|Zell's famous black cat (All photos are copyright to Eventful Woman, 2011)|
|Stained glass window in wine shop|
On my travels around Zell an der Mosel I see her everywhere, but I am unable to meet her. When I say "everywhere" I mean representations of her, not the real thing. The legendary cat died nearly 150 years ago, but her spirit lives on.
|Cat defending the wine barrel|
An image of the black cat has been used ever since to promote the Riesling from Zell an der Mosel. Use of the Zeller Schwarz Katz brand and logo is fiercely defended, just like the cat did herself.
|Watchful black cat|
|Stadtbürgermeister Hans Schwarz|
When I interviewed Stadtbürgermeister Hans Schwarz (the local mayor) he said, "The logo belongs to the town and is managed by the council. It is protected by a patent and this patent has to be renewed every 10 years. A vineyard in Austria used the black cat logo last year and was fined. In former times there was a seal on every bottle and the owner had to go the town hall to complete a record of the number of bottles he produced, He was then given the same number of corks to use for the wine." [Note: The mayor's words have been translated from German.]
There are records dating back to the Year 930 on wine making in Zell. However, it is thought that wine was first produced in the Mosel River area by the Romans almost 2000 years ago. The excellent local history museum in Zell has artifacts, tools and records from centuries ago, including how Zell got its name. The Romans called the place "Cella" after the storage cellars they made for the wine. Cella translates to Zelle in German. The mayor said that there are at least 20 towns in Germany with the name of Zell, but only one Zell an der Mosel (Zell on the Mosel River).
|Black cat fountain|
Images of the black cat are everywhere in Zell. She even has a whole fountain dedicated to her.
Zell has around 4,300 people and approximately 4 million vines. I've lost count of the number of images I've seen of the famous cat.
|Signs and window displays in Zell|