Schwarzriesling, © DWI© DWI

don't let the name mislead you

Schwarzriesling (Pinot Meunier)

In fact, the name of the variety may lead to the assumption that Schwarzriesling (Black Riesling) is a relative of Riesling. Yet, the only thing they have in common is the late ripening and the shape of the grape cluster. Its ancestors can be found in Burgundy.

It is a mutation of Pinot Noir, that already happened centuries ago. The origial German name, "Müllerrebe" (Miller's vine) refers to the vine's hairy leaves and shoot tips, which look as if someone had spilled flour on them. Internationally, the grape variety is also known as "Pinot Meunier".

In Rheinhessen, Schwarzriesling covers 77 hectares, of which 50% are in Wonnegau. It grows well on strong loess-clay soils, which are typical for Rheinhessen. Bud development of Schwarzriesling happens late, which is especially advantageous in years with late frost.

Schwarzriesling can deliver almost all different wine styles. It gives vivid sparkling wines, young and fresh Blanc de Noirs, light and easy drinking reds or full-bodies tannic and spicy red wines, that have a long aging potential. And it can be rather tough to tell the difference between good Schwarzriesling and a good Pinot Noir. They definitely are related. Especially for sparkling wine production, Schwarzriesling is very interesting, as it has a slightly higher acidity than Pinot Noir. Apart from that, Schwarzriesling always adds a little spicyness to the Sparkling wine. 

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