Riesling - A Classic White Grape Variety for a Wide Range of Wine Styles
Riesling is a white grape variety that is known for its high acidity and complex flavour profile. The grape is known for its fruity flavours such as citrus, green apple and mineral, with notes of petrol and slate. Riesling is a highly versatile grape variety that can produce a wide range of styles including dry, off-dry and sweet wines.
Riesling is a grape variety that has a long history dating back to the 16th century in the Rhine region of Germany. Today, it is widely grown in many regions around the world, including France, Austria, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Riesling is a hardy grape variety that is well suited to cool climates. However, it is a very late ripening variety and requires a long growing season to reach full ripeness. It is also susceptible to frost damage, and thus requires protection in certain climates. Riesling is often trellised using a VSP or Smart-Dyson system to manage the canopy and increase fruit exposure to sunlight.
Pruning and Canopy Management:
Riesling should be spur-pruned to manage yields and ensure fruit quality. The ideal number of buds per vine is 35 to 50 buds per vine. Regular canopy management is important to ensure that the fruit receives adequate sunlight and to prevent disease.
Riesling grapes produce wine with a pale colour and a complex flavour profile. The grape is known for its high acidities and fruity flavours such as citrus, green apple and mineral, with notes of petrol and slate. The wine can range in style from dry to sweet and is known for its aging potential.
Skin fermenting Riesling can add complexity and depth to the wine, with flavours that can include notes of honey, beeswax, nuttiness, and a noticeable increase in tannins and phenolic compounds. The wine can also take on a more golden or amber colour. Some people may also detect a hint of smokiness or a slight earthiness. These flavours will depend on various factors such as the duration of skin contact, temperature and the specific yeast used.
Riesling is a versatile and complex grape variety that is well suited to cool climates. It can produce a wide range of styles and has excellent aging potential. At Traynor Family Vineyard, we source our Riesling grapes from Watson Vineyards in Niagara-on-the-Lake where the climate is ideal for ripening the fruit. We produce a Dry Riesling, and also use the variety in our Marmalade Pie Skin-Fermented White and the skins in our Ophelia Piquette.