Answers to All Your Riesling Questions

 In CGT Blog

With so many Rieslings in our lineup, you might not be surprised to hear that we consider this crisp, sometimes sweet wine to be our niche and our specialty. Since we pride ourselves on our passion for Riesling, we’ve come to know this complex northern Michigan favorite. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering, “Is Riesling sweet?” or “What is Riesling?” we’re here to help.

Here’s every question you’ve ever wanted to ask about Riesling, answered!

How is Riesling pronounced?

With so many wine words being non-English, it’s easy to feel intimidated. Don’t fear feeling silly with mispronunciation. Repeat after us: REEZ-ling. Still don’t have it? Hear Riesling pronounced.

What is Riesling?

Originally from the Rhine region in southwest Germany, Riesling was the preferred drink of German nobility. While other white wines had to be consumed quickly after being bottled, Riesling could last – and would actually improve – in the bottle for several years. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety used to make white wine all over the world and it’s the 20th most widely planted grape variety in the world. Riesling is highly “terroir-expressive,” meaning that the region in which the grapes were grown greatly impacts the taste of the wine. On the Old Mission Peninsula, our wine is influenced by our terroir – our soil, topography and climate – making Rieslings incredibly unique. It’s even been said that you can taste the profile of the peninsula in every glass.

What do Riesling grapes look like?

Riesling grapes are mostly pale green and yellow with tiny brown specs. Riesling grapes can produce wines that range in color from pale straw to deep yellow.

Is Riesling sweet?

Just like any wine, every Riesling is different. Rieslings range from bone dry to very sweet, depending on several factors – from harvesting time to fermenting process. Riesling grapes are impeccably versatile, balancing acidity and sweetness and landing all along the sweet-to-dry spectrum.

What does Riesling taste like?

That’s a little like asking what breakfast cereal tastes like! Riesling is as variable as the grapes in each bottle – so it varies based on where they were grown, how ripe they were when they were harvested, and so on. Riesling is often described as having flavors of citrus, lemon peel, apple, peach and nectarine. You might also note a smell of honey or fig.

How many calories are in a glass of Riesling?

If you’re counting, there are roughly 118 calories in a glass of Riesling. Compared to 123 calories in a glass of Chardonnay and 105 in a class of Champagne, Riesling is right about in the middle. While we’re big believers in moderation, we say that life is too short to count those calories, and it’s best to just drink great wine.

At Chateau Grand Traverse, we proudly serve you wine that we know intimately from the vine to your glass. We make a wide array of Rieslings, from our versatile Semidry Riesling with notes of pear and honey crisp to our fan-favorite dazzlingly fruity and naturally sweet Late Harvest Riesling. Want to know more about what’s in your wine glass? Stop in to our tasting room on Old Mission Peninsula and learn more with every sip.