Sign up for the Daily Sip

Your daily dose of wine knowledge.
Fun, short emails featuring wines, winemakers, regions, gadgets and more.


Email Address

Müller-Thurgau

Also known as Rivaner, Müller-Thurgau is a hybrid grape varietal that was invented in the Swiss region of Thurgau by botanist Hermann Müller. The grape was created with the intention of producing a variety with the flavor of Riesling but the early ripening of Silvaner. The resulting breed did not attain these qualities, but since Müller-Thurgau grapes can grow in a wide variety of conditions where other grapes cannot, it still became the most popular grape in Germany during the 1970s. Müller-Thurgau became a more economical way to produce white wines with fruity character and low acidity. A devastating frost in 1979, however, proved Riesling’s hardy stems superior to Müller-Thurgau, and its popularity fell. Today, while no longer the most planted crop in Germany, Müller-Thurgau remains significant, making up 20% of Germany’s total acreage. Because it is so easy and economical to grow, wine drinkers associate the grape, perhaps unfairly, with cheap and low quality wine. Thus, the name rarely appears on wine labels. Müller-Thurgau is grown all over Germany, in Italy, particularly Trentino-Alto Adige, and Austria.