Along with Chardonnay, Riesling is considered to be one of the finest white grapes in the world, producing a whole range of styles from bone dry to lusciously sweet. The best wines are incredibly long-lived, elegant and racy. They become increasingly complex with age.
Riesling originated in Germany where, along with neighboring Alsace, some of its greatest wines are still made. It is also hugely popular in Australia and Washington.
In Australia, Riesling can take on a passion fruit ripeness and with age, and an attractive character variously described as 'petrol' or 'kerosene.' It retains a high degree of acidity no matter what - preventing even the sweetest examples from becoming cloying.
Apple, mineral, lime and petrol aromas and flavors
Wines to Try
Charles Smith, The Loom (Clare Valley), Stonewall, Von Buhl
Alsace, Mosel, Rheingau, Clare Valley, Columbia Valley
Rhine Riesling, White Riesling, Riesling Renano
- Riesling was introduced to Australia by German immigrants in the mid 19th century. Back then it was the country's most widely cultivated white grape – a record that not even Germany could match.
- When mature, Riesling's most renowned characteristic is an aroma very similar to petrol or kerosene. Don't worry - it's nicer than it sounds!
- If you like Riesling, you might also like: Tokay Pinot Gris - along with Riesling, this is the King of Alsace wines. Gewürztraminer - an even more aromatic variety grown extensively in Alsace and Germany.