Craggy Range 2008 Te Muna Road riesling

A short note today on a riesling from New Zealand. Riesling has many guises from the deliciously slatey, fruity Germans of the Mosel, bone dry yet aromatic Alsatians to the limey Australian rieslings that come from the Clare and Eden Valley. There is a riesling for everyone, no matter what your preference. And now, New Zealand has joined the club of premium riesling producers.

Riesling does very well in the cool climate and and stoney soils of  Martinborough and Marlborough, New Zealand. Craggy Range has produced a real cracker of  a Riesling from their Single Estate Te Muna Road vineyards in the Martinborough region. The grapes come from 2 small terraces that are part of the famous Martinborough Terrace which has exceptional, old stony soils.   The grapes are handpicked, whole bunch pressed and go through cool fermentation before being left on the lees for 4 months. This gives the wine a complexity and body that is a hallmark of Craggy Range. I find that New Zealand rieslings seem to combine the aromatic quality of Alsace with the fruitiness of a german riesling while still retaining it’s dry character. There can be some residual sugar but I find that there is no where near as much as can be found in many German rieslings, especially those that have a few  years of age.

I often find that New World rieslings go very well with Indian cuisine. I was at Mint Leaf Lounge for a dinner and  The Craggy Range Te Muna Road riesling was served with a curry, potato and mullet dish with a mustard sauce. The riesling had a vibrant, floral citrus nose, a well balanced wine with lovely passionfruit and citrus notes, it had a depth and elegance that made it a true pleasure to drink. I enjoyed  it on its own as well a with the fish, the wine neither being overpowered or overpowering the fish.

Craggy Range’s riesling is a fine example of what New Zealand is doing with this often misunderstood and misrepresented grape. Try it, you won’t regret it.


  1. Thank you for sharing that. NZ Riesling has to be tried soon, methinks…

    • Hi Torsten,
      It would be interesting to do a comparison of NZ and German rieslings. I think you’d really enjoy the NZ wines!

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