(3% of total cultivation area)
Cultivated in Geisenheim in 1882 by Prof. Dr. Müller from Thurgau (Switzerland) and originally thought to be a cross between Riesling and Silvaner, this vine has since genetically been proven to be the result of a cross between the Riesling and the French Madeleine Royale .
It is only since 1970 that this variety has been recognized as a quality vine here in Germany. Yet in 1975 it had advanced already to grape variety number 1 taking until 1990 for the Riesling to conquer the pole position. Today, with an area of 18,000 hectares it still holds 2nd place. Worldwide, 45,000 hectares are cultivated with Germany, Hungary, Austria and Slovakia having the largest growing areas.
Characteristics and requirements:
The Müller-Thurgau is an early ripening, vigorous vine with high yields. Here soil conditions play a more important role than the actual site. A lover of fertile, deep soils, even clay and chalk. Yet drought may cause problems. Fungal disease such as powdery and downy mildew (penospera) or bunch rot (botrytis) and dead-arm (phomopsis) also frost, can also prove a problem. The risks may be reduced by appropriate action with fungicides and good canopy management which also reduce the danger of infection. Wary use of Nitrogen yet higher usage of kali and magnesium will improve results.
Müller-Thurgau produces a quality wine with average must weights of 65°-70° degrees Oechsle.
The wine itself:
Despite being mocked as a mass product, Müller-Thurgau can produce mild, pale yellow wines with a light floral note and a simple , uncomplicated structure.