A Wine Cellar guide to Riesling


A sea of cheap, sweet, low-quality wines may have impaired Riesling’s reputation amongst the greater wine-drinking public, but wine lovers are devoted to this noble grape, which is considered by many to be one of the world’s greatest white varieties.

Originating in Germany’s Rhine region, Riesling is an aromatic white variety with pronounced acidity. The wines are expressive of their terroir and tend to be unwooded, exhibiting minerality, flower blossoms, apple, lime, nectarine and beeswax, and developing notes of honey, nut and petrol as they age. Styles vary from dry to dessert-style wines.

Quality examples abound in Alsace, which was once part of Germany. Here, the wines are typically richer and more generous than their German counterparts. Fine Rieslings are also produced in Austria, as well as New Zealand, South Africa and, famously, Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys.

Synonyms: Weisser Riesling, Johannisberg Riesling, Johannisberger, Rhine Riesling, Riesling Renano

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