Riesling: from German Legacy to Australian Success Story

Bundle White Wine

With Octoberfest upon us, we thought it the ideal time now to investigate the jewel in the crown of German viticulture and the storied history of how it became a modern Australian classic.

Whilst there is some dispute about the true origins of Riesling, with claims of Riesling first being planted from the 14th Century to as far back as the 9th century, it is accepted that by the time of first documented mention of the variety in 1435, the grape was already well established.

From there, Riesling continued to grow in popularity and reputation, demonstrated by monasteries digging up their entire existing plantings of red wine grapes, to be replaced with superior Riesling vines, first at St. Clara Monastery in in 1672, and then at Benedictine Abbey in 1716, and becoming the dominant grape throughout the 19th century.

Here in Australia, Riesling has had a storied history from its introduction in the early days of Australian viticulture. Many can recall how the grape was used in the 70s and 80s for its high potential sugar content to create sweet wines; and how many "rieslings" were often a range of other mislabelled whites. However with time, and growing wine savvy-ness on the part of the average wine drinker, Australian Rieslings have since developed a rock-solid reputation for being crisp, dry and sophisticated wines.

This reputation comes especially thanks to the two main regions, Clare Valley and Eden Valley, which were together instrumental in creating the distinctively dry Riesling that we enjoy today. Both of these locations are high altitude, cool climate areas that grant their wines an elegant floral aroma and dry citrus and blossom flavours, with Eden Valley trending more towards a lighter style, often with notes of tart green apple.

 If all this talk of crisp dry wines has you salivating, we have the solution in a great value 2 pack that will allow you to compare the flavours of Clare Valley and Eden Valley.


Leo Buring Clare Valley Riesling:

Dating back to the 1930's Leo Buring Rieslings were instrumental in the development of the crisp dry flavour that defines the modern Australian Riesling, and remain a leader in the region today. 


Dandelion Vineyards Eden Valley Riesling:

Pale and youthful in the glass, with some lovely green hints to it. Aromas of citrus pith, talc, jasmine and lily. The palate is fine and delicate, lemony citrus and a bath salts minerality. This is an archetypal Eden Valley Riesling.

Photo by Steven Weeks

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