The regional initiative “Faszination Mosel” aims to position the Mosel as Germany’s leading gourmet region sustainably. The measures and projects initiated for this purpose, such as “100 Life Towers for the Mosel,” “Biodiversity Week,” and the “Mosel Heroes” award, are based on a participatory approach involving all relevant stakeholders, including residents, local food producers, cultural creators, tour guides, businesses, and policymakers (bottom-up principle). The regional initiative serves as the central marketing platform and network to connect and link these stakeholders, fostering new collaborations, innovative event formats, and ultimately, fresh innovations for the future of the Mosel. The goal is to inspire people through these projects to develop a deep understanding of the region’s traditions and practices, particularly in the context of the wine culture landscape of the Mosel. Ultimately, the aim is to create appreciation and awareness of the importance of the wine culture landscape as a cultural heritage, ensuring its preservation for future generations. Through intermunicipal cooperation, boundaries are broken down within the Mosel region. This not only strengthens the cohesion of the people but also establishes a sense of “Mosel pride”.
Presentation of the project
The projects initiated and sustainably launched by the “Faszination Mosel” brand family since 2020 span across the entire Mosel wine-growing region. The Mosel region boasts a rich cultural history and is renowned for its world-class wine. Nevertheless, there is a need to preserve its cultural heritage, promote sustainable development, and position the region as the leading gourmet destination in Germany. The “highlights” of this unique wine culture landscape, with its biodiversity, dry stone walls, regional products, cultural diversity of the people, associations, and institutions, should be showcased in the “storefront,” valued, and made significantly visible. The measures initiated by the regional initiative “Faszination Mosel” on various topics in recent years have strengthened cooperation and coordination among stakeholders in the region and are already bearing fruit in projects like “100 Life Towers for the Mosel,” “Biodiversity Week,” “Mosel Heroes” award, “Art by the River,” “Cider Awards,” “Distillation Days,” and more. The engagement of the people in the Mosel region is crucial – they need to get involved, participate, and breathe life into these projects. The regional initiative has created a platform that brings together relevant stakeholders in the region, fosters new collaborations, and promotes innovative event formats. This has helped enhance cooperation beyond municipal boundaries and establish a sense of “Mosel pride” in the population. Additionally, it draws attention to the Mosel region, motivating people to stay, invest, and live there. Another significant benefit is the strengthening of the regional economy. LEADER plays an important role in the “Development and Expansion of the Faszination Mosel Brand Family” project in terms of funding, support, and networking. The regional initiative received financial support from LEADER in 2020 to implement its activities. Furthermore, LEADER provides resources and expertise to effectively support the projects. LEADER also assists in connecting the regional initiative with other relevant stakeholders in the region and beyond, facilitating the exchange of ideas and best practices. Additional projects related to the “Innovation and Sustainability in the Mosel Region” are in the planning stage and are set to be realized with LEADER funding, such as co-working spaces/Workation Mosel, hospitality 2.0, innovation circles, coaching for dry stone wall construction, value chains (regional products), and more.
The emblematic character of the project
The region of LAG Mosel is a very large area that involves overcoming vast distances. At the same time, the river valley, viticulture, and pronounced tourism connect the people. It is a major concern of LAG to strengthen the region internally and promote networking and cooperation. We aim to enhance thinking and acting in regional contexts and connect people through innovative ideas. The project “Building the Brand Family Fascination Mosel” addresses, on the one hand, the politics, administrations, and institutions in the region, but especially the people in the region, on the other hand. LAG Mosel has given itself the guiding principle “Sustainable-Innovative-Connected.” The project contributes to all three characteristics. It focuses on important issues such as the preservation of biodiversity, regional architectural culture, and the strengthening of the cultural scene. Collaboration with international partners in France and Luxembourg is also important. As the “borderless Mosel Valley,” there is regular exchange with the LAGs from the source to the mouth. The innovative feature of the project is the continuous bottom-up process. The Regional Initiative Mosel wants to empower and support people to engage in their homeland. It works hand in hand with the Local Action Group. Competitions such as “100 Life-Towers for the Mosel” raise awareness about biodiversity and simultaneously strengthen the sense of community in the region. This makes the “Life Trees” in the regions, which now number well over 100, a visible sign of cohesion in the region and a symbol for the protection of biodiversity.The ideas for projects and initiatives come from the people in the region. The project’s approach is transferable to other regions. The process of site marketing and the formation of a regional brand should not be top-down but bottom-up. Expensive ads, posters, or campaigns do not involve people; instead, listening and the joint implementation of projects do. In the spirit of a “grassroots initiative,” the project manages to bring together very different people and connect them through joint actions.