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South Africa's most misunderstood grape! Find out the truth here.

by: Cathy Marston | 05 Nov 2009

Origins and history:- The great grape of Germany, makes all their best wines. Also widely grown in the Alsace region of France. Gets confused in SA with an inferior grape variety known as Cape Riesling or Paarl Riesling which is in fact Crouchen Blanc. Proper, quality Riesling in SA is labelled Weisser Riesling or Rhine Riesling and is completely different to Cape Riesling. Likes very extreme and cool climates and vineyard selection is crucial. Makes a wide range of styles from bone dry to some of the most luscious and delicious sweet wines in the world.

Characteristics:- when young, has floral aromas and flavours and bags of acidity, but as it ages, it takes on distinctive kerosene or petrol overtones which sounds awful, but can be delicious. Sweet versions often have a strong, herbal, honey tweak to them.

Famous wines:- Liebfraumilch, Dr Loosen, Maximin Grünhaus, (all German), Hugel, Trimbach (both Alsace)

Good local examples:- Paul Cluver, Hartenberg, Thelema, Klein Constantia

If it was a person: – Keira Knightley


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