Riesling is a white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region of Germany made of an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are usually varietally pure and are seldom oaked and in terms of importance for quality wines, it is usually included in the “top three” white wine varieties together with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
In the late nineteenth century German immigrants brought with them Riesling vines, named Johannisberg Riesling to qualify them as “legitimate” German Riesling. New York, particularly in the Finger Lakes region, was one of the earliest U.S. producers of Riesling. Plantings started to appear in California by 1857 and followed in Washington State in 1871.
The grape is currently on the rise in Washington State but on the decline in neighboring Oregon. Riesling from this area ranges from dry to sweet, and has a crisp lightness that bodes well for easy drinking. Often there will be an easily detectable peach and mineral complex. Some Washington State winemakers, such as Chateau Ste. Michelle, are adapting German-style Riesling production methods, and even partnering with well-known German vintners like Dr. Ernest Loosen to create specialty wines such as the Eroica Riesling. With annual productions of over 600,000 cases a year, Chateau Ste. Michelle is the worldwide leader in the production of Riesling wines by volume.
Summertime is coming and the warm weather is one of many great reasons to enjoy delicious Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling. The noble Riesling grape is unique among all varietals for its unsurpassed versatility. And Chateau Ste. Michelle brings Riesling to a very high level, serving beautifully both as a refreshing sipping wine and as a phenomenal complement to an almost endless range of foods. That’s because this varietal delivers a rush of fresh, yet complex fruit notes balanced by a crisp acidity.
Chateau Ste. Michelle winery was among the first to plant Riesling in Washington state more than 40 years ago, and continues to champion the grape to this day; helping to usher in its recent rise in popularity. Wine connoisseurs around the world are currently enjoying a “Riesling Renaissance” with Chateau Ste. Michelle producing the #1 selling Riesling in America. Riesling is more than just sweet – the varietal offers styles for every meal, with a natural balance of acidity and sugar, lightness of alcohol, and fruit-forward flavors.
Riesling is great as a sipping wine on its own, but its versatility is what makes it the perfect food wine. From tapas and appetizers to fish or poultry, and almost anything in between, Chateau Ste. Michelle has you covered making every meal special. Try it with hearty mains (like dishes with chili-laced sauces and spicy marinades), sides such as roasted root vegetables, or fresh oysters and appetizers of cured meats and cheeses. The choice of Riesling styles makes them capable of bringing out the best in every menu, including the spice and zest of Asian, Mexican, Indian and more.
CHATEAU STE. MICHELLE RIESLING STYLES
– Dry Riesling
The Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling is a crisp, dry and refreshing style of Riesling. It exhibits fresh flavors of white peach and mandarin orange, and ends with a clean f nish. This is an incredibly versatile food wine and my favorite with oysters. – BOB BERTHEAU, WINEMAKER
– Columbia Valley Riesling
“Our Columbia Valley Riesling is a blend of Riesling from throughout Washington’s Columbia Valley. We craft it to be a refreshing, off-dry Riesling vintage after vintage. The wine delivers sweet lime and peach character with subtle mineral notes. This is our “any day Riesling” that is a pleasure to drink and easy to match with a variety of foods.” – BOB BERTHEAU, HEAD WINEMAKER
– Harvest Select Sweet Riesling
“Our Harvest Select Riesling is made in a slightly sweeter style than our ‘Columbia Valley Riesling’ but still shows the elements of classic Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling. It offers beautiful crisp Washington Riesling character with rich flavors of ripe pears and peaches. The fresh fruit punch and richness is balanced with crisp acidity to keep the wine in harmony. This is a perfect patio sipping wine or would be a great match with Thai food.” – BOB BERTHEAU, HEAD WINEMAKER