For some, travel memories are conjured through photographs taken throughout their journeys. For others, it’s the stories woven throughout the places they visit that give their adventures everlasting life—and the Moselle River Valley offers dozens of tales begging to be shared.
The Black Cat from Zell
Centered between the towns of Koblenz and Trier, an orderly line of homes kisses the narrow shoreline of the Moselle. This is Zell, standing proudly against a verdant backdrop of steep slopes that reach down to the water as its vineyards creep up toward the sun.
Evidently it was a ferocious feline that first put this village on the map. As legend has it, a large quantity of local wine was being stored in barrels in a regional cellar. When people approached, a black cat leapt upon the barrel from Zell. Hissing as though to protect its contents, the cat led people to believe the wine from Zell was special. While it may have been that the cat’s progeny were hiding behind the barrel, the celebrity this story afforded the town cannot be denied.
Today, not only do bottles from Zell wineries feature a black cat on their labels, but a statue immortalizing their four-legged mascot has been erected in the town square.
Historic Bernkastel is a storybook town with a charming story to match. Its renowned vineyard, Bernkasteler Doctor, was named after a 14th-century winegrower whose medical experience was nil. Rather, he was a humble man who, upon hearing that the Elector of Trier had fallen ill at Landshut Castle, brought him a keg of his finest wine, claiming it had chased off several of his own maladies.