Did you know… Riesling’s first mention?

14th March, 2016 by Rupert Millar

The first written reference to Riesling dates back to 13 March 1435 when a Rhenish count placed an order for several cuttings of the variety.


The coat of arms of the counts of Katzenelnbogen

Weißer Heunisch) and another grape that was itself the offspring of a crossing of Traminer and a wild variety.

The earliest written record* comes for the archive of John IV, Count of Katzenelnbogen – an important baron on the Main river near Frankfurt.

On 13 March 1435 his accounts show outgoings of 22 shillings for “seczreben Rießlingen in die wingarten” – “Riesling cuttings for the vineyard”.

The variety is mentioned again in Alsace in 1477 as “Rissling” but it is not until the 16th century that it is documented in its modern spelling.

It appears as “Riesling” in the 1552 edition of the “Kreutterbuch” – “Herb Book” – of German botanist Hieronymus Bock – who is not to be confused with the similarly named Flemish painter of imaginatively nightmarish landscapes, Hieronymus Bosch.


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