Wine and Beers of Luxembourg

Information on the wines and beers of Luxembourg. Find out about Luxembourg's wine growing region, the wines available and the Appellation Controlee. Also information on the beers produced in the Grand Duchy....

Wines of Luxembourg

Luxembourg wine is produced in the south eastern part of the country in the Vallée de la Moselle. The production is strictly regulated. Luxembourg mainly produces dry white wines and sparkling wine called Crémant. There are also some rosé and red wines as well as some sweet wines, but they are usually not easily available.

Common grape varieties in Luxembourg are:

  • Auxerrois
  • Chardonnay
  • Elbling
  • Gewürztraminer
  • Pinot Blanc
  • Pinot Gris
  • Pinot Noir
  • Riesling
  • Rivaner
  • Speciality Wines

Wines produced in Luxembourg are classified according to a 20-point scale and have one single appellation, Moselle Luxembourgeoise. To benefit from this designation wines must be produced from Luxembourg grapes only and must fulfil certain requirements and undergo a comprehensive chemical analysis. If a wine scores less than 12 points out of 20 it is declassified as Vin de Table.

The Marque Nationale-Appellation controlee is attributed to wines scoring between 12 and 13.9. This label can be extended for wines that score 14 or more points. After being tested by a board of tasters wines may be designated as Vin Classé (more than 14 points), Premier Cru (more than 16 points) or Grand Premier Cru (more than 18 points). The rating is made according to a number of factors including colour, taste and transparency.

Additional classifications may be added to some speciality wines. These include:

  • Vendanges Tardives, for late harvest wines (Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling or Gewürztraminer only)
  • Vin de Glace, or "ice wine" made from grapes harvested in their frozen state (Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris or Riesling only, with grapes picked at temperatures below -7 °C)
  • Vin de Paille, made from dried grapes (Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris or Gewürztraminer only, with an alcohol content of 18 percent)

Fiederwäissen is an unfiltered wine available during the harvest period. It has a cloudy aspect and is usually made with lower quality grapes. It is served in most bars and cafés for a limited period of time. Its release date tradition can be compared to the French wine Beaujolais Nouveau.

The website of the Commission for the Promotion of wines and Crémants of Luxembourg (Commission de Promotion des Vins et Crémants de Luxembourg) has comprehensive information on the wines, regions and producers in Luxembourg.

Crémants

Crémants are high quality sparkling wines. The Appellation Crémant de Luxembourg was created in 1991 to qualify sparkling wines based on criteria such as the maturity and handling of the grapes. A scoring system is in place and wines must score at least 12 out of 20 to obtain the label.

The Appelation Crémant de Luxembourg is indicated by a rectangular label stuck on the back of the bottle.

In parties, bars, cafés and restaurants, crémants are often called “Schampes” in reference to Champagne.

Fêtes du Raisin et du Vin

The Fêtes du Raisin usually take place in October in the Moselle valley with the Election of Reine du Raisin. The most popular fêtes take place in Grevenmacher, but other villages such as Schwebsange are worth a visit (the water of the local fountain is replaced by wine).

Fêtes du Vins take place during the Spring in most villages around the Moselle. Visitors are kept informed by signs along the main road bordering the Moselle.

Finally, Proufdag is a wine day event organised by winemakers during the Spring. Producers invite their customers for a day of wine tasting.

Beers of Luxembourg

Luxembourg produces mostly lager. Traditional Luxembourg beers are:

In addition, there are regional breweries:

  • Simon: in Wiltz (North of Luxembourg)
  • Battin: in Esch-sur-Alzette

Microbreweries

Most traditional Luxembourg beers are available in bars, cafés and stores. Christmas beer is usually available in December. Most pubs in Luxembourg sell English and Irish beers.

Alcohol

The traditional Luxembourg alcohol is Quetsch, a plum liqueur.

Excise Duties in Luxembourg

Luxembourg has traditionally been a popular stopping place for foreign visitors because of low excise duty on alcohol. Note: there are EU guidelines on personal cross-border transportation and export.

Beer, wine and spirits can be purchased in supermarkets, grocery stores and service stations.