Homeland of ‘Zeller Schwarze Katz’ Wine
The wine town Zell on the Moselle and its Zeller Land is one of Germany’s most beautiful and diverse wine and tourist regions. Zell is characterised by the fascinating countryside of the Moselle Valley and the wooded Hunsrück Mountains. In the homeland of ‘Zeller Schwarze Katz’ — Zell’s most famous wine — there are 7 romantic wine-producing towns on the Moselle River and 17 idyllic Hunsrück villages to be discovered. Enjoy the unique, romantic setting of Hunsrück and the Moselle. Experience the diversity that a holiday in Zeller Land has to offer.
The town of Zell (Mosel) is located in the Moselle-Saar holiday region, approximately 38 km to the northwest of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (see map on bottom of page).
The Moselle-Saar is one of the nine holiday regions of Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate. Of the Rhine's tributaries, the Moselle is considered the loveliest. Idyllic wine villages perched on steep, vine-clad slopes, and romantic little towns with a medieval feel, such as Cochem and Bernkastel-Kues, lend the Moselle valley its unique character. Trier, over 2,000 years old, is the oldest town in Germany and its stone relics dating back to Roman times have now been designated a UNESCO world heritage site. Come and discover for yourself the jovial hospitality of local Moselle people — and don't forget to treat yourself to a delicious glass of that famous local Riesling. ... read more about the Moselle-Saar holiday region
In Zell on the Moselle, it’s not just wine connoisseurs and romantics who feel right at home! Narrow alleyways, centuries-old historic framework houses with steep gables, romantic village squares with ornate fountains, Gothic, Baroque and modern churches and the local museums, furnished in loving detail, are all appealing cultural sights well worth seeing in Zeller Land. The holiday destinations in Zeller Land offer an extensive array of activities and sights for holidaymakers both young and old, those seeking relaxation or adventure, daydreamers or night-owls, activity programs and gourmet dining, nature lovers and cultural aficionados. All that is awaiting you in the areas 7 romantic towns on the Moselle River and the 17 idyllic Hunsrück villages in the natural Hunsrück mountains.
- Zell (Mosel)
- The world-famous wine-producing town of Zell on the Moselle, which includes the districts Kaimt, Merl, Barl and Althaus, is situated in the heart of Zeller Land’s wine and tourist region. The home town of ‘Zeller Schwarze Katz’, located on the impressive Zeller Hamm river bow, is one of the largest wine-producing communities in Germany. The queen of the vines, the Riesling vine, thrives in the mild, bracing climate and on the steep, slated hillsides in the sun. The historical townscape with its winding alleys and their half-timbered houses, and a number of attractions are worth a visit.
- The wine-growing holiday town of Alf is nestled in vineyards, meadows and forests, and is surrounded with hillside castles. Romantic half-timbered houses, picturesque alleyways, a colourful mixture of restaurants, and accommodation in every price range, make the place an attractive holiday destination. Alf is located at the narrowest bow of the Moselle, at 98 metres above sea level. The 1000-year-old Castle Arras is worth visiting, as are the Marienburg and the Prinzenkopf lookout point, which affords a wonderful panoramic view. The village museum is also worth seeing.
- The town’s tradition-rich past is reflected in its watchtower, a remnant from the fortification dating back to 1343, in the former town hall, which dates back to 1615, and in Martinskirche (1772 – 1776). This church is built on ground that was used as a churchyard over 1000 years ago. The silent organ, the high altar and the ceiling painting are particularly worth mentioning.
- Bullay, which has always been the gateway to the Central Moselle Valley, Eifel and Hunsrück, is set against the backdrop of the castles Arras and Marienburg in the picturesque Moselle Valley. Surrounded by forests and vineyards, the town’s many scenic footpaths are a big attraction. Its link to the cycle path network means that Bullay is also a good starting point for cycle tours along the Moselle. The new environmentally-friendly railway station offers an excellent link between the German railway’s long-distance trains, the local bus routes and cycle paths for tourists. It is also where the ‘Moselweinbahn’ (Moselle Wine Railway) to Traben-Trarbach begins. And there is a direct shuttle from Bullay to Hahn Airport, as well as a ferry between Alf and Bullay. The highlight of the year is the autumn festival during the second weekend in September, where there is wine tasting, firework displays and a whole roast ox.
