The Moselle River, a tributary of the Rhine, flows for 338 miles (544 kilometers) from the western slopes of the Ballon d’Alsace through France, Luxembourg and Germany before joining the Rhine near Koblenz. Known as the Rhine’s quieter, quainter little sister, the Moselle River meanders through the Moselle Valley, passing cobbled villages and dreamy medieval castles along the way.
The hillsides rising from the banks of the Moselle River produce excellent white wines, particularly Rieslings. The history of viticulture here dates back to the second century, when Romans began planting vines in the area to cut costs on shipping wine in from Italy.
One of the most popular ways to explore the slow-moving Moselle is by river cruise; itineraries often include numerous wine tastings between stops at half-timbered villages, hilltop castles and historic forts. Walking trails follow the banks of the portion of the Moselle in Germany for those who prefer to explore on foot.
November to March marks low season along the Moselle River, and some hotels and restaurants shut down.