Riesling wine grape

A fruity, aromatic grape, Riesling tends to split opinion more than any other variety. It retains its acidity and ripens late, making it a perfect match for late harvest wine. Unlike Chardonnay it doesn’t have a close affiliation with oak, with many arguing that with its distinctive fruit it doesn’t need any flavouring.

In cool climates Riesling can have a very fresh green fruit character, and the high natural acidity is often balanced with some sugar. Late harvested grapes from cool climates, or those harvested in warmer climes, result in more citrus and peach flavours. Some Australian Rieslings have a distinct lime fruit character.

Riesling’s traditional home is Germany, followed by Alsace (France’s most Germanic region) and Austria. In the New World, Australia is the largest producer, specialising in fuller-bodied dry wines. Marlborough in New Zealand produces fine Rieslings in a more Germanic style, and cool-climate areas of Chile are also gaining a reputation for this variety.

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