German Riesling … an overview

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Over the past months this blog has published various articles on German Riesling – describing the weather conditions, the vineyards and the concepts of wine making. The Mosel – the most legendary wine producing region in Germany – based on tradition and culture with its unique landscape of steep, slate slopes was explored in depth and in detail, writes Dr Ariff Jamal. Why were all these subjects of so much importance and interest? Well, with this note, SI readers have their final answer. Here now is the final verdict – the moment of judgement.


The occupation of a winemaker is one of the most diversified and exciting of challenges. Making a top wine does not only demand perfect exertion in the vineyard and cellar the whole year through, but requires even more an affiliation with nature over many years. However, extensive preparation is next to impossible as nature remains unpredictable and to a certain degree capricious. Nonetheless, it is consequential to understand the messages provided by nature and draw the right conclusions and make the right decisions.
What is vital in the vineyards, for example, is to engage in the plant precaution, remedial battle in the right and timely manner as a reaction against bad weather influences. In the cellar a controlled, progressive, natural spontaneous fermentation will bring out the expression of nature’s gifted nectar from those healthy, well protected and well nurtured grapes which are destined to contribute towards a top wine.
From qualitative oriented pruning and binding to working the soil; from selective hand harvest to the choice of the natural yeasts which are cultured over the years are some of the key parameters within which the winemaker has to operate to ensure the harmony between the vineyards and the cellar.
Besides passion and goodwill, it’s the winemaker’s obsession and enthusiasm, along with a little bit of good luck and a lot of hard work that goes towards making the “perfect wine”.
View imageMarkus Molitor – a star in the Mosel, named the King of Riesling has made a masterpiece. Of a total 180 appellations harvested for the 2011 vintage, Robert Parker awarded him over 90 points for 80% of the wines, of which more than 15 wines scored above 95 points and ONE achieved 100 points – 2011 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese.
Well guided by his wine consultant, Markus Molitor made it to the top and brought Mosel Riesling back to the summit – that’s what it’s all about.
Dr. Jamal, who has been part of this success story, will be in India in July to present some of these wines. Watch this space for further details.

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