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)
3,338 ha, 7.2 %
Vineyard area: 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 nobly 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 higher acidity. Dry Welschriesling wines are often very fresh with aromas of green apples and citrus, but recently some winegrowers have also produced complex wines with potential for ageing by keeping them on the fine lees for a long period of time. Prädikatswein made with this grape variety is one of the world’s great sweet wines. Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese both have exotic aromas on the nose and fine notes of honey on the palate. This is held up by a characteristic level of acidity.