Origin: Northern Italy (Riesling italico)
Parentage: Unknown – Elbling is the most closely related variety. Welschriesling is not related to Weisser Riesling.
Vineyard area: 3,338 ha, 7.2 %
The versatile Welschriesling can cover almost all quality levels: from base wine for neutral, acidity-accented sparking wines (the grapes come mostly from the area around Poysdorf in the Weinviertel) to easy-drinking Buschenschank (tavern) wines from the Steiermark, to the noble sweet TBA wines from Burgenland, especially from the Seewinkel. The vineyard area planted with this grape decreased slightly between 1999 and 2009.
Important ampelographic features
Leaf: with three to five lobes, smooth, serrated with sharp teeth
Grape cluster: medium length, very dense berries, conical, shouldered, with medium-large wings; round berries with thin skins; spotted; very juicy; yellowish-green colour
Ripening time: Late
Significance, conditions: These grapes are very good for production of sparkling wine, but also excellent for Prädikatwein. The range of quality is very wide. In the vineyards, Welschriesling requires early-warming sites and soils with an ample supply of magnesium. The vine is very sensitive to any lack of moisture – too little can cause inadequate shoot development.
Wine: Yields wines with generous acidity and a fruity bouquet exuding notes of green apple and lemon. While dry Welschrieslings can be very fresh culinary companions, the Prädikat versions are amongst the truly great sweet wines of the world. Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese styles have a golden-yellow hue, the bouquet wafts with exotic fruit and the palate delivers a fine honey note along with the characteristic acidity.