About This Wine
Fritz's Riesling grows in a very small and special part of Rheinhessen called the Roter Hang, a name meaning “red hill“ due to its red slate soils. The Roter Hang is located between the village of Nackenheim and the village of Nierstein, 20 kilometres south of the city of Mainz. The red colour comes from a high proportion of minerals and iron in the soil. In addition the vineyards are very close to the river Rhine, they face south-east and they have steep slopes. The combination of those four factors - the red slate soil, the proximity to the river, the exposure to the sun and the steepness of the vineyards - are perfect for producing a wine that speaks of this very special winegrowing area. All these factors work to produce wonderful ripeness that result in lovely stone fruit characters of peach and apricot. The cool climate works to retain acidity which lends freshness and the red soils give the wine a spice and aromatic lift. Dry, fresh and full of character.
About German Wines
Germany is the world’s northernmost fine wine producing region and thus requires its vines to endure some of the coldest temperatures. Fortunately, the country’s start variety, Riesling, does well in cooler climates and can survive even these freezing winters.
Germany Riesling is classified by ripeness at harvest which is also used to indicate the wine’s level of residual sugar. Picking earlier means the grapes have less time to ripen and the corresponding wines will be on the drier side; while picking later gives the grapes the opportunity full ripen and produce a lusciously sweet Riesling. The classifications from driest to sweetest: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese and Eiswein (ice wine). While not as common to age white wines outside of Chardonnay, top tier German Rieslings can be aged for decades.
Other notable white grape varieties produced in Germany include Müller-Thurgau (a cross between Riesling and Madelaine Royale in the search for varieties that could withstand the extreme temperatures), Grauburguner (Pinot Gris) and Weissburguner (Pinot Blanc). The cooler German climate leads to earlier harvesting in general and gives German wines a distinctive character of higher acidity.
Historically red wine has always been harder to produce in the German climate. However, Pinot Noir grown in slightly warmer pockets of the country, has been highly successful in recent times. Going by the German name, Spätburgunder, German Pinot Noir can be elegant, structured and have vibrant acidity.