Riesling is a white grape variety from the Rhine region of Germany used to produce a range of wines from dry to sparkling. There is also a rare red-skinned variety, however this is also a white wine grape. Some have suggested that this variety is a mutation of the white Riesling, however many experts disagree. During harvest, the Riesling requires careful handling to avoid crushing or bruising the skin - without this care, broken skins could leak tannin in to the juice, giving the wine a coarse taste and throwing off-balance the range of flavours and aromas. Riesling wines are usually varietal pure and are rarely oaked. Riesling is particularly suited to slate and sandy clay soils. Ripening of the Riesling grape takes place from late September, however on occasions, can be as late as November with harvesting not taking place until January.