Riesling grapes are very rarely blended with others in the development of wines, and for good reason. These pale grapes which originated in the cool Rhine Valley of Germany are notable for their 'transparency' of flavor, which allows the characteristics of their terroir to shine through in wonderful ways. The result of this is a wine which carries a wide range of interesting flavors quite unlike those found in other white wines, finished off with the distinctively floral perfume Riesling supplies so well. Many wineries in Germany and elsewhere tend to harvest their Riesling grapes very late â€“ often as late as January â€“ in order to make the most of their natural sweetness. Other methods, such as encouraging the noble rot fungus, help the Riesling grape varietal present some truly unique and exciting flavors in the glass, and the variety of wines this varietal can produce mean it is one of the finest and most interesting available anywhere.
Germany is a fascinating country when it comes to wine, and the cooler climate of the German valleys often provides some real, pleasing surprises in the form of dry, crisp and flavorful white wines. Few German white wines are finer than those from Mosel-Saar-Ruhr, the beautiful valley region of the ancient Rhineland, where the steep valley-sides grow Riesling and other important white wine grapes of stunning character and flavour. Dating back to the Roman times, Mosel-Saar-Ruhr is home to many fine wineries, who have generations of experience when it comes to working on the unique landscapes of the region, which famously include some vineyards located on a sixty five degree incline. Wines from Mosel-Saar-Ruhr tend to be more floral than fruity, drier, crisper and slightly lower in alcohol than those from elsewhere in Germany, but are utterly seductive, and wonderful for those seeking something truly refined and uniquely delicious.
Much has changed over the past few decades in regards to German wine. Long gone are the days of mass produced, sickly sweet white wines which were once the chief exports of this fascinating and ancient wine producing country, and they have been replaced with something far more sophisticated. Whilst Germany continues to produce a relatively large amount of dessert wine, the wineries of the south of the country have reverted their attention to the production of drier, more elegant wines which really make the most of the fine grape varieties which flourish there. Many of the wineries dealing primarily with the excellent Riesling grapes have produced some truly exceptional dry and semi-sweet wines over the past few years, and it seems the world has finally woken up and noticed the extremely high quality of the distinctive produce coming out of Germany today.