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World's Best Riesling Wine Regions

Here, a guide to the world's best Riesling wine regions from Germany to California, plus the wineries, bottles and winemakers you need to know.

Germany

Cult Favorite: Egon Müller

The fruit for the Müller family's best Rieslings comes from the Mosel's prized, slate-soiled Scharzhofberg vineyard.

Go-to Producer: Selbach-Oster

Johannes Selbach's stellar wines range from the easy-to-find Fish Label to the elusive Selbach-Oster eiswein.

Up-and-Comer: Eva Fricke

Formerly the vineyard manager for Riesling expert Johannes Leitz, Eva Fricke is making a name for herself with fiercely dry wines.

Austria

Cult Favorite: Weingut Knoll

A sommelier favorite, Emmerich Knoll is a legend in the Wachau for rich wines that can age seemingly forever.

Go-to Producer: Schloss Gobelsburg

Michael Moosbrugger is preserving the low-tech winemaking practices of this 12th-century monastery.

Up-and-Comer: Veyder-Malberg

Peter Veyder-Malberg's spicy, dry Rieslings come from extraordinarily steep, rocky, terraced vineyards in the Wachau.

Alsace, France

Cult Favorite: Domaine Zind-Humbrecht

Olivier Humbrecht, a champion of biodynamics, focuses on grand cru and single-vineyard wines.

Go-to Producer: Trimbach

The 13th generation of the Trimbach family continues the tradition of value at every price, down to its basic Riesling ($25).

Up-and-Comer: Mittnacht Frères

Sommelier Daniel Johnnes imports this biodynamic producer's supremely austere and focused wines.

Australia

Cult Favorite: Grosset

Its Polish Hill Riesling is one of Australia's most sought-after wines for its mineral intensity and concentrated fragrance.

Go-to Producer: Penfolds

Winemaker Peter Gago's Rieslings—the limey, mouth-filling Bin 51 ($40) and Thomas Hyland ($14)—rival his popular Shiraz.

Up-and-Comer: Some Young Punks

Its comic-book label and name ("Monsters, Monsters, Attack!") belie the Riesling's serious deliciousness.

Washington State

Cult Favorite: Poet's Leap

Armin Diel brings the experience of nine generations of winemakers from Germany's Schlossgut Diel to this project.

Go-to Producer: Chateau Ste. Michelle

Washington's largest producer has access to terrific fruit from across the state, which shows in its wines.

Up-and-Comer: Efeste

Its juicy, tangerine-scented Riesling, sourced from the cool- climate Evergreen Vineyard, may well be Efeste's best wine.

Finger Lakes, New York

Cult Favorite: Hermann J. Wiemer

Wiemer produces some of the best Riesling in the US, using German clones grafted onto American rootstock.

Go-to Producer: Dr. Konstantin Frank

The Frank family has been growing grapes in the Finger Lakes for three generations—an amazing legacy in the US.

Up-and-Comer: Heart & Hands

Husband-and-wife team Tom and Susan Higgins produce tiny amounts of exceptional Riesling and Pinot Noir.

California

Cult Favorite: Smith-Madrone

Brothers Charles and Stuart Smith have been making beautiful Riesling from a six-acre plot in Napa Valley for 40 years.

Go-to Producer: Navarro

The cool, long season in Mendocino lets grapes ripen slowly and evenly, resulting in wonderful notes of spice and ripe fruit.

Up-and-Comer: Tatomer

A protégé of Austria's Emmerich Knoll, Graham Tatomer emulates Knoll's intense style in his own Santa Barbara Rieslings.

Published October 2013
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