A look at the statistics shows the importance of Riesling for German viticulture. Just under a quarter of the cultivated area is planted with Riesling, nowhere else in the world is more of it grown. Romania follows in second place by a wide margin, with the USA in third place ahead of France.
The leading German grape variety was first documented in writing in the 15th century, but was probably already planted on the Rhine by the Romans. Since then it has shaped German viticulture, experienced glory and glamour, was traded with the most expensive wines in the world, experienced the dramatic fall into sweetish-cheap banality and in recent decades has returned to the circle of great wines. Riesling masters all varieties from noble sweet to "bone dry" and tastes young as well as long matured. It also offers an aromatic and stylistic diversity that always reflects its origin. This wealth of styles and flavours makes Riesling a universal food companion - if you understand what it has to offer.
Since 2017, Stefanie Hehn has been the head sommelier at Hamburg's luxury hotel The Fontenay, where she is responsible for the entire wine concept - from the starred Lakeside restaurant with chef Julian Stowasser to the Fontenay Bar. More than 400 wines are on her wine list, an international selection with accents on Germany and France. Stefanie Hehn was the second woman from Germany to pass the Master Sommelier exam in November 2020.