Like most of the great grape varieties riesling is adaptable. Just consider the climatic difference between Germany, Austria and Alsace - its ancestral homes - and the Clare Valley, the Eden Valley and Mount Barker in Western Australia - it's three prime spots in Australia. Despite the huge differences in climate it retains its innate characteristics. Riesling is an ancient variety that dates back to medieval times when the pure, clean flavour and longevity were already highly regarded.
Like most vines that have survived the test of time it is tough. It is resistant to extremes of heat and cold and is not too susceptible to disease. Good quality Australian riesling is generally whole bunch pressed with every attention given to the gentle handling of the juice. It is fermented in stainless steel, taken off lees and put into bottle as quickly as possible. Made in this way it displays the lemon/lime, floral and minerally sides of its personality.
Riesling is arguably Australians greatest white wine in the cellar. Good examples can easily handle a twenty-year stint developing a delicious toastiness while still retaining a nervy structure.
Where food is concerned riesling is a versatile white and can happily go with sashimi or a fresh whiting fillet. Its pristine, pure flavours tend to prefer similar characteristics in the food it is served with.