The history of viticulture in this country is linked to that of the Moselle; this river forms the border with Germany over a length of 36 kilometres. To the east on the other bank lies the German Moselle wine region. The Romans introduced viticulture in the entire area as early as the 1st century BC. In the Middle Ages there was an upswing in viticulture with the foundation of many monasteries. Due to an extremely cold winter in 1709 the vineyards were almost completely destroyed. Following a decision at the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg had to cede all vineyards on the other side of the river. From the year 1880 onwards, a customs agreement gave a great boost. Luxembourg wines made from the Elbling variety (at that time 90% share) were mostly exported to Germany as base wine for sparkling wine or as blended wine. But this came to an end after the First World War.
Climatically, the wine-growing regions are located on the northern edge of European viticulture. The vineyards are divided into about one hundred sites, 300 to 400 metres wide, and extend over 40 kilometres along the banks of the Moselle from Schengen to Wasserbillig. They are located in the eastern cantons of Remich (with the main municipalities of Remich, Schengen and Wintrange) on alluvial soils and Grevenmacher with limestone soils predominant here. The limestone soils are particularly suitable for the Burgundy varieties. The cold temperatures cause longer ripening periods and strongly fluctuating yields. The high yield limits are 140 hl/ha for Rivaner and Elbling, and 120 hl/ha for the other varieties. The acid-accentuated Elbling is mainly processed into Crémants. The vineyard area comprises around 1,300 hectares, of which between 100,000 and 125,000 hectolitres of wine are produced annually. The 2016 grape variety index (Kym Anderson):
There is the comprehensive appellation designation "Moselle Luxembourgeoise" and for sparkling wines produced according to the Champagne method "Crémant de Luxembourg". In 1935, the "Marque Nationale des Vins Luxembourgeois" was introduced. The "Marque Nationale - Appellation Contrôlée" label guarantees the state control of origin and quality by means of an analytical and sensory test based on a 20-point system with at least 12 points. With 14 points a wine reaches the category "Vin classé", with 16 points "Premier Cru" and with 18 points "Grand Premier Cru". The criteria introduced in 2001 for "Vendange Tardive"(late vintage), "Vin de Glace"(ice wine) and "Vin de Paille"(straw wine) are based on Oechslegrades. The "Vins Barrique" are mostly wines from Chardonnay. Mainly varietal white wines are produced, the grape variety is noted on the label next to the municipality and often also the location.
In only 20 years, the number of producers has fallen from 1,200 to less than 500, as many small-scale producers have sold their land. "Les Domaines de Vinsmoselle" is an association of six winegrowers' cooperatives with 450 grape suppliers. In 1966 the "Organisation Professionnelle des Vignerons Indépendants (OPVI)" was founded with about 50 independent winegrowers. With the 2007 vintage, the "Charta" was founded by seven winegrowers from this circle. They commit themselves to natural wine production with strict rules such as the renunciation of enrichment and organic fertilization, as well as a maximum yield limitation of 60 hl/ha. This is about half of the legal requirements in Luxembourg
Wineries and traders are organised in the "Fédération des Producteurs Négociants". Among the most famous producers in Luxembourg are Mathis Bastian, Claude Bentz, René Bentz, Bernard-Massard, Caves Gales, Alice Hartmann, Jean Ley-Schartz, Caves St-Remy-Desom, Clos des Rochers, Clos Mon Vieux Moulin, Château de Schengen, Aly Duhr et Fils, Pundel-Hoffeld, Pundel-Sibenaler, Henri Ruppert, Krier Frères, Paul Legill, Jean Schlink-Hoffeld, Schmit-Fohl, Schram & Fils, Schumacher-Knepper, Schumacher - Lethal & Fils, Steinmetz-Jungers, Stronck-Pinnel, Sunnen-Hoffmann and Thill.