Riesling, Margaret River

Riesling is a white grape that is famous for its intense aromatics and crisp acidity. Riesling was the most planted white grape in Australia until the early 1990s when Chardonnay took over. Riesling flourishes in the Clare Valley, particularly Watervale, around the Polish Hill River, and in the cooler Eden Valley. Riesling is also being grown with increasing popularity in the Western Australia regions Albany, Frankland River and Porongorup. Australian Rieslings are noted for their citrus/lime fruit flavours in their youth and a smooth balance of freshness, lanolin and acid as they age. Australian botrytized Rieslings have immense levels of flavour concentration with beautiful acid and structure.

Riesling was first planted in New Zealand in the 1970s and has flourished in the relatively cool climates of the Marlborough, Central Otago area and for late harvests in the Nelson region.

Alsace is famous for producing outstanding Riesling from dry austere to Vendages Tardives and Sélection de Grains Nobles. They tend to be fuller, more savoury and viscous wines than those of other countries.

In Germany, Riesling constitutes around 20% of total plantings. The best examples are planted on south-facing slate-rich slopes. Germany produces many different styles from dry perfumed wines with racy, mineral acidity to exotically lush flavours of their great late harvest wines.
Margaret River is the name of a river, town and key wine region. It is one of the younger viticultural regions in Australia, quickly gaining popularity for its world-class wine. Located 280km South of Perth in Western Australia, the first plantings were only made in 1967. The region has grown rapidly and is recognised as one of the great wine-producing regions of the world, with over 200 wineries in operation. Made up of predominantly boutique producers, with a number of big player wineries also, the region makes up only 3% of the Australian wine production, but commands over 20% of the premium wine market. The wineries in the region are vibrant, innovative and progressive in their approach to viticulture.

The Mediterranean style climate provides superior maritime growing conditions, with vines not affected by extreme summer and winter temperatures. The region is well known for producing outstanding red wines; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and to a lesser extent Shiraz, Tempranillo and Malbec. Both straight varietals and famous Bordeaux blends can be outstanding.

In the white wines, Chardonnays of great depth and character, and fresh Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blends are the main varietals the region is famous for. Lesser quantities of Viognier, Riesling and Muscat are also produced.
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