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New Zealand’s Summer of Riesling

By December 27, 2011No Comments

As wine lovers, Riesling has a special place as we all know it is one of the truly noble varieties with the ability to show so many diverse faces, develop great complexity and keep longer than most any other white wine. And as wine enthusiasts, we have always promoted Riesling’s virtues, acknowledging that it will soon step up to join the ranks of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon in the popularity these cultivars enjoy world-wide. Now is our chance to take action as New Zealand will experience its first ‘Summer of Riesling’.

‘Summer of Riesling’ is a world-wide movement that promotes the consumption, enjoyment and discussion of Riesling, coinciding with promotion by the wine trade including producers, resellers, restaurants, cafés and wine bars, over the summer months, when the variety comes into its own. It all began in 2008 when Paul Grieco of the ‘Terroir’ Wine Bar in the East Village of New York City fervently encouraged his guests to try Riesling wines. Throughout the entire summer only Riesling was offered by the glass as the white wine pour. Since then, the movement has grown and become international, with Australia beginning its second ‘Summer of Riesling’.

The inaugural New Zealand ‘Summer of Riesling’ begins on 12 January 2012, and already many of this country’s top Riesling producers, restaurants, wine bars and retailers have pledged their support with a variety of promotions planned, including tastings, dinners and related events. The activities will be promoted and supported by social media, and a website has been set up as a foundation. Movement founder Paul Grieco, who is known as the ‘Summer of Riesling Overlord’, will be in New Zealand from Saturday 21 January to aid the cause, his visit culminating in a tasting and multi-media event called ‘Climax’ in the Waipara Valley on Tuesday 24 January.

One should visit www.summerofriesling.co.nz to see a list of the participating establishments, numbering close to 30 to date; it includes the likes of Depot, Glengarry Wines, Golden Dawn, Ancestral, Duke Carvells, Floriditas, Regional Wines, Sweet Mothers Kitchen, Eichardts, Fishbone and Gorilla Bar. The wineries involved number over 40 so far and include Villa Maria, West Brook, Coney Wines, Nga Waka, Craggy Range, Forrest Estate, Framingham, Spy Valley, Te Whare Ra, Black Estate, Greystone, Pegasus Bay, Auburn Wines, Domain Road, Mondillo, Mount Edward, Prophet’s Rock and Valli Vineyards. The lists are sure to grow, as will the number of events.

For further information about ‘Summer of Riesling’ contact the Riesling girl, Angela Clifford on Tel: (0274) 242-871 or email: [email protected] or the Riesling guy, Duncan Forsyth on Tel: (021) 420-788 or email: [email protected]  Also, Twitter: @RieslingNZ and Facebook: NZ-Summer-of-Riesling

I’ll certainly be drinking my fair share of Rieslings this summer…

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