The enigma of Riesling’s sour grapes

Despite the passionate call for a return to the serious grape of the past, new Rieslings are all about humour and informality

Harvesting riesling grapes on the hillside of the Mosel river, a tributary of the Rhine. Picture: Getty

For well over 20 years now, wine lovers have been watching with increasing frequency the peculiar phenomenon of a very passionate, very articulate and sometimes almost cult-like form of hype longing for the return of a particular grape. That grape is Riesling.

This movement is deeply bizarre, with waves of books and articles calling for a Riesling Renaissance essentially suggesting that there was a moment of wine perfection in the past, a lost Eden that ...