Riesling is the world’s seventh most-planted white wine grape variety and among the fastest growing over the past twenty years. It is a personal favorite of many sommeliers, chefs, and other food and wine professionals for its appealing aromatics, finesse, and minerality; for its uncanny ability to reflect terroir; and for its impressive versatility with cuisines of all types. It is stylistically paradoxical, however. Now usually made dry in most of Europe and Australia, and assumed dry by most German consumers, Riesling is made mostly sweet or lightly sweet in North America and is believed sweet in the American marketplace irrespective of origin. Riesling is thus consequently—but mistakenly—shunned by the mainstream of American wine drinkers, whose tastes and habits have been overwhelmingly dry for two generations.
Riesling Rediscovered looks at the present state of dry Riesling across the Northern Hemisphere: where it is grown and made, what models and objectives vintners have in mind, and what parameters of grape growing and winemaking are essential when the goal is a delicious dry wine. John Winthrop Haeger explores the history of Riesling to illuminate how this variety emerged from a crowded field of grape varieties grown widely across northern Europe. Riesling Rediscovered is a comprehensive, current, and accessible overview of what many consider to be the world’s finest and most versatile white wine.
The Riesling Predicament
Riesling Behaviors, Typicity, and Terroirs
A History of Riesling, Reviewed and Amended
Sweet Wines and Dry Wines, Then and Now
How Dry Riesling is Made
What Differences Do Clones Make?
Riesling Habitats in Western Europe
Riesling Habitats in North America
Introduction to Sites and Producers
Danube Basin: Lower Austria
Adige Basin: Alto Adige
Eastern North America
Western North America
John Winthrop Haeger is a sinologist, historian, and academic administrator who has written about wine since 1985 for Connoisseur, Wine & Spirits, Saveur, and other publications. He is the author of North American Pinot Noir (2004) and Pacific Pinot Noir (2008), both published by UC Press.
"What makes the book so encompassing, informative, and relevant is that Haeger has avoided focusing on viticulture or enology or economy in isolation, and has instead looked at all of them in their historic and contemporary scientific and socio-cultural context. . . . Not everyone loves Riesling, but those of us who do will find our passion articulately explained and expressed in Haeger’s book."—Anne Krebiehl, MW The World of Fine Wine
"A thorough, rigorous and quite fascinating analysis of Riesling’s world, focusing on dry Riesling production in the Northern Hemisphere."—The Wine Economist
"With a historian’s clear eye for illuminating detail, Haeger describes how riesling is made. . . . As a go-to book for understanding—and selling riesling to others—Haeger’s language and thorough research skills can’t be beat."—Deborah Grossman Sante Online
"Fills a significant void in contemporary oenological scholarship with its detailed look at the expanding quality and popularity of dry Riesling, the increasing diversity in styles, and the land and people behind these exciting wines."—Lars Carlberg Mosel Wine
"A study that will become a standard work on Riesling. . . . Haegar is a China scholar, and his book on Rielsing combines a scholarly rigor with an evident passion for his subject."—David Marcus The Street
"You stand to learn a great deal."—Joe Roberts 1 Wine Dude
"The definitive book on the varietal currently in print in the English language. . . . Fans of both reading and wine will enjoy Haeger's precise and fluid prose."—James Knight Bohemian
"A fresh, contemporary look at this venerable grape and its wines. . . . A superb reference for a new generation of Riesling lovers."—The Somm Journal
"Haeger takes us on a deep dive through the Northern Hemisphere's most important regions for the grape — from Alsace and the Pfalz to British Columbia and the Finger Lakes of New York State — ending with granular details about specific vineyards. Along the way, riesling lovers and serious wine students will get history, explanations of the winemaking process and color maps."—Michael Austin Chicago Tribune
"The development of dry Riesling was perhaps never presented in such detail and with such a new historic perspective as it is in Haeger’s book." —Stephan Reinhardt, author of The Finest Wines of Germany
"John Winthrop Haeger has captured the essence of Riesling. The author goes against the modern trend that favors sweeter and softer styles, demonstrating that Riesling can be at its best as a dry wine. Riesling wine producers from around the world will applaud this research.”—Olivier Humbrecht MW, Domaine Zind-Humbrecht