The Riesling grape with all its versatility is the main grape variety, and whilst many countries make Riesling, none can match the mouth-watering freshness and supreme delicacy achieved in a Mosel Kabinett from a top producer. Germany dry Rieslings as a rule tend to to be very graceful and elegant as compared to Rieslings from other countries, with an emphasis on finesse, not power. Standout producers such as Robert Weil make the headlines, but Donnhoff, JL Wolf, A Christmann and Dr Loosen are too worth seeking out.
Another most interesting contribution from Germany was Eiswine (ice wine), which until the 1970s was a freak of nature, though is now carefully managed. To produce Eiswine, parcels of vines are left out exposed to the frost, and although the production cost is astronomical they remain very popular. Robust Pinot Blancs and Pinot Gris are also produced in the whites and Pinot Noir, referred to as Spätburgunder is also grown.
The climate in Germany is, for the most part, cool, the exception being in the Pfalz and in Baden. As a result, vineyards are carefully selected with good sunlight exposure a must. For example along the banks of the Mosel River, vines are only planted one side, as there isn't enough sunlight exposure to ripen grapes on the north-facing side.
Key regions include Mosel and Nahe where extraordinary Rieslings are produced.
Apart from being the most southerly wine region in Australia, Tasmania has among the coolest growing subregions with the potential to make distinctly different wines than in the rest of the country.
Most well known for cool-climate varietals like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (thus sparkling too), Sauvignon Blanc smaller plantings of Riesling, Cabernet and Pinot Gris (more commonly Pinot labelled Pinot Grigio)
Historically, Tasmania can lay claim to being the founder of both the Victorian and South Australian wine industries as William Henty sailed from Launceston to Portland (in Victoria) in 1834 and planted grape cuttings there. Though not conclusively proven, it's believed that John Hack planted vines in South Australia in 1837, closely followed in 1838 by John Reynell.
Warmer vintages (possibly attributable to global warming) has had positive effects on region's industry, allowing grapes in recent vintages to achieve full phenolic ripeness, making for vibrant wines that have been widely accepted as world class.
It's back by popular demand! The ultimate debate in wine, Old World V New World. Two Master of Wines' going head to head on arguably the most controversial subject in wine, we have Alistair Cooper MW in the ... Learn More