- Nestled in the vineyards of the Moselle region lies the town with its welcoming houses and winding alleyways. Away from through traffic, but easily reached by car, train, bicycle or on foot. Excursion destinations in the locality are within easy reach. Neef is a remarkable starting point for nature excursions. The place itself with its welcoming guest houses and romantic local wine sellers invites you to a rendezvous with good Moselle wine. The newly created Calmont — cloister rooms — the superb Petersberg cultural route has become a popular hiking destination. The ‘Am Frauenberg’ caravan park, 200 metres outside the town, is a well-kept secret for caravaners and has an electricity facility. The Petersberg, the church of St Matthew in town, the fort on the banks of the Mosel and the cloister ruins bear witness to eventful medieval history. There are two annual festivals, well known outside the local area. It‘s worth making a note of the dates: 3rd weekend in August, town and wine festival. 4th weekend in September, the Neef street festival of wine.
- Pünderich, an attractive wine-growing resort at the foot of the Marienburg is renowned for its many well-preserved half-timbered houses. There is no through traffic between the village and the river, thus creating a sense of harmonic unity. The landscape is both varied and very scenic, providing a beautiful setting for ramblers and cyclists. It is worth taking a stroll through the cobble-stoned alleys in the centre; there is a new half-timbered building around every corner you turn and through every passageway. There are two well-run camping sites and a new mobile-home park for those who want to go camping. And there is a Kneipp pool for your health. Passenger and car ferries across the Moselle to Marienburg, wine cellars with wine tasting at wineries or in temporary bars selling home-grown wine.
- St. Aldegund
- St. Aldegund bears the name of its old, romantically-situated hillside church ‘apud Sanctam Aldegundam’, which is dedicated to the saint of Maubeuge. The romantic 12th century tower rises scenically from the vineyard slopes and the chapel is home to many examples of rustic art as well as a valuable altar painting from the late Renaissance. Among the historical treasures are some glass discoveries from the oldest early-Christian grave in the lower Moselle (4th century). The many well restored half-timbered houses and historical, winding alleyways are worth a visit. A barrage and the Moselle reservoir provide excellent conditions for any water sports enthusiast.
Do you love quiet forests, meadows and brook valleys, or do you like going on expeditions? The Hunsrück Mountains in Zeller Land has all of these. Those who are in tune with nature will discover an unspoiled countryside full of forests and animals, healthy air and idyllic Hunsrück villages. It’s extremely tempting to linger in the mountain huts, barbecue areas and at the lookout points. The view stretches beyond the nearby Moselle Valley to the Eifel Mountains. Vast quartz tunnels, in which ores and slates used to be mined, run through much of the area. Enjoy romantic Hunsrück by foot or by bike. The local history museum in Mittelstrimmig is worth a visit. This is housed in an old mill, and informs visitors about the rural culture and the handicraft tradition of this area.
And these are the Hunsrück villages: Altlay, Altstrimmig, Blankenrath, Forst, Grenderich, Haserich, Hesweiler, Liesenich, Mittelstrimmig, Moritzheim, Panzweiler, Peterswald-Löffelscheid, Reidenhausen, Schauren, Sosberg, Tellig, Walhausen.
- Wein- und Heimatmuseum Zell
- The local history and cultural museum ‘Wein- und Heimatmuseum Zell’ tells the story of Zell's history from its early beginnings. The 1,000 years old hard labour in the vineyards and the fight for the protection of the name ‘Zeller Schwarze Katz’ is documented in the museum. One of the exhibits is an ancient ‘Küferwerkstatt’ (cooper shop), showing the production of a wine cask. Other exhibits in the museum include the production of rope and cigars. Admission to the museum is free.
- Wein- und Küfermuseum Briedel
- The Wein- und Küfermuseum Briedel offers one the opportunity to view and discover a collection of historic winemaking devices that tell the lively and timeless tale of Mosel Land’s winegrowing culture.
