There’s no place like home – when it comes to growing Riesling. That would be Germany (which welcomed the migrant grape from Austria, 300 years ago, actually).
The world’s largest and arguably the best Riesling grower by a mile, Germany’s still #1 and its red wines are getting better, too, thanks to global warming!
From parts of the Mosel Valley that resemble the mountains of Machu Picchu (it’s not farming, it’s climbing), to the rolling southern hills of the Pfalz, Germany’s Tuscany, there’s every style of elegant Riesling.There's no grape that more truly expresses the terroir of its origins while maintaining fruit, finesse and minerality. Its crispy acidity lends the wine a racy freshness and aging potential.
Wine consumption on the rise in Germany and a new generation of motivated young winemakers is re-energizing centuries-old Teutonic quality.
Take Graacher Domprobst, for example, the off-dry star from the Selbach Oster family in the Mosel: ancient vines, rich, spicy-smoky flavors of apricot-pear and dried fruits, ageable and delicious now, $35.
Or Scharzhofberger Kabinett from Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, a symphony of pear-apple, mango and honeyed notes (HHD Imports).
White wine accounts for 2/3 of production today in Germany, which is also the world’s biggest consumer of sparkling wines: 400 million bottles a year!
Remember, everything happens for a Riesling! A German Riesling, this case. 31 days of German Riesling is back July 1, with an amazing prize - a long weekend getaway for two to Berlin! #31DaysofGermanRiesling #Germanwine #Germany #Riesling
Meanwhile, there’s more to New Zealand than Hobbits and Middle Earth. If you want to be a trendsetter, buy some New Zealand Riesling! Stunningly good, unheralded, almost unobtainable except through private wine agencies.
The range starts with exquisite peach/apricot-scented, tropical, bone-dry Marlborough versions like Staete Landt, $28, (Lifford), and lean, stony Mount Riley (sbswwineimports.com), or steely, elegant Felton Road from Central Otago (Lifford).
Very gradually we move upwards in sweetness to mineral-grapefruit Craggy Range Te Muna Road in Martinborough, $28, (Select Wines), and the sweeter, more lush Waimea Classic from Nelson (Churchill Cellars) $19, and the honey-citrus Waipara Hills North Canterbury, $22, (sgws.com).