Tragedy in the Mosel


Not long ago Michael Schmidt, our German specialist, wrote an article about some of the steepest vineyards in the Mosel Valley. He called it Hot and dangerous.

The danger of working the almost incredibly steep slopes of the Calmont above the village of Bremm was tragically manifest yesterday afternoon when the leading grower Uli Franzen, who was responsible for reviving production on some of the steepest land, was killed – although in fact on some of his flatter land around the convent ruins. In a freak accident, his tractor toppled over and, by chance, caused Uli to land on a metal spike which fatally pierced his side.

David Motion of German specialist in London W9 The Winery tells me that Franzen's neighbours Susanne and Andreas Barth of Lubentiushof saw him on Monday night and, like the tight-knit wine community here, are still in shock.