- Heimatmuseum Mittelstrimmig
- Domestic life, not only of Grandma’s sitting rooms, but also in the work of the residents of Hunsrück, is authentically documented in the ‘Heimatmuseum Mittelstrimmig’ (‘Mittelstrimmig Local Culture Museum’).
- Oven and Doll Museum
- At the ‘Ofen- und Puppenmuseum Neef‘ (‘Neef Oven and Doll Museum’), there is a wide variety of sights for fans of old toy culture along with over 60 artful cast iron stoves stemming from three centuries.
- Dorfmuseum Alf
- For those interested in the last century, the Dorfmuseum in Alf provides an insight into the former village school of 1734. The museum exhibits the teachers flat, living- and sleeping room.
- Castle Museum Arras
- The Arras Castle ‘Burgmuseum’ is a wealth of information about knights and life in the Middle Ages: Get to know the treasures of the past — a visit and viewing of the cultural historic collection of Mosel Land is a truly rewarding experience.
The Zeller Land is characterised by history, customs and tradition: the area is the centre of Moselle Land’s wine culture. For those wanting to learn something about wine as well as enjoying it as a beverage, Zeller Land’s wine landscape is just the ticket! Wine culture is not just something one drinks in Zeller Land; it’s also something you can experience, up-close and year-round. Zeller Land’s numerous restaurants, wine bars, ‘Gutsschänken’ (wine bistros), guesthouses, cafes and ‘Straußwirtschafen’ (wine taverns) demonstrate with accustomed skill that a good glass of wine is best accompanied by excellent food.
The ‘Zeller Schwarze Katz’ (‘Zell Black Cat’) is a collective vineyard site which covers an area of 627 hectares and is thus one of the largest viticulture communities on the Moselle. This collective vineyard site comprises of 16 individual vineyard sites within the town area. The town therefore, is one of the few districts, in which the town boundaries and the collective vineyard site are simultaneous. The name ‘Zeller Schwarze Katz’ and its wine have become known throughout the world. Over 80 % of the wine is exported, for example to Japan and America. This wine collect high distinctions on State and Federal laws over and over because it not only has excellent quality, but is also thoroughly enjoyable and stimulating.
4.1 Legendary Taste of ‘Zeller Schwarze Katz’
In the year 1863 three wine merchants from Aachen were looking around the wine cellars in Zell, in order to taste the wine and to purchase the best they could find. In Mayntzer's Winery the negotiations went on for a particularly long time. Finally, there were three casks of wine from which excellent wine was to be tasted. Suddenly, the winegrower's black cat sprang onto one of the casks of wine, arched its back threateningly and hissed at anyone who came near. The three wine merchants from Aachen interpreted this as an omen and without even tasting the wine, they bought it. They surely made a good decision, because the wine was so excellent that it became an immediate selling success and the wine merchants quickly returned to Zell to buy all remaining casks of the wine. Ever since this rather unusual kind of wine-tasting session, the site from which this wine comes from is called simply: ‘Zeller Schwarze Katz’ - Zell's Black Cat.
4.2 Wine Tasting Tours
All those interested to learn in-depth about wine should be accompanied by an experienced wine connoisseur. Join an excursion with the local experts who will take you through the vineyards and tell you about the uniqueness of different wines. Explore the top vineyards of ‘Zell's Black Cat’, taste its excellent wines and get to know its variations, history and landscape.
A unique experience is a ride through the steep vineyards (around Zell and Briedel) in a covered wagon. A tour with fascinating insights provided by a vintner. On the way you will stop in the vineyards for a wine tasting of ‘Zell's Black Cat’ or ‘Briedeler Herzchen’.
Wine tasting in original wine cellars is also very popular. The vintners explain with pleasure the amazement of wine to you. Learn a lot about wine in an expert wine tasting at a wine cellar. Taste different wines of high-quality and learn about vinification in historical wine cellars, unique barns, congenial wine taverns and modern ‘Vinotheken‘ (wine shops).
