Die category winners of Best of Riesling 2020
Best of Riesling 2020: The best Rieslings of the year present themselves (digital)
The best Rieslings of the year were presented today in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse (Germany). The world's largest international Riesling competition honored the best in a virtual awards ceremony. This year, a total of 2,017 wines from all the great and important Riesling growing regions of the world were tasted and evaluated.
Rieslings from the Mittelrhein region were the winners of this year's Best of Riesling competition. A total of 5 wines are among the first-placed, all from the famous steep slope Bopparder Hamm, which is divided into the individual single vineyards Engelstein, Feuerlay and Mandelstein. The two wineries Matthias Müller and Weingart from Spay, which have been successful with Best of Riesling in previous years, will be complemented this year by the up-and-coming Didinger winery from Osterspai.
Among the first-place winners are well-known names such as Weingut A. Christmann and Philipp Kuhn (both in the Palatinate), Weingut Künstler (Rheingau) or Weingut am Stein (Franconia). But also many up-and-coming wineries such as the Eymann and Johann F. Ohler wineries (both in the Palatinate) or the Didinger winery (Mittelrhein) are among the winners.
The most successful growing regions are the Palatinate with a total of 399 awards, followed by Rheinhessen (287) and the Mosel (269).
Internationally, Rieslings from Austria (43), Alsace (30), Luxembourg (11), but also the Czech Republic, Australia and Italy scored well.
Special prizes in the competition were awarded to the Horst Sauer winery (Best Steep-Slope Riesling Dry), the Cave Vinicole de Hunawihr (Best European Riesling Dry) and the Cleebronn-Güglingen cooperative (Best Riesling Dry in Food Retail).
"The vintages tasted show that the new 2019 vintage has great potential. 11 of the total 27 first-placed Rieslings come from the 2019 vintage, and 2018 is where the wheat separates from the chaff: the great Rieslings from 2018 now show that even in a vintage with a larger harvrest, real top qualities are produced," says Christian Wolf, tasting director Best of Riesling, summing up his impressions.
There was also no need to forego an award ceremony this year. This took place virtually under the moderation of tasting director Christian Wolf and Weinwelt editor-in-chief Ilka Lindemann. Even the patron of the competition, Rhineland-Palatinate's Minister of Viticulture, Dr. Volker Wissing, did not miss the opportunity to send his congratulations to the winners in the form of a video message.
After a varied online awards ceremony, at which all the winegrowers placed on the winners' podium were personally present, they were able to meet in the "virtual Vinicombe" of the Meininger Verlag for the traditional exchange among colleagues, although this year without the opportunity to taste the winning wines of their colleagues critically.
The fact that the competition could take place at all in times of a global pandemic is due to a well-thought-out hygiene concept. This year as well, the most important German grape variety, the Riesling, could be offered a worthy platform.
On a total of 12 tasting days, the Rieslings entered for the competition were intensively tasted, evaluated and the best were awarded one of the coveted prizes. The wines were blindly tasted by a jury of experts who were very familiar with the diversity of Riesling.
"It was a great challenge for us this year to conduct Best of Riesling: On the one hand, we have taken appropriate hygiene measures to protect the health of our tasters and employees. On the other hand, we have managed to provide a professional environment for the wines in competition and for our tasters. We are delighted to finally present the winners today and to be able to make our recommendations of the best Rieslings of the year," Christian Wolf concludes.
Meininger's Weinwelt presents the first places and the best 123 Rieslings in its July issue. All award-winning Rieslings can now be found on the following pages.