Although they originated in Germany's beautiful Rhine Valley, the Riesling grape soon spread around the world, where it thrives in many countries with a colder climate which can support this pale and unique grapes. Riesling grapes are considered one of the finest varietals on earth, capable of expressing fascinating features of the soil type they are grown on, resulting in some highly interesting wines with plenty to offer those who are looking for something different. Riesling grapes are also noted for their aromas, which tend to be highly perfumed, floral and often with smoky notes accentuating their unusual flavor Because this was always the predominant grape grown in Germany and other such countries, Riesling wineries have always been keen to experiment with its range. This has resulted in dry white wines, sparkling wines, semi sweet wines and several others, but the finest examples are usually considered to be the Riesling dessert wines. These are occasionally made with unusual processes, including the 'eiswine' method, in which the grapes are allowed to freeze in the early frosts, or by allowing the development of 'noble rot', which withers the grapes and results in some truly spectacular and unusual flavors.
Hungary has several important wine producing regions, all of which benefit from the mineral rich soils which are fed by the mighty Danube and Tisza rivers, or are located on the banks of Lake Balaton, Europe's largest lake. The climate of Hungary is ideal for viticulture â€“ long, blazingly hot summers followed by balmy autumns and late winters, and wineries have been making the country's unique produce for over a thousand years, with many wine regions having been in use since the Roman times. Today, Hungary is mostly known for its sweet white wines, most notably from the Tokaj region, where the grapes are given over to noble rot which intensifies the sugars and flavors, and results in astonishing wines of exceptional character and aroma.