A dry subject
Nackenheim in the dramatic Rheinterrasse vineyards, with Gunderloch, Kühling-Gillot and Schätzel making waves. The other is the Wonnegau, where Keller and Wittmann conjure up rich yet pure, complex Rieslings structured by elegant minerality. Among other names to watch are Battenfeld Spanier, Dreissigacker, Fauth, Geil-Bierschenk, Gutzler, Huff, Pfannebecker, St Antony, Spiess, Stepp, Thörle, Wagner-Stempel and Winter. Georg Breuer, Graf von Kanitz, JB Becker, Johannes Eser, Josef Leitz, Peter Jakob Kühn, Prinz, Querbach, Reiner Flick, Robert Weil, Schloss Johannisberg, Schloss Reinhartshausen, Schloss Schönborn, Schloss Vollrads, Spreitzer and Wegeler. In Europe, the term ‘ trocken’ can only be used where the wine has a maximum sugar content of 4g/l – or 9g/l if sugar does not exceed acidity by more than 2g/l. So a Riesling is technically dry if with 8g/l of sugar, it also has at least 6g/l of acidity. Outside the EU there are no such precise definitions, but there are various dry to sweet scales, from the International Riesling Foundation’s Taste Profile, to the Alsace scale, plus individual systems like US-based wine importer and writer Terry Theise’s Sense of Sweetness and UK author Stuart Pigott’s Acid Test.
Above: workers begin to harvest Riesling grapes at Weingut Winter in Germany’s Rheinhessen