It is hard to find good books, in English, on the Mosel. Lars has been working for 10 years to complete a translation of Karl Heinrich Koch’s 1897 masterpiece Moselwein. My copy just arrived and it is fantastic!
Congrats to board member Lars Carlberg for this outstanding work!
Finally! Our translation of Karl Heinrich Koch’s 1897 masterpiece Moselwein, which has been nearly ten years in the making, has just been published. The English version, Mosel Wine, contains an insightful foreword by David Schildknecht, extensive notes, essays by Kevin Goldberg and Lars Carlberg, a short glossary of the amazingly complicated German vineyard designations, and a copy of the rare 1890 edition of Franz Josef Clotten’s 1868 Saar und Mosel Weinbau-Karte. Included is a facsimile of the complete original Moselwein. The book, written during the heyday of Mosel wine, is now available in either paperback or e-book form. Buy it from Adlibris, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bokus, Book People, IndieBound, McNally Jackson, Powell’s, or wherever books are sold.
We chose Per’s copy as the original facsimile, because his has the handwritten note from Koch himself on the title page. The note is as follows: “Herr Küfermeister Horberth, from whom I so often heard ‘er zappelt,’ dedicated by the author Koch.” I also like the green tint and patina of his cover, despite the underlined note at the top, “In Memory of Grandfather Stefan Horberth.” Per writes about my discovery of this original copy in his intro. In an 1884 address book of Mainz, the name of Koch’s barrel-making colleague was spelled Stephan Horberth. The original book, such as the copy on my bookshelf, has a light-blue cover. By chance, one print run of our book has a bright-green cover—the so-called Mosel green.
For me, it’s really three books in one: the original German text, the translation, and the rest (foreword, intro, essays, notes, glossary, and bios). Many of the footnotes and endnotes are dense with information. In the 1890s, A. Böcking in Trarbach auctioned casks of Trarbacher Schlossberger and Ungsberger, plus Geierslayer, Ohligsberger, and Neuberger (today’s Geierslayer).
Well, technically, the dedication should read “To Herr Küfermeister…”. I don’t want to sound pedantic, but since this is a translation… I look forward to reading the book. Congrats on the translation and publication!
Thanks. That’s a good point. Just so you know, we didn’t include the dedication in our translation. It might be more accurate to write “[To] Herr Küfermeister…” Koch omitted the German preposition “An” in his note. “[To] Mr. Master Cooper…” is a possible translation. But I don’t think “Herr” needs to be translated in this instance, and “Küfermeister” as a title doesn’t really exist in English. Likewise, David doesn’t feel that “Küfermeister” can be translated for another reason—namely, a barrel-maker in those days was more than just a tradesman making barrels. He was also assisting estate owners with wine-making (such as racking or bottling).
Thanks to everyone who bought a copy of Mosel Wine. The book has been an enormous success since it was published in mid-March (shout-out to Valerie Kathawala of Trink for her review!). A newly revised edition of Mosel Wine, with a few tweaks and additional details, came out in early June.
An errata sheet is available upon request.
Editor’s note: I corrected one error. After all these years of proofreading the text, none of us caught “Trabener Schlossberg” in the translation. It should be Trarbacher Schlossberg. It was incorrectly transcribed from the beginning. The footnote is correct. Otherwise, I fine-tuned a couple of things and provided a few more details here and there.