Today marks the date to celebrate Riesling’s birthday. While we could simply Google if this is in fact some historic day regarding the origins of Riesling, we love Riesling way too much to care to dive into that fact at all – in favor of taking time to celebrate the most astounding white grape the world over (in our opinion). We’ll just accept it as being ordained by the grape gods, and roll with it. Here to celebrate such an insurmountably awesome day as today are 10 fun facts about the Riesling grape!
- Riesling is one of the most cold hardy grapes out there, hence its inclusion in the wine histories of historically cold regions like the French Alsace, Germany, Austria, Canada and the Finger Lakes area of upper New York state
- The first documented varietal wine sale was in Germany, 1435 and included Riesling
- From dry to sweet stylings, Riesling makes for one of the single-most versatile varietal wines for food pairings
- Riesling, much like Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo, is a terroir grape, notable for the unique sense of place each region offers the grape
- Riesling is almost never oaked
- Due to Riesling’s high acidity, it can be aged, in the finest examples, for decades – no other white can be aged quite as long as Riesling can and still hold up
- By far and large, Germany has the largest acreage devoted to Riesling plantings the world over, clocking in over 52k acres
- Don’t be fooled! Welschriesling, Schwarzriesling, Cape Riesling, and Gray Riesling are not actually Riesling – they are all misnomers, much like the Carménère/Merlot mixup in Chile – genetic testing settled any debate on the misnamed grapes having any relation to Riesling
- Riesling’s love of a cold climate translates to a wine with lower alcohol. Most variations clock in around the 8% mark, but some can be found as low as 6%
- While generally associated with spring and summer drinking, Riesling is a great grape to enjoy by a fire in the dead of winter too, making for a wonderful year-round white option for your festivities
Happy Birthday to Riesling, cheers!