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Riesling devotees form fellowship

Published:  23 July, 2008

By Stuart Peskett
Some of the greatest Riesling producers in the world gathered at The German Embassy in London to discuss the grape and how it is affected by its terroir.

The Riesling Fellowship' - a collection of winemakers from Germany, France, Austria and Australia - were present at a tasting and dinner to celebrate those who have championed the grape.

The debate, entitled Does Riesling demonstrate the importance of terroir better than any other white variety?', prompted Klaus-Peter Keller, of Weingut Keller in the Rheinhesse, to say: Riesling is not better when it's more concentrated and the yield is low. What is really important is old vines on a really good site. The plant must find its own balance.' Austrian producer Willi Brndlmeyer of Weingut Brndlmeyer explained that it is difficult to see terroir differences in the first five years, and it takes nearer to 10.

And Jasper Morris MW of Fields, Morris and Verdin, who described Riesling as the only rival to my beloved Pinot Noir', added: I think there is a strong parallel between the two. Both are difficult grapes for the consumer to grasp; both need cool climates; both show the most exceptional rewards when they've been aged for a long time; and they're both based on a structure of acidity.'