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Riesling is a white grape variety that is grown in Germany, Austria, France (especially in the Alsace area), in Luxembourg, Moldova, Australia and New Zealand. In Germany it is the most important grape variety and is cultivated on more than 20 % of the total German wine growing area. Its largest area of distribution is in the wine growing area Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, in the Rhenish growing areas and in Württemberg and Baden.

Riesling was first mentioned in the upper rhein area of Germany during late medieval times. Genetic analysis show that it is a hybrid of the Heunisch grape (today a grape variety of little importance, comparable with Elbling) and a Savagnin variety. Riesling ripens late and demands good soil. Its taste depends more on the Terroir than it does with other wines. Where the soil contains slate, Rieslings develop very different from areas where the soil contains loess. Rieslings from the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer area usually have a high acidity content, in the Alsace area this is less the case but acidity is nonetheless typical. Therefore Riesling wines usually can be stored very well.

Typical aromas of Riesling are: peach, grapefruit and other citrus fruits, apple and sometimes passion fruit. When aged longer, they can have a petrol tone, a typical taste and smell that reminds of mineral oil or tanned cow leather. Riesling grapes can produce high-class naturally sweet wines. Its good characteristics led to the use of Riesling grapes for breeding new grape varieties, such as Bacchus, Müller-Thurgau and Scheurebe.

Goldriesling, also called Goldmuskat, is a grape variety related to Riesling and only grown in Germany, especially in growing areas in Saxony. It is a hybrid of Riesling and Courtillier Musque Précoce and was developed at the end of the 19th century in the Alsace region. It was introduced to Saxony in 1913 and has the advantage to produce shoots late but ripen early, which makes it ideal for northern growing areas. Goldriesling wines have a light golden colour and a fine spicy taste with a subtle nutmeg aroma. Their acidity is prominent and they go best with foods that have little or no acidity themselves.

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