The Riesling Grape is seen by many as the
most versatile variety of white grape in the world. It is without doubt
a class act with a number of strengths, not least its ability to
outperform Chardonnay in the longevity stakes.
As it can be harvested at various stages
of ripeness, it is able to produce an amazing range of flavors, from the
dry and racy expressions of northern Germany to luscious dessert wines.
Riesling can reach thrilling levels of complexity, without any trace of
new oak used either during fermentation or maturation, and its sheer
diversity makes it compatible with a plethora of foods.
German Rieslings are some of the most
difficult wines to produce, particularly when the vines are grown on the
very steep slopes of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. So why are they so difficult
to sell? A late ripener, often resulting in wines with low to lowish
alcohol, a German Riesling makes an excellent aperitif and is a perfect
lunchtime drink. Exciting Rieslings are produced all over the world,
reflecting the difficult soils and microclimates in which it is grown. A
more full-bodied and dried version is produced in Alsace, Austria, and
Australia. Alsace, sheltered by the Vosges Mountains, has a warm and dry
climate. The extra ripeness in the grapes can be fermented into alcohol.
They are great food wines (an Alsace Riesling is made for the table)
that can also age brilliantly.
The Riesling grape is grown in Germany,
Austria, Alsace in France, Australia, Northern Italy, New Zealand,
California, Oregon and Washington State.