Despite the low percentage of Riesling vineyards in Austria (just over 4% of Austria’s total vineyard coverage and only accounting for 4.8% of the world’s Riesling vineyards) Austrian Riesling is a force with which to be reckoned.
Riesling production is most widely spread in Lower Austria throughout the areas of the Wachau, Kremstal, Kamptal, Weinviertel, Wagram & Traisental and is also popular in Vienna. Riesling in Austria is typically dry, though it can be vinified sweet in BA and TBA wines. Like so many other areas of the world, Austrian Riesling is ideal for aging, particularly at the Spätlese and Auslese levels; petrol is a welcomed aroma in these examples. In the Wachau, Riesling is classified under the Wachau classification system – Steinfeder, Federspiel, Smaragd, with some of it’s most age-worthy examples coming from those at the Smaragd level.
The grape thrives in primary rock from which it derives its distinct minerality. This, in conjunction with its refreshing acidity and pleasant stone-fruit quality make it a perfect choice for and apertif or, in some cases, as company to the main course.
Photo Credit: Winemonger Importers