The original vine comes from Champagne where, however, it is not very widely cultivated. In Slovenia, Laski Rizling is the most commonly produced wine, both in its pure form and in blends; it is also very popular in Italy, Austria (known as Welsch-Riesling), and Hungary (Olasz-Rizling). Interestingly enough, the qualifiers "Laski," "Welsch," and "Olasz" have the same meaning in Slovene, German, and Hungarian respectively: "foreign, of Romanic origin." In English, the wine is usually referred to as Italian Riesling to distinguish it from the "real" Riesling, that is, the White Riesling.
Laski Rizling is a very hardy vine, resistant to frost and molds, with a regular and plentiful yield. The young wine is yellowish-green and light (9.5 - 10.5% alcohol), with a pleasant bouquet and characteristic aroma - just slightly reminiscent of Renski Rizling but with a pronounced linden blossom fragrance.
In bad years, the acids are rough. Good vintages age well and produce an aromatic wine with nicely balanced acids and a pleasant bouquet - the late harvest Laski Rizling is particularly worth saving, after two to four years it tends to surprise with its noble bouquet and balanced structure. Laski Rizling remains lively even after protracted aging; late harvests become particularly distinguished after ten years or more and lose nothing in taste or bouquet even after thirty years. In fact, with the possible exception of Renski Rizling, Laski Rizling is probably the best Slovene wine for archiving.
Laski Rizling was so widely cultivated in the years just after World War II that it came to be regarded as the principal wine of Slovenia. Foreign literature would warn traders and buyers that "Slovene Rizling is not to be mistaken for the Rieslings grown in the Rhine valley" - quite unnecessarily since Laski Rizling is always labeled so and can not be mistaken for the Renski Rizling also grown in Slovenia. Its popularity and high production helped Slovene vignerons develop a high level of expertise regarding Laski Rizling: choice of sites, perfect training and pruning, and the most suitable types of vinification; consequently, despite its humble origins Laski Rizling now ranks among the best Slovene wines.
Due to its high resistance to frost and molds, Laski Rizling grapes are perfect for late harvest, suhi jagodni izbor, and ledeno vino wines.
Laski Rizling is well established in all of Slovenia's winegrowing regions. Wines from Brda and the Vipava Valley in Primorje tend to be dry and fresh; Laski Rizling from Podravje region is richer and more aromatic - the Maribor, Radgona-Kapela, and Ljutomer-Ormoz areas are the leading producers in this region; the Posavje region generally produces a light, gentle wine, although aromatic late harvests and even ice wines can also be found here. Laski Rizling is a frequent companion to other wines in the blended wines of all Slovene winegrowing regions.
Laski Rizling should be served at 10 °C (50 °F) and is a perfect accompaniment for quality salt-water fish such as golden bream and red mullet; for freshwater fish such as salmon and trout; for oysters, fish risotto, and fish stew (brodetto); and for roast goose, duck, or turkey.