Guide to Riesling
Many tend to think of a “wine lover” as having an appreciation for a bold Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, soft Oregon Valley Pinot Noir, fruity Australian Shiraz, or elegant French Champagne. Yet among these wines is one that seemingly does not fit: light, sweet Riesling. Riesling has a reputation in the wine community for being the wine that sommeliers love. What is it about Riesling that makes it so special?
Where is Riesling made?
Riesling originated in the Rhine region, which flows through Germany and the Netherlands. The regions most well-known for producing Riesling are the Mosel, Rheingau, Nahe and Pfalz regions of Germany and France’s Alsace. Today, other regions around the world––including wine producing regions in Austria, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Oregon, California, and Washington––also produce quality Riesling wine. Because Riesling is known for being exceptionally good at taking on the characteristics of the terroir, each of these regions will produce a wine that reflects the region’s soil. (For example, wines from Germany’s Mosel region will express minerality, which comes from the large amounts of slate in the soil.) This makes Riesling an exciting varietal to try.