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Monique Lubiana
 
24 November 2022 | Monique Lubiana

Stefano Lubiana Riesling taking it to the next level

Steve fell in love with Rieslings during his travels post winemaking degree in 1985.  On route to Europe via Asia Steve met, Reiner, a gentle German giant.  Their Asian leg came to an end with Reiner traveling back to Germany and Steve taking up his internship in France.   After vintage Steve made his way to Reiner’s hometown of Zell a hamlet of Moselle located in Germany’s Rhine Valley.  Reiner, a man with a very generous soul took the time to show Steve the very top producers of Riesling throughout the valley.  An experience Steve has never forgotten to this day.  This is where the inspiration came from for the planting of Riesling at our Granton Vineyard.

Riesling comes in many styles, it can be sparkling, dry, off-dry, sweet, and sometimes it’s left on the vine to decay and transformed into what Australian’s call stickies the formal name being Noble rot wines.

In the past, we have made a slightly effervescent Riesling but generally, our preferred style is off-dry.  Depending on the year the residual sugar can range from 12 to 6 grams.

Residual sugar happens when we stop the wine fermenting with a sulphur addition before the wine reaches dryness.  The reason residual sugar is retained is to balance out high acid.

Riesling is naturally high in acid and even higher when grown in a cool climate like Tasmania.  In the past, we have left a higher residual sugar in the wine so that the wine is more balanced earlier in the wine’s drinking window. 

Recently we expanded our winemaking repertoire to include barrel-fermented and oak maturing of our Riesling.  This tool is used for the same reason the residual sugar element is used.  Fermenting Riesling in oak and maturing in oak softens its shape taking off the angle edges.  Less residual sugar is needed to balance the wine and the wine is more approachable earlier.

Austrian oak use is this wine’s point of difference and it creates wines that have middle body and texture without sacrificing the beautiful explosive aromas of orange blossom, musk, and chalky talcs.  In the past, we have aged Riesling in our cellar for a year or more to temper the racy, high-tingly acids.  The other benefit of employing tightly grained oak is it adds some very soft tannins to the finish of the wine and this marries well with creamy dishes or oily fish and crustaceans and the many choices of soft hand-crafted cheeses.  

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