Elbling Weiss is a green grape from Germany, once common in central Europe but now quickly losing ground.
The Elbling Weiss grape will give a must that is high in acidity and low in sugar. It is considered to be a low aromatic grape with neutral aromas.
In Germany Elbling Weiss is almost exclusively used for making sparkling wine, such as the Mosel Sekt.
If you want to find a varietal Elbling Weiss wine, you will have to look for one that’s been produced in Luxembourg (where the river Mosel is called Moselle). These wines most commonly are low aromatic and easily comes with a bit of tart. Aromas can include pineapple, apple, pear, almond, grass, and coriander.
As the Moselle area is where the sparkling Crémant de Luxembourg is produced, it can be that you will find Elbling Weiss in them as well.
Due to its high acidity, Elbling Weiss wines will pair excellently with shell-fish or fish dishes. Serve at 8-10°C/46-50°F.
If you are enjoying a Mosel Sekt, serve it as an aperitif at 9-10°C/48-50°F to strike a balance between freshness and allowing the fruity aromas to be noticed. If you want to pair it with food, a mild cheese or a salad with a mild dressing will be nice.
The same temperature, e.g. 9-10°C/48-50°F, is recommended for a Crémant de Luxembourg. Serve as an aperitif or pair it with for example an omelette with smoked salmon.
Where is it grown?
Elbling Weiss is decreasing in Germany but increasing in Luxembourg, where it is the most planted grape variety.
In Germany, Elbling Weiss’ heartland is in the Mosel region (earlier called Mosel-Saar-Ruwer after the region’s three rivers).
The planted area has however decreased with fifty percent between 2000 and 2010 and is now at 556 ha/1,374 ac. Very small plantings are also reported from Saxony and Saale Unstruut in the eastern part of the country.
It might be that the grape’s new heartland will be in Luxembourg where it, with its 370 ha/914 ac, is the most planted grape. The acreage has been doubled in ten years.
There is also a tiny planting in Bas-Rhin in Alsace. An equally small planting in Switzerland in 2000 is no longer included in the reports.
The number of synonyms, one-hundred and forty-six, indicates that Elbling Weiss has been cultivated in many places and most likely is of old age as well. It has been documented in several parts of central Europe for more than six-hundred years.
Genetically it has been shown that one of its parents is Heunisch Weiss (Gouais Blanc). The name of the other parent is not clear and remains to be shown.
The story that Elbling Weiss came to central Europe with the Romans some 2000 years ago up until now lacks solid evidence.