If one were forced to choose one particular bend of the Moselle River as the most beautiful, the tightest and the most interesting, then this could only be the picturesque river bend in Zeller Land. A magnificent panoramic view of this unique river landscape is yours to enjoy from the ‘Prinzenkopf’ viewing tower, high on the steep vineyard slopes and deep into the Kondel Forest and the Hunsrück. From here you can see the course of the Moselle from two perspectives and the idyllic Moselle villages and towns hugging its banks. The majestic Marienburg Castle reigns over the area at the tightest point between the two riverbeds. And there is still much more to see, experience and discover all throughout Zeller Land. Its central location makes it the ideal starting point for exploring a wealth of additional sights along the Moselle, in Hunsrück, in the Eifel, on the Rhine or even in Luxembourg.
In Zeller Land, you can select from a variety of attractive sporting and leisure activities on the water, on land and even in the air. The possibilities truly stretch from ‘A’ to ‘Z’.
6.1 Cycling & Mountain Biking
Cycle or mountain-bike your way through the most beautiful locations and landscapes along the Moselle and Hunsrück. Pedal your way through dense forests, meadows and fields, around romantic castles, past idyllic vantage points and vineyard slopes. From smooth, easy cycling paths directly along the Moselle River and on the plateau of Hunsrück, to demanding, steep paths in the Moselle’s adjacent valleys, Zeller Land offers stretches to appeal to every type of cyclist. Many overnight accommodation operators in Zeller Land offer quarters tailor-made to suit the special needs of bicyclists. Well-stocked cycling shops and rental businesses are on hand in numerous locations.
6.2 Hiking Paradise
The diversified topography and the large-scale, interconnected forest area in Hunsrück, with its mildly stimulating climate on the one hand and its mellow, sun-drenched wine-land on the other, offer more-than-ample space and inspiration for taking a deep breath of fresh air and quiet contemplation. Walking or hiking enthusiasts who blaze their own trails as well as those who prefer to travel the established hiking paths of the diverse, relaxing landscape of Zeller Land will both experience the fascinating natural particularities and numerous species of wildlife and plant life with greater intensity. Regardless of the season, every visit to Zeller Land is a rendezvous with Nature and a discovery within itself.
- Keltenweg/Thonhügel (Celt Hiking Trail)
- From the Thonhügel (463 metres above sea level) you will have a marvellous view into the Eifel, Hunsrück and Rhine region. The Thonhügel is a former Celtic burial place from pre-Christian times. Here you will find the largest Celtic tomb of the Hunsrück region. The ‘Keltenwegwanderweg’ (Celt Hiking Trail) runs from Treis-Karden (Moselle), to Kirchberg (Hunsrück) and ends at Kirn (Nahe).
- Calmont Klettersteig (Fixed Rope Route)
- Climb the ‘Calmont’, the steepest vineyard in Europe. This new fixed rope route helps you with ladders and steel cables to climb the vineyard. If you are afraid of heights, taking the alternative ‘Calmont-Höhenweg’ is the right choice for you.
- Kanonenbahn Culture Route
- The Cultural Route Cannon Railway (Kanonenbahn) is imbedded into the beautiful landscape of the Moselle. Viewed from the ‘Prinzenkopf’ observation tower (one of the landmarks on the Moselle), it looks like a landscape of a model railway. The main axis of the railroad runs from Bullay to Marienburg and ends at Reil. The hiking trail is about 8 kilometres in length and ramblers can continue their hike on the opposite side of the Moselle for about 25 kilometres. The hiking trail shows different aspects of its regional railway history.
There is always something happening — whether it is art, music, wine festivals or a host of other activities. The Events Finder gives you an overview about what is on, where and when. Here you can search for events and festivals in the region.
Here you have direct access to the online accommodation reservation service of the Tourist Board of Rhineland-Palatinate. No other hotel reservation system on the Internet offers you such a broad and comprehensive list of accommodation in Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate regions. You can list accommodation, search accommodation, contact accommodation establishments and make online reservations.
Buses run from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to Zell (Mosel).
Bus routes and timetables: