Welschriesling probably origins from northern Italy, where it is known as the Riesling Italico. The closest relative is Elbling. The variety is also cultivated in Hungary (Olasz Rizling), Slovenia (Laski Riesling) and Croatia (Graševina).


probably Northern Italy (Riesling italico)



Vineyard area

2,882.40 ha; 6.4%


Unknown. Elbling is the most closely related variety. Welschriesling is not related to Weisser Riesling

Vineyard area

The versatile Welschriesling can produce almost all quality levels. Grapes from the Poysdorf area in the Weinviertel are commonly used in base wines for neutral, more acidic styles of Sekt, while this variety also produces easy-drinking Buschenschank tavern wines in Steiermark and nobly sweet Trockenbeerenauslese wines in Burgenland, particularly around the Seewinkel area. The variety’s total area under vine decreased significantly between 1999 and 2020.

A picture shows grapes of the grape variety Welschriesling.
© Austrian Wine / Oberleithner

Important ampelographic features


three to five lobes, smooth leaf with sharply serrated edges

Grape cluster

medium-sized, very densely berried, cylindrical, shouldered, with medium-large secondary clusters; berries have thin skins, are round, spotted, very juicy and yellowish-green in colour



very early
early to middle
middle to late
very late

Significance & conditions

These grapes are very good for producing Sekt, and can also deliver some outstanding Prädikatswein. The range of quality is very wide. To thrive, Welschriesling requires early-warming vineyards and soils with an ample supply of magnesium. The vines are very sensitive to dryness – too little moisture can cause inadequate shoot development.

Area under vine in Austria
(as a proportion of the variety’s total area)

Click on the wine origin in the list for a breakdown into more specific regions of origin.

Total area in Austria:

A picture shows a hand holding a glass of white wine.
© Austrian Wine / Blickwerk Fotografie

Characteristics of the wine

Yields wines with a higher acidity. Dry Welschriesling wines are often very fresh with aromas of green apples and citrus. However, winegrowers have recently begun producing complex wines with good ageing potential by maturing them on the lees for a longer period of time. Prädikatswein made with this grape variety are considered to be some of the world’s greatest sweet wines. Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese both have exotic aromas in their bouquet and delicate notes of honey on the palate, underpinned by a characteristic level of acidity.

Source varietal specifications: Höhere Bundeslehranstalt und Bundesamt für Wein- und Obstbau (Federal College and Federal Office for Viticulture, Oenology and Fruit Growing) in Klosterneuburg, “Austria’s Qualitätswein grape varieties and their clones“ („Österreichische Qualitätsweinrebsorten und deren Klone“), 2nd, reviewed edition, September 2015

Source area under vine: Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism according to IACS (as at 31 May 2022)


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