The trouble is, no one knows what appellation to give the special bubbles. The Moselle wine valley spans 10,000 hectares in three countries and currently counts four different appellations. To create a cross-border appellation could be viewed as additional competition to existing ones.
“We cannot use the term ‘Vins de Moselle’. That’s the biggest concern. And we want a name that represents the entire valley,” he says. The alternative is “Grande Cuvée Terroir”, a nod to the economic interest group of wine and tourism organisations from the three countries, which was created in 2013. To have the appellation officially recognised, however, they must apply to the European Commission.
The project began three years ago when Kox found two like-minded producers in Eve Maurice of Domaine Les Béliers, in France, and Franz-Josef Bollig, of Weingut Lukashof, in Germany.
“We wanted to combine flavours from each region in one bottle,” he explains. K&R Kox contributed their iconic Pinot Gris, to which they added 10% Auxerrois, or the “jewel” as Kox calls it, from Maurice and around 50% Riesling from Bollig.
“We wanted Riesling grapes that were grown on the steep slopes of the Moselle in Germany. We wanted to promote these parcels because perhaps in ten years half of them will no longer be there,” Kox says.
The cuvée was made using the traditional crémant method and uses fewer sulphates.
Each producer will take a share of the produce based on the proportion put in and promote the cuvée in their respective countries. “As three we can reach a bigger audience than if we were just selling as individuals,” he says.
The first signs look good. The trio first presented the 2015 millésime in Paris in March where it sparked a “positive” interest. Meanwhile, Kox is in talks with a local distributor to sell the cuvée more widely in Luxembourg. Consumers will have to wait until the end of 2017 to try it.
This article was first published in the May 2017 issue of Delano magazine. Be the first to read Delano articles on paper before they’re posted online, plus read exclusive features and interviews that only appear in the print edition, by subscribing online.