Welschriesling

A picture shows grapes of the grape variety Welschriesling
© AWMB / Oberleitner

Origin: Northern Italy (Riesling italico)

Parentage: Unknown – Elbling is the most closely related variety. Welschriesling is not related to the Weißer Riesling variety

Vineyard area: 3,597 ha, 7,8 %

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

Importance, conditions: The wines are very good for the production of sparkling wine, but they are also excellent for Prädikat wine as well. The quality range is very extensive. In the vineyard, Welschriesling needs early-warming sites and soils with an ample magnesium supply. The vine is very sensitive to dryness – too much can result in a lack of 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.