This white variety grows across central and eastern Europe, notably Italy, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary. It can create wines that vary from sweet botrytised wines to fresh dry whites, and can provide aromas of green apples and lemons. Confusingly, it has nothing to do with the Austrian Riesling.
The vine of Welschriesling is highly productive, and ripens and buds late in the season. While it prefers warm and dry climates, it is also resistant to the cold. The grapes manage to retain acidity well, especially when grown in lower, controlled yields.
As of 2000, Italy was growing 2,030 hectares of Welshriesling, mainly in Lombardia in the northwest, and Austria had dedicated some 7.8 per cent of its vineyards to the vine – 3,597 hectares, double the planted area of Riesling – half of which was planted in Burgenland. It is the most commonly planted vine in Croatia and prominent in Slovenia as well as other neighbouring countries.