Müller Thurgau Weiss, more commonly known as Müller Thurgau, is a green grape from Germany that is rapidly losing ground to more popular and high quality varieties.

Characteristics
Müller-Thurgau is a grape that is produced for quan­ti­ty, not for qual­i­ty. It is ver­sa­tile in the sense that it ac­cepts many kinds of soil. It is how­ever low in aci­di­ty, and the wines are pro­duced for ear­ly con­sump­tion.

It is not as cold resistant as one could expect from a variety that is popular in countries with potentially cold climate.

Typically, Müller-Thurgau comes with sweet peach aromas and fruity flavours.

Wines
Müller-Thurgau has a history of being used for blending in what has been known as cheap and sweet wines from Germany, such as for example Liebfraumilch. Today, winemakers want to modernise the expressions of the grapes into wines that offers an aromatic profile of lemon, apple, pineapple, and some minerality rather than the sweet, slightly musty, traditional style.

Food pairing
A dry varietal Müller-Thurgau wine pairs well with many vegetable dishes, and is an excellent choice for an Asparagus soup. The wine is best served at 8-10°C/46-50°F.

Where is it grown?
In spite of still (in 2010) upholding the position as the second most planted grape in Germany, Müller-Thurgau is a variety in rapid decline. Between 2000 and 2010, it lost more than thirty percent of its planted area world-wide as a result of the changing wine tastes among customers. It now has plantings 22.934 ha/56,670 ac, placing it as the thirty-seventh most planted grape in the world.

  • Germany 13.655 ha/33,742 ac, MPG rank 2, PTPA 13%
  • Hungary 2.098 ha/5,185 ac, MPG rank 9, PTPA 3%
  • Austria 2.044 ha/5,050 ac, MPG rank5, PTPA 4%
  • Czech Republic 1.572 ha/3,884 ac, MPG rank 1, PTPA 10%
  • Italy 1.312 ha/3,243 ha, MPG rank 66, PTPA 0,2%
  • Slovakia 932 ha/2,302 ac, MPG rank 5, PTPA 7%
  • Switzerland 493 ha/1,217 ac, MPG rank 5, PTPA 3%

In Germany, ninety percent are planted in five regions (sorted in order of acreage): Rheinhessen, Baden, Pfalz, Franken and Mosel. The largest decreases are reported from Pfalz and Baden, where the planted area has been more or less halved in ten years.

In Hungary, the grape is present in all regions with most plantings in Matra.

In Austria, you find it in all regions, but some sixty-five percent in Niederösterreich.

In the Czech Republic, almost all planted area is in the Morava region.

In Italy, the only country where the variety is having a positive development, the vast majority of plantings are in the north-eastern Trentino Alto-Adige. It is also from this area that the very best expressions of Müller-Thurgau wines can be found today.

In Slovakia, it is mostly found in the three regions Juznoslovenska, Malokarpatska, and Nitrianska.

In Switzerland, the area around Zürich together with the regions Aargau and Schaffhausen reports the largest plantings.

Furthermore there are reports about Müller-Thurgau being planted in (sorted in order of acreage): Luxembourg, Moldavia, Japan, Russia, New Zealand, Croatia, United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Romania.

History
Müller-Thurgau is a cross between Riesling and a variety called Madeleine Royal (which in turn is a cross between Pinot and Trollinger. It was bred by Dr. Hermann Müller in 1882. The other part is referring to the canton in Switzerland where Müller was born.

There are several synonyms that involve the names Riesling and Sylvaner. This is due to the variety first having been incorrectly thought to have those two varieties as parents. It was actually the result of a mistake made by the Geisenheim Research Insitute. They were supposed to send Silvaner to Müller but by mistake sent Madeleine Royal instead.