Germany Rakes It In At Canberra Riesling Challenge


It was a good October for Rheingau.
This past month German winemakers from Rheingau lived up to their billing at the 2014 International Riesling Challenge (IRC) this past month in Canberra, Australia, winning two trophies and several gold medals for their submissions.
A panel of seven judges and three associate judges tasted 500 rieslings at the yearly competition, including a total of 37 German wines.
Rheingau's Winery Leitz won the trophy for best European riesling with their  2013 Berg Roseneck Spätlese. The family-owned winery took to the vines in 1744. The winery was decimated after a World War II bombing raid. Current owner Johannes Leitz took over the operation in 1985. The winery built a new cellar in 2010, then completed an extension to the cellar in 2013.
The winery's planted vineyards have grown from 2.6 hectares in 1985 to 43 hectares in 2013.
Fellow German winery Georg Müller Stiftung's 2009 Hattenheimer Schützenhaus Beerenauslese won the Best Museum Riesling Trophy (aged).
The Rheingau winery is located in Hattenheim,a community dating back to 954 AD. Georg Müller donated the wine estate in 1913 to Hattenheim with the stipulation that profits from the winery be used for those in need within the community. Peter Winter took the helm of the winery in 2003, with the intention, according to the estate's website, “to set the highest standards of quality in terms of growing and caring for the vines and producing the wine.” The estate covers about 12 hectares.
Gold medal winners from Germany included  Rheingau's Georg Müller Stiftung, Schloss Johannisberg, Prinz von Hessen and Kloster Eberbach and Pfalz's Winery Michael Bender.
Chairman of Judges John Belsham lauded the competition's entries in a recent press release by the IRC.
“Riesling when in the correct hands delivers the most diverse range of premium white wine of any other white varietal. Deliciously dry to intoxicatingly sweet she can be flirtatious and beautiful when young, complex and engaging when aged,” he said. “This year's competition has once again verified Riesling as the undisputed 'Princess Chameleon' of white wines”
New Zealand's Waipara Valley winery Mud House's 2013 Mud House Estate The Mound Vineyard was voted the top riesling at the competition, earning itself the Canberra International Riesling Challenge Trophy.
“Lovely citrus, with a touch of ginger and spring floral flavours,” Mud House's website says of the 2013 riesling. “Fresh and light on the finish.”
Photo Credit: Georg Müller Stiftung

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