Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.


Published:  23 July, 2008

By Josie Butchart

Kerosene aromas in New Zealand Riesling should be avoided at all costs, said John Hancock, winemaker at Trinity Hill in Hawkes Bay, speaking at a seminar dedicated to Riesling during the annual New Zealand trade tasting in London last week. Hancock said that he has always been anti kerosene characters' in Riesling and advocated earlier picking to avoid fatness in the grapes that develops in an ugly way'. The trend in New Zealand winemaking is to move away from the kerosene characters,' said Hancock, adding that some German producers don't want it either'. Mosel producer Ernst Loosen told Harpers: People often wrongly talk about kerosene or petrol aromas when they mean developed, mushroom' aromas. When it becomes gasoline' then it is undesirable, but it is not something you can avoid through winemaking or early picking - it's down to growing conditions. In hot regions with short growing seasons you see petrol aromas more frequently and after less time in bottle.' Loosen added that some warmer regions such as Wachau in Austria manage to avoid petrol or kerosene aromas even after a long period in bottle because the ripening period is exceptionally long and nights are cold, allowing the vines to ripen slowly. Villa Maria European wine manager Warren Adamson said: The priority for New Zealand winemakers is to make wines that exhibit fresh primary fruit aromas. We don't actually know what causes the kerosene character to develop in wines but it does seem to be delayed by screwcap closures'.