Riesling is a white wine grape varietal - with its origins in the Rhine wine region of Germany. Riesling wines are often consumed when young, when they make a fruit driven, aromatic wines which may have aromas of green-red apples, grapefruit, white peach, honey, white blossom, cut grass, lemon, limes and usually a crisp taste due to high acidity. Plus - Riesling's naturally high acidity and range of flavours make it suitable for extended ageing.
It is a versatile white varietal being used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and even sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are usually varietally pure and are seldom aged in oak. In terms of importance for quality wines, Riesling is usually included in the 'top three' white wine varietals - together with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.


Riesling is a varietal which is highly 'terroir-expressive', meaning that the character of Riesling wines are clearly influenced by the wine's place of origin.
In 2014, Riesling was the most grown grape varietal in Germany with 23,440 hectares, and in the French region of Alsace with 3400 ha. There are also significant plantings of Riesling in Austria, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Amercia, Canada and China. In the countries where it is planted, Riesling is most commonly grown in cooler regions and site locations.
The most expensive wines made from Riesling are 'Late Harvest' dessert wines, produced by letting the grapes hang on the vines well past the normal picking time. Also through evaporation caused by the fungus Botrytis Cinerea ('noble rot') or by freezing, as in the case of Ice Wine (in German, Canadian Eiswein), water is removed from each berry and the resulting wine provides much richer, complex layers on the palate.
These concentrated wines have more sugar (in extreme cases hundreds of grams per litre), more acid (to give balance to all that sugar), more flavour and more complexity. These elements combine to make wines which are amongst the most long lived of all white wines. This said; there is nothing more refreshing on a hot day than a glass of Riesling.