The Wine

The New Zealand Riesling Challenge Bottles

Why Riesling?

Riesling is one of the winemakers' favourite grapes, and it is the most flexible grape in the country.

Waipara is perfect Rielsing growing country, and as such Mud House 'The Mound Vineyard' was selected to supply 4 tonnes of 2010 vintage grapes to each competitor.

Riesling is one of the very old grape varieties, with its history traceable back to the Middle Ages. It’s grown widely around the world, and for those who know it well, it can incite the same passion and dedication that others show to Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Known for its age ability and freshness, as well as its versatility, Riesling can be made into a range of wine styles from searingly dry through to the decadently sweet, and even sparkling. Its higher than average acidity and extract gives it a structural backbone that grants it focus, as well as the flesh and body to carry it. Delicately lifted and aromatic as a young wine, it is known typically for its apple, lemon/lime and mineral characters, only to change its stripes significantly as it ages into more waxy, kerosene, biscuit and honeyed characters. Few varieties make such a dramatic transition as they mature.

Due to the diverse range of wine that can be made, our Riesling Challenge wine is graded using the International Riesling Foundation (IRF) scale for sweetness. Each wine is labeled on a continuum from dry to sweet so you'll know what to expect when you crack open a bottle. For more information on the scale please visit:

Few varieties also reflect the vineyard and region as Riesling is capable of doing, showing the mineral of the storey vineyard through to the flesh and body of the loamy vineyard.

Known more as a cooler climate variety, its late bud burst saves it from the early frosts, while its thicker skins can protect it from the late Summer/Autumn rains which can decimate earlier varieties.

Truly a variety for the connoisseur looking for complexity and nuisances, yet freshness and vibrancy combined with age ability.