Rieslingfreak Grapes

If Chardonnay is Queen then Riesling is the Princess

Rieslingfreak Grapes

I love a dry crisp Australian style Riesling, especially as the days get longer and warmer.

I love the purity of the varietal expression and how this style has the ability to capture the regionality of where the fruit was grown. To be a master winemaker of this style requires an special kind of obsession. It is all about what the vineyard has grown and the winemaker needs to protect this and allow it to shine.

There is no wine-making wizardry such as skin contact, oak, malolactic or yeast stirring to mitigate or mask any mistakes, flaws or imperfection. It is about purity and everything in the process needs to be perfect. The picking decision, the night time temperature ,the delivery to the winery, the urgent separation of the skins from the juice, the yeast selection, the rate of fermentation, the nutritive status of the ferment and every step of the winemaking process requires German precision. No wonder Germany is also home to amazing Riesling albeit they are a different style and tend to be sweeter.
It is simple but so multifaceted and complex at the same time.

Making this dry crisp Australian style needs for the winemaker ego to be put on silent. John from Rieslingfreak is one of the most humble winemakers I know.

John (Hughes) started Rieslingfreak in 2009. The brand name coming from his university nickname "Rieslingfreak" because of his love of the variety...
So quintessential Australian.

He and Belinda now make a myriad of Riesling styles and their tasting room is a great place to discover the many personalities and expression of the Riesling grape. No 3 Clare Valley Riesling was the original made from the family vineyard. There is a richness flavoursome tropical density to Riesling from Clare that is a counterpoint to Eden Valleys arrow linearity. Rieslingfreak No 4 Eden Valley Riesling is just as tasty and trying both wines side by side is an excellent way to experience the regional differences, with both expressions being equally delicious.

2021/2022 growing season was ideal for producing Riesling grapes suited to this dry varietal expressive style. The Rieslingfreak website claims 2022 Vintage to be a "vintage of elegance, refinement and purity". All the South Australian Rieslings I have tried from the 2022 vintage have something special.

Put some Rieslingfreak No 3 Clare Valley Riesling in the fridge to have on hand during Summer it really is delicious.

At Christmas (or anytime during summer) serve both No 3 & No 4 with seafood and enjoy the ensuing conversations and debate as everyone discusses the differences and merit of each wine. FUN!

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Visit Rieslingfreak in their current home in Tanunda, Barossa Valley South Australia.

The experience at the Rieslingfreak Tasting room is memorable, educational and delicious. If you can’t get there in person, grab a bottle from the range. I am recommending No 3 but the one you love might have a different number.

We wish John & Belinda every success as they create a new home for Rieslingfreak at Rowland Flat Barossa Valley.

Congratulations to John on becoming a Baron of the Barossa!