How does Riesling from the Okanagan taste, and how does Okanagan Riesling compare to other great Riesling wines and regions around the world? Kiwi winemaker in Canada, David Paterson from Tantalus winery, shares his thoughts with us from the vineyard in East Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley. Canadian Riesling, especially from British Columbia and Niagara has built a reputation and David compares it to the Riesling wines made in New Zealand, Australia, France and Germany.
Transcript for hearing impaired: Okanagan Riesling compared to other Riesling wine regions
David Paterson: I think the Okanagan is unique. It makes wines you can see a little bit of the Clare Valley or Eden Valley style from Australia, that sort of dry, limey, pithy, kind of style. But it also has a little bit more weight than that. A little bit more oiliness that you might see in the Alsace or the Wachau.
I find New Zealand Riesling is far more built on malic acid content, and usually has a lot more sugar. There are dry Rieslings in New Zealand but some of the best Rieslings in New Zealand have a little more sweetness than what we do here, and they get a little bit more sweetness and botrytis noble rot. So I would say they are closer to what the Germans are doing. But then, I was just at a Riesling rendezvous down in Seattle a couple of months ago and some of the Grosses Gewachs and Erste Gewachs wines from Germany, I would say, are the closest to what we are doing.
We have a German clone, we are making a very dry acid-driven style from very clean grapes, we don’t really see much botrytis here because we are semi-arid, we are almost in a desert. So, the closest place that I can get to is the dry wines out of the Rheingau.