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17 August 2005

Professor Müller, from Thurgau

Q:  What do you get when you cross Riesling and Sylvaner?

MullertA:  Ask Dr. Müller from Thurgau

In 1882, Dr. M. of the Swiss canton Thurgau, developed this grape. Unlike many other hybrid crossings (done by both mad & sane scientists), the Müller-Thurgau grape is moderately successful.  It seems however, that there is still some dispute about the actual grape-parentage:

"Dr. Muller's notes indicated the grape was a cross between Riesling and Silvaner. For 70 years, the professor's work was unquestioned.  Not until 1952 did researchers begin to question Muller-Thurgau's parentage.
     In 1994, DNA testing showed that Riesling is the mother plant, but the father was not Silvaner, and as unknown."

Müller-Thurgau is often described as fresh, light, low(ish) acidity, and rather simple.  Schloss Castell of Franconia, Germany produces a straightforward example of this grape.

The Skinny
CastellSchloss Castell '1224' Müller-Thurgau, '02 ($12)

  • From Franconia, Germany (the easternmost wine producing region in Deutschland)
  • Straw yellow in color
  • Scents of green pear, citrus, and herbs
  • Slightly sharp, yet quickly fading in the mouth.  Light-bodied; simple & smooth.  A fairly good warm weather wine

*** (3 stars out of 5)

This wine is fine by itself, and would happily accompany any number of picnic basket goodies.

There is a fair amount of M-T growing in Oregon & near the Puget Sound.  Northern Italy (Trentino, Alto-Adige) also produces M-T


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