Riesling: Varietal Focus

A phrase we’ve often heard in recent years is, “A. B. C. — anything but Chardonnay.”  As many consumers set down the Chard and start searching for alternative white wines — and as commercial  grape growers try to stay up-to-date with the fickle consumer’s wants — the other premier white varieties are gaining status in the North American retail wine market. Chardonnay is in no danger of losing its status as the world’s number-one white wine, but the door is open for other varieties. And today, one of the oldest whites — Riesling — is being appreciated more and more by consumers and winemakers alike. In fact, Riesling is considered by many connossieurs as the finest white wine in the world because of its potential longevity and the wine’s ability to develop characteristics of individual vineyard sites without losing traditional Riesling traits. Several years ago, I hosted a wine trip to Germany. On the tour we tasted many German trocken (dry) Riesling wines that were between twenty to thirty years old. Most of them were surprisingly magnificent. Still racy, crisp