Riesling

Riesling Wine

Wine critics praise Riesling an aromatic, light-skinned of German origin calling it the world's perfect white wine grape. Some wine experts argue that until the late 20th century Germany exported low quality, chaptalized wine of which Riesling made up a small percentage. German winemakers favored high yielding vines such as Müller-Thurgau and Silvaner. Riesling has also been stereotyped as a sweet grape, perfect for making sticky wines. Although Riesling makes the best sweet wines worldwide, it also produces dry or off-dry wines.

Riesling vines above the Mosel
Riesling does not grow in the Bordeaux region or even in Italy and Spain although it has adapted to most of the other wine growing regions. Riesling is believed to have originated in the regions falling along the rivers on Europe’s wine route, the Rhine and Mosel. Most of Germany’s popular wine producing regions such as Rheinhessen, Pfalz, Rheingau and Mosel are located along this route. Riesling vines creep along the slate-rich hills, thriving above the rivers that add to its noticeable acidity and crisp, refreshing taste.

Alsace, situated across the Rhine, was formerly a part of Germany, but is now a French region. Riesling vines dominate the vineyards in Alsace surpassing the quality and quantity of other grapes. It’s not difficult to believe since Alsace Riesling has its unique style which is noticeably different from German Riesling. Alsace Riesling tends to be richer and fuller when compared to German Riesling.

Wachau and Kremstal, in Austria, also produce large volumes if Riesling. Austrian Riesling is dryer. Perhaps this is due to Lake Neusiedl which flows southeast of Vienna creating a humid climate for Riesling that is sweet and, that can be affected by botrytis because of the humidity in this region.

Most recently regions such as Clare and Eden in Australia and New Zealand have produced high quality Riesling that competes with the world’s best. Clare Valley Riesling has a crisp acidity with a citrus scent and, honeysuckle and toast aromas. New Zealand’s Canterbury and Otago regions also produce superior quality Riesling. South African Riesling is also following suit. Canada’s ice wines are also manufactured from Vidal or Riesling and tends to be cold-resistant.

Clones of Riesling include Johannesburg Riesling and Rhine Riesling. Some white grape varieties are incorrectly referred to as Riesling. Examples are Welschriesling (Riesling Italico), Cape Riesling (Crouchen), Clare Riesling, Paarl Riesling and Okanagan Riesling.

One of the rarer Riesling varieties is the pink skinned Roter Riesling which grows in Germany and Austria. Some wine experts argue that Roter Riesling is a mutated form of traditional Riesling, while others argue that Riesling is a mutated form of Roter Riesling.

Riesling is also known as Weisser Riesling, Johannisburg Riesling, Johannisberger, Rhine Riesling, and Riesling Renano.

Enjoy the following mouthwatering dishes with your Riesling:
  • Quiche Lorraine; zwiebelkuchen dry onion cakes ;
  • Thai green curry (off-dry), and
  • Sweet key lime pie (sweet).
Mostly used in below countries:

Germany 59%
USA 13%
France 8%
Austria 8%
Australia 6%
New Zealand 2%
Italy 1%
Other 2%