The Riesling grape is not only a manual challenge for the wine-grower, but also a multifaceted varietal that repeatedly delivers surprising new variations and nuances thanks to its unique combination of acidity and extract. The strength of Johannisberger Rieslings lies in the encounter of fine nuances with a wealth of aromas and flavors, from spicy herbs to citrus fruits to sweet, yellow fruits. In addition, there is a great play of pronounced acidity and elegant, site-specific mineral notes. Rieslings from the Johannisberg palace cellar are authentic. They are vinified in a diversity of styles, ranging from dry to lusciously sweet, and even with their low alcohol content, they are rich in exquisite flavors, elegance and refined aromas. Yet Rieslings only reveal their diverse range of nuances to those who go beyond the first sip. ?Johannisberger Rieslings are meant to be enjoyed, but to fully savor them, it’s worth taking a closer look at their structural and mineral finesse as well as the harmonious interplay of their fruit aromas. They need time for their true magnitude and unique elegance to develop. To discover the spectrum of flavors and differences among the Rieslings of Schloss Johannisberg is one of the most exciting challenges the Rheingau has to offer. Johannisberg Rieslings are not short-lived, trendy wines. They are legendary wines with a refreshing diversity long appreciated by wine enthusiasts.
The true origins of Riesling remain a mystery. Some believe it is a varietal mentioned long ago by the Roman writer Plinius, others feel King Louis the German (843–876) was the first to have had the grape planted in the Rhine Valley. Other experts suspect that Riesling is a mutation of a wild vine of Germanic origin. In a viticultural dictionary from 1930, Riesling is briefly defined: “Origin: Germany. Probably a seedling from the Rheingau.” Trendsetter for the advance of Riesling in the Rheingau was the wine estate at Johannisberg. In 1720, some 294,000 Riesling vines were planted in the vineyards of the old Benedictine abbey. This was such a novelty that cellarmaster Odo Staab made note of it: “In the entire Rheingau, only the grape variety ‘Rüssling’ can be planted for the production of wine.” In 1775, the benefits of a “Spätlese” (late harvest) were first recognized at the Johannisberg mo nastery. The year marked the beginning of a deliberately scheduled late harvest of botrytized grapes that yield the lusciously sweet Rieslings that led to the grape’s fame and image throughout Europe. They graced the tables of every royal house, from kings to emperors to czars. Together with the great white and red Pinots of Burgundy and red wines of Bordeaux, Riesling was part of the quartet of the most famous and most expensive wines at the start of the 20th century. To this day, in many wine-growing regions of the New World, the name “Johannis-berger” is synonymous with Riesling.