Riesling grapes have produced some of the finest wines of the Old World over the past couple of centuries, and are quickly becoming much loved by New World audiences as their influence continues to spread across the globe. They are generally grown and cultivated in colder climates, as is found in their native Germany, where they have the remarkable ability to pick up and express interesting features of their terroir, or the ground on which they are grown. As such, wine enthusiasts generally find Riesling one of the more interesting white grape varietals, as they produce aromas which are highly floral and perfumed alongside both fruit flavors and refreshing notes of stone and alpine water, depending on where they have been grown. Furthermore, Riesling grapes produce a large variety of fine wines, from still to sparkling, sweet to dry, and wineries which work with this grape have long since been experimenting with both frozen and rotten grapes to find out just how versatile and exciting this varietal can be.
It has long been recognized that the finest of Germany's distinctive white wines come from the steep valley sides of the region known as Mosel-Saar-Ruhr, a collection of three beautiful winding valleys in the ancient and fascinating Rhineland. If Germany's flagship grape varietal is the Riesling, then the true home of German wines must be Mosel-Saar-Ruhr, where wineries dotted across the region deal with thousands of acres of Riesling grapes every season. For thousands of years, since the time of the Romans, Mosel-Saar-Ruhr has been known as an important wine region, and the mineral rich soils which make up the steep sides of the green valleys provide plenty of nutrients and interesting characteristics to the grapes which grow there. Riesling wines from Mosel-Saar-Ruhr are renowned for their crispness, their lightness and drinkability, and have a unique aging potential, with some bottles even aging for over fifty years.
If German wine has had something of a bad reputation in the past, it may well be the fault of the fact that for a long time now, the Germans have simply kept all the best produce to themselves. Visit any town or village in wine producing regions of Germany, and you'll be faced with a stunning array of extremely high quality wines, each matched with local dishes and full of distinct character and flavor. As white wine production makes up for about two-thirds of all Germany's wine industry, this is by far the most visible and widely enjoyed type of wine, but one should not overlook the quality and range of rosÃ© and red wines on offer from this fascinating country. In particular, the Spatburgunder wines (the German name for Pinot Noir) are generally of an exceptionally high quality, being full of dark, intense hedgerow fruit flavors and exciting spicy notes with a silky smooth finish.