the Marque Nationale guarantees the origin and quality of Luxembourg’s Vinmoselles. Some restaurants are Ambassadeurs for Moselle Luxembourgeois.