Riesling is one of the most temperamental white grapes, and as such it is somewhat picky about it’s growing environment. Riesling does not particularly like warm growing climates, and tends to do better in places with cooler climates, such as Germany and upstate New York.
Riesling, unlike almost all Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay [which are dry], can be also be sweet, or any point in between dry and sweet. While drier rieslings can have many flavors such as green apple, peaches, and apricots, sweet rieslings tend to have rich honeyed characters. The German riesling Trockenbeerenauslesen can have up to 30% residual sugar. Despite the potential for high sugar, riesling frequently has lower alcohol, coming in between 8 – 12%. This is different from Chardonnay with can range up to 14.5% and tends to average closer to 13%. Riesling is also rarely if ever oaked, and can easily be served with desserts.
Style: Ranges from dry to sweet. Rarely, if ever, aged in oak.
Notable Growing Regions: Germany, Upstate New York, Australia, Austria, California and Washington states, Alsace in France, and New Zealand.