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.
In the heart of Germany's historic and beautiful Rhineland sits the wonderful wine region of Mosel-Saar-Ruhr, home to Germany's finest and most distinguished white wines. In Mosel-Saar-Ruhr, the vineyards which cover the incredibly steep valley-sides hold a wide range of white wine grape varietals, however, it is the Riesling grapes of this particular region which have given it such fame over the years. Supposedly originally planted by the Romans, while they stopped on their way to France, Mosel-Saar-Ruhr's vineyards are truly ancient, and are the providers of many of the country's most famous wines, some of which are capable of aging for impressively long periods. The Riesling wines of Mosel-Saar-Ruhr are somewhat more floral than those found elsewhere in Europe, and have a level of crispness and dryness which makes them stand head and shoulders above the Riesling wines elsewhere in the world.
Despite being known primarily for sweet and semi-sweet white wines, Germany actually produces a surprisingly large and varied range of wines, with many reaching an extremely high standard and being very well received on the world stage. The terrain across much of the southern parts of the country is extremely fertile, with mineral rich soils adding a wonderful edge to already excellent grapes, and thus resulting in delicious and highly elegant white and rosÃ© wines. The climate in many parts of Germany also allows for some more unusual wine-making practices, with certain regions specializing in the highly aromatic and distinctive 'ice-wines' which are gaining popularity by those looking for something a little more intense and unusual. With these wines, the producers allow the grapes to freeze through the early frosts, resulting in a higher sugar content and a fantastic set of flavors and aromas in the finished product. Germany has long since favored quality over quantity, and a new enthusiasm for fine wine within the country is producing truly exciting results, using a blending of traditional and contemporary techniques.