This summer sees the second ‘Summer of Riesling’ in New Zealand. From 1 December 2012 to 28February 2013, an informal nationwide celebration of the Riesling grape will be conducted by wine producers and the hospitality trade throughout New Zealand with many and varied events designed to see glasses of Riesling wines increasingly enjoyed by greater numbers wine lovers.
The ‘Summer of Riesling’ movement began in 2008 when Paul Grieco of the ‘Terroir’ wine bar in in the East Village of New York City decided to serve only Riesling wines as the glass wine pour throughout summer. The decision lost him some customers, but there was a clear excitement among many of his other clientele, and a number of Paul’s peers joined in the passionate promotion of what they considered to be the most noble of white wine varieties.
The beauty of ‘Summer of Riesling’ is because it is in effect an underground movement, based on the personal interest and passions of those who wish to participate. There is no formal organisation or structure, yet participants just seem to and want to work together. For New Zealand’s first ‘Summer of Riesling’ last year, Angela Clifford of Waipara and Duncan Forsyth of Central Otago were the key figures in getting it off the ground. They brought Paul Grieco, (aka the ‘Summer of Riesling Overlord’) to New Zealand in support. (Click here to read my review of a luncheon with Paul Grieco at St John’s Restaurant and Bar.)
The ‘Summer of Riesling’ has begun, but in reality, will not kick in properly until after Christmas and New Year. There has been considerable activity on social media about coming events. One should regularly visit the website www.summerofriesling.co.nz or be on facebook or twitter to be notified of impending Riesling tastings, dinners and promotions.