What kind of climate does Riesling prefer?:
- cool to moderate
- warm to hot
Cool to moderate
Riesling is naturally low or naturally high in acidity?
Riesling's susceptibility to Botrytis/noble rot is high or low?
Riesling is highly susceptible to Botrytis/noble rot.
Describe Riesling's general profile.
- Fruit-forward (apple, peach, citrus)
- Pronounced floral notes (honeysuckle, blossom)
- High acidity
- Can be made dry to lusciously sweet
- Can be light to full bodied
What is the biggest benefit of Riesling's high acidity?
It balances both ripeness and high levels of sweetness (residual sugar).
Describe the different fruit profiles found in just-ripe Riesling vs. extra-ripe Riesling.
- Green apples
- Green pears
- Sour citrus (lemon, lime)
- Stone fruits (peach, apricot)
- Tropical fruits (mango, pineapple)
- Dried fruits (golden raisins)
Name 2 ways that off-dry or medium style Rieslings get their sweetness.
Interrupting fermentation and filtering/removing yeast, leaving the wine with some residual sugar
Adding sterile grape juice (Süssreserve) after fermentation
What is Süssreserve?
Sterile, naturally sweet grape juice
How do the sweetest styles of Riesling retain their sugar?
Fermentation stops naturally in the sweetest styles of Riesling.
Bascially, there is too much sugar for the yeasts to eat.
Why do winemakers typically ferment Riesling in stainless steel, or other inert vessels, rather than oak?
Oak imparts unwanted flavors that would obstruct Riesling's delicate floral and fruity aromas.
Stainless steel helps Riesling retain those hallmark fruit and floral aromas and flavors.
What structural element helps Riesling age?
Name some tertiary flavors that aged Riesling can develop.
- Petrol (gasoline/Vasoline)
How many wine regions are there in Germany?
Name 3 regions in Germany known for making great Riesling.
Pfalz (pronounced like "false")
Which region will have the lightest-bodied Rieslings and why?:
Mosel because it is the most northerly and the grapes struggle to ripen.
What helps Riesling grapes ripen in Mosel?
The stony soils -- they reflect sunlight and retain warmth which help grapes ripen in this cool climate.
Mosel Rieslings are likely to be which style:
- full bodied and dry
- medium bodied and dry
- light bodied and off-dry/medium
Light bodied and off-dry/medium
Rheingau's vineyards are located on the north or south bank of the Rhine River?
North bank, facing south so they can be exposed to as much sun as possible.
Rheingau Rieslings are typically drier or sweeter than Mosel Rieslings?
Climate in Pfalz is:
- sunny and dry with a long growing season
- cloudy and wet with a short growing season
Sunny and dry with a long growing season
Pfalz is in the rain shadow of the Vosges Mountains, which helps it produce medium-bodied, dry, and textural Rieslings.
Which region in France is known for its dry, intensely-flavored Rieslings?
The Pfalz region in Germany is loosely known as an extension of which region in France?
Both Alsace and Pfalz are in the rain shadow of the Vosges Mountains.
Alsace is known to be one of the ___ and ___ regions in all of France.
sunniest and driest
Which direction do most vineyards in Alsace face?
East and southeast
Because the grapes in Alsace see mostly morning sun, which is more gentle than hot afternoon sun, the growing season tends to be long and steady, which helps build the flavor intensity in the grapes.
What are the top, individual vineyards in Alsace called?
Late-harvested grapes in Alsace carry what term on the label?
Vendanges Tardives (VT)
When did Australia first start growing Riesling?
The early 1800s
What 2 higher-elevation appellations in South Australia are known for their piercing, refreshing Rieslings?
- Eden Valley
- Clare Valley
Rieslings from Eden Valley and Clare Valley are known to be:
- off-dry/medium sweet
Rieslings from Clare Valley and Eden Valley are also known to have pronounced lime notes.
Most consumers declare they "hate" Riesling because it's "too sweet."
What are they misunderstanding about the grape and what can be done to change their understanding?
Most consumers think all Rieslings are sweet and don't know that Riesling can be made in a dry style (e.g. Alsace or Australia).
Also, many consumers assume Rieslings are all the same despite huge differences in quality, ripeness and sweetness levels.
Wine professionals need to demonstrate that high-quality Rieslings are versatile, age-worthy, and deliciously flavorful.