Riesling was first mentioned in a document on March 13th 1435. It is recognised by its aromatic flavours. Naturally vibrant with a zesty acidity: it is the ideal wine for Asian cuisine.
New Zealand Rieslings do this grape justice by producing some wonderful examples with a variety of flavours. Like in its country of origin, Kiwi winemakers strive to find the perfect balance between residual sugar and acidity in their Riesling.
Riesling wine in New Zealand
Introduced in as early as the 1800s, Riesling saw an influx in plantings from the 1980s, and today has risen to become New Zealand's fourth most planted white varietal. Riesling accounts for 1% of the wine production and 0.1% of the wine exports.
Over 90% of New Zealand Riesling is grown in the cooler South Island.
Riesling thrives on the bright days, cool nights and long, dry autumns found in New Zealand's South Island. A perfect climate for this aromatic and succulent variety, styles found in New Zealand's southerly climes range from bone dry to lushly sweet.
Regional Riesling styles in New Zealand
Stonefruit and spice characters are common in Riesling from sunny Nelson. Lemon, lime and spice notes are found in Riesling from Marlborough.
The cooler North Canterbury and Central Otago regions producing wines with crisp green apples and citrus characters.
On the South tip of the North Island, Wairarapa has hot summers, cool nights and long dry autumns. This allows for a wide range of styles. Vibrant characters of nectarine, citrus and spice and a bright acidity.
New Zealand Riesling and food
The combination of fruit intensity, citrus notes and refreshing acidity complement a wide range of Asian cuisine.
Enjoy the drier styles with salads, Japanese tempura and light seafood or chicken dishes, and the sweeter styles with spicy yet fragrant Asian dishes, such as Thai curry.