California Riesling

Riesling is an aromatic white grape variety known for its high acidity and flowery aromas that tend to thrive in cooler wine growing regions. It is the main winegrape of Germany but has significant plantings throughout the new and old world wine regions. Riesling is used to make a wide range of wines from dry to sweet and is sometimes used in sparkling wines. The grape is known to greatly express the terroir of where it is grown, but will still maintain the characteristics which identify it. Riesling has been described as flowery, honey-like, and complex, as well as spicy and long lasting or lingering on the palate. Try Riesling with Thai spring rolls, spicy stir-fried chicken, or a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich on crusty country bread.

In California, Riesling is also known by its botanical name or synonym White Riesling. The ice wine, late harvest, and botrytized Rieslings are among the most prized and age-worthy wines in the world.

The acreage of Riesling has grown over the last decade in California to 4,009 acres. Monterey County is by far the leader with 1,651 acres.

 

Top 10 California Counties for Riesling Acreage, 2016

County 2016 Total Acres
Monterey 1,651
Merced 846
Yolo 282
San Joaquin 231
Santa Barbara 228
San Luis Obispo 113
San Benito 105
Sacramento 94
Napa 87
Madera 69
Other 303
STATE TOTAL 4,009

Source: California Agricultural Statistics Service

 

California Riesling Grape Crush Tonnage

Year Tons Crushed
2016 41,275
2015 35,879
2014 36,517
2013 37,833
2012 36,925
2011 27,756
2010 25,751
2009 22,101
2008 15,397
2007 13,880
2006 11,135
2005 12,895
2004 9,224
2003 8,466
2002 7,659
2001 9,074
2000 9,531
1999 7,759
1998 9,946
1997 11,929
1996 13,141
1995 14,484
1994 13,427
1993 17,451
1992 21,221
1991 18,350
1990 20,092

Source: California Agricultural Statistics Service