Remember that planned monster bridge over some of the most valuable vineyards in the Mosel? A Last Chance Wine Forum has been called as an 11th-hour emergency meeting of top international wine writers, winemakers and journalists in the Mosel for Friday 11 Sep.
This is the last chance to persuade politicians to put a decisive halt to the building of the B50 motorway between Wittlich and Longkamp in Germany. It may also be, alas, the last chance to visit Ürzig and witness the beautiful winescape of arguably the most glorious Riesling vineyards in the world.
The event begins at 17.30 at the bridge head in Ürzig (site of the1.7 km High Mosel Bridge as it emerges from a tunnel through the Ürziger Würzgarten vineyard) with a public Last Chance Press Reception at which my colleague Hugh Johnson, the world's best-selling wine author, will speak. He will be joined for a later, invitation-only event by Germany's leading wine writer, English-born Stuart Pigott (currently studying viticulture and oenology at Geisenheim, brave man, and manager of a Müller-Thurgau vineyard in Franken, I believe), top Riesling producers and local campaigners.
The planned road, named the B50 neu, will emerge from a tunnel through the side of the site of the famous Ürziger Würzgarten vineyard, cross the Mosel river via the gigantic concrete bridge sketched here and continue directly along the top of the vineyards of Zeltingen-Rachtig, Wehlen, Graach and Bernkastel, with an additional slip road passing close by the village of Erden.
The B50 project has previously progressed, only to be postponed several times over the past few decades, due both to legal challenges by campaigners and problems in securing private finance. The situation has reached a crisis point as the politicians are now determined to see it built from the public purse.
Some of the foremost Riesling winemakers are appealing for help in a last-ditch attempt to alert German politicians to what they believe to be extreme foolishness: the destruction of a treasure of world cultural heritage.
For more infomation about the project, see here