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German Riesling: A Winemaker’s Wine of Virtue
At RJS Craft Winemaking, we are firm believers that every winemaker should have at least one German Riesling in their wine rack. Not only are they considered to be one of the best food pairing wines, but unlike most white wines, Rieslings age well due to their high-acidity. This was discovered many centuries ago when the wine gained popularity with German nobility who stored it in large quantities, and brought it with them on conquests. It was through this massive stockpiling that they discovered Riesling benefited from aging.
Here are a few more facts you may or may not know about German Rieslings:
- The Riesling grape originated in Germany’s Rhineland dating back to as early as 1435, when a German count bought six wine vines – making it the first documented varietal sale.
- Riesling is one of the oldest grape varieties around. A good marker of how old a variety is can be found in how many synonyms it has. Over the course of centuries, as a varietal moves from region to region, it often takes on new names even though it’s the same genetic material. Synonyms for Riesling include Johannisberg (Switzerland), Rheinriesling (Austria), Starovetski (Czech Republic, Slovakia), Lipka (Czech Republic), Renski Rizling (Slovenia), and dozens more.
- Considered one of the most food-friendly wines, Riesling pairs amazingly with most foods because of its high acidity and different sweetness levels. It’s also famous for cooling off the palate during a spicy meal.
- Seldom oaked, Riesling grapes can be used to make dry, off-dry, medium sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines.
- Apple is a key marker for this wine and can be found in both young and old Rieslings. The wine has a unique acidity and fruit flavour, with aromas of wet stones and even petrol – a highly prized note in aged Riesling.
Craft Winemakers will have the opportunity to make their own German Riesling wine through the RJS Craft Winemaking 2018 Restricted Quantities program. However as this is a limited release, we recommend pre-ordering through your local RJS Craft Winemaking retailer to ensure you can secure yourself a kit!
Your RQ2018 “Virtue” kit will make an aromatic white wine that is captivating and complex, with crisp flavours of apple, white peach with a honey finish. Pair it with pad thai, German sausage, shrimp stir fry, or Edam cheese.
- Robinson J., Harding J. & Vouillamoz J., 2013, Wine Grapes, 1st Ed., London : Harper Collins.
- Robinson J., Harding J., 2015, The Oxford Companion to Wine, 4th Ed., New York: Oxford University Press.