Oswego Hills Wines

Vineyard Wines


Riesling is one of the true "noble grapes of the world. Its ancestry traces back to Germany, where it has been cultivated since the 1400s or possibly even earlier. Riesling styles range from bone dry and crisp to complex, concentrated nectars produced from Botrytis-affected, shriveled berries hand picked late in the growing season. Due to both cellar longevity and its ability to maintain varietal identity through aging while still reflecting the individuality of its terroir, has made Riesling perhaps the best of all white wine grapes. Riesling is often times referred to by the names White, Rhine and Johannesburg. Distant relatives of Riesling include Sylvaner and Muller-Thurgau. There are currently more than 60 different clone varietals planted in Germany, Alsace, Oregon, California, Washington, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, Yugoslavia, and Italy. To this day, the finest Rieslings in the world are produced along the Mosel River of Germany.

Riesling vines are hardy in nature and tolerant to cold weather climates. They tend to bud late, produce a small berry with greenish-yellow skins, and moderately vigorous yields of 3-6 tons per acre. As a result of late ripening, Riesling is susceptible to rot and mold if rain and humidity set in too early. During special vintages, dry conditions may follow a single day of wet. Riesling grapes left on the vine beyond ripeness can develop Edelfaule (Nobel Rot). The product of this is an ugly, non-toxic, shriveled grape covered in a mold known as Botrytis. These grapes are dehydrated and concentrated with sugars which in turn are hand picked and made into the most expensive dessert wines in the world with prices going at several hundred dollars for a single 375ml split. The German nomenclatures for these wines are quite interesting and ascend in order of sugar concentration and picking dates.

  • Spatlese – (late harvest)
  • Auslese – (selectively picked late harvest)
  • Beerenauslese – (selectively picked late harvest individual berries)
  • Trockenbeerenauslese – (only the most affected individual late harvest berries)
  • Trockenbeerenauslese Eiswein – (premium late harvest berries individually picked after the first fall/winter freeze)
  • Trockenbeerenauslese Eiswein Christwein – (premium berries individually picked after the first freeze after Christmas)

The Germans just keep adding words to the name and the wine price keeps going up. The longer named wines may be produced only once every several years and in extremely limited quantities. These wines have not only incredibly intense and concentrated flavors, but also a remarkable lifespan. Riesling has a powerful and distinctive aromatic profile of floral, apple, peach and sometimes petroleum aromas. Mineral elements and higher acids balance out sugar levels to create smooth palate pleasing wines.

Oswego Hills Riesling:

Our grapes are sourced from the Goose Ridge Vineyards of Benton City, Washington. Hillside microclimates, plenty of sun exposure and low winds produce our quality Riesling grapes. As discussed above, Riesling styles are very specific to their terroir. Our wine is noted for stone fruit aromatics and a racy mineral component with perfect balance between acid and residual sugar. The wine is dry, full-bodied and has a luscious round mouth feel similar to Alsatian Riesling's. Apple and peach flavors complement food matches including Prosciutto and melon, seafood, lemongrass, and just about any food ranging from savory to spicy. As with most foods, spices & sauce should be factors that determine the food match rather than the color of the meat. Our Riesling will not let you down with any of these pairings.

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Oswego Hills Wine Store