Riesling grape © Photographer: Tom Maack
Fresh, crisp wines with high acidity.
Noble sweet wines with long ageing potential.
Young, lean, fruity everyday wines.
Wines with residual sweetness.
Citrus, apple, peach, apricot, maracuja, rose, grass, raisin.
Honey, orange peel, petroleum, walnut.
Grand cru wines (Grosse und Erste Gewächse).
All that – and more – is Riesling.
I love Riesling. Always have. Always will. And so do many more wine enthusiasts around the world. Today (since 2008), the largest Riesling area of the world is the Pfalz with 5455 hectares. Total Riesling area in Germany is 22.400 ha. (source: German Wine Institute).
”The true origins of Riesling remain a mystery. Some believe it is a varietal mentioned long ago by the Roman writer Plinius, others feel King Louis the German (843–876) was the first to have had the grape planted in the Rhine Valley. Other experts suspect that Riesling is a mutation of a wild vine of Germanic origin. In a viticultural dictionary from 1930, Riesling is briefly defined: “Origin: Germany. Probably a seedling from the Rheingau.” Trendsetter for the advance of Riesling in the Rheingau was the wine estate at Johannisberg. In 1720, some 294,000 Riesling vines were planted in the vineyards of the old Benedictine abbey…” (source: Schloss Johannisberg/Rheingau)
While there are documents relating Riesling & Rheingau & Mosel back to 1435, the grape variety has spread to many wine countries since then: Alsace; Austria; North America: Washington, Oregon, California, Michigan, New York, Canada; Australia; New Zealand; South Africa.
Many synonymes are found, Rhine Riesling, Johannisberg Riesling only two of them.
Riesling is a slow riping variety, hardy and thus predestined for cool climate areas. Late summers and sunny falls help the grape to develop slowly, giving, besides good must weights, intense aromas to pair with the great acidity. While for better quality wines, the site is of utmost importance, the soils can be poor. However, the terroir – soils, vineyard site, micro climate, vinification – can be reflected to the maximum in Riesling wines, without loosing its typicality. A good way to test that is to do tastings of several Rieslings of different sites from one winery.
Go to International Riesling Foundation: www.drinkriesling.com for more information
Find Invinitums Rieslings here: www.invinitum.com
And what’s your favorite Riesling wine?
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