Varietals - Riesling


Occasionally labeled "Johannesburg Riesling." This misnomer stems from the use of the township where one of the finest Rieslings in the world is grown, Johannesburg, Germany, in the Rheingau.

The most typical versions smell like fresh cut flowers, apples and apricot blossoms. Many are made in a slightly sweet style. Like Chardonnay, it is the other noble white grape and can age for many years. Should be served cool, but not too cold.



Very little made, but there are a few outstanding examples worth seeking out.


This grape is totally producer driven. Most are simple and direct. No area stands out, although a few producers in Napa, Mendocino and the Central Coast continue to make outstanding examples in spite of the less than enthusiastic sales.


Alsace is the only area producing this grape. The wines from here, though are often compared to Germany in power and presence. Most are dry, except for a spattering of dessert wines, which runs counter to Germany's best. Regardless, the great ones are as good as any in the world.


It doesn't get any better. From the soil extracted, mineral laden wines of the Mosel and Nahe to the powerful Rhiengaus, no wine, red or white, can match the presence and longevity that the best this country has to offer. Prices are a third of their Burgundian counterparts and offer a third less alcohol. Worth seeking out.


Most of the Chardonnay is grown in the northeast, specifically Trentino, Friuli and the Veneto. They generally tend to offer light, simple quaffing wines for early consumption.

United States

New York and Washington are the definite leaders. Washington gets all the press and sales, but New York has produced some of the finest in the country. They both have long track records

Other Regions

Austria shines here, often making dry wines similar to Alsace and possessing the same power and glory as both Alsace and Germany.