Come All Ye Riesling Faithful
I don’t do a lot of PSAs, but this is an event that should be of interest to some folks. Stephen Bitterolf of New York’s Crush Wine & Spirits is organizing a big Riesling bash for mid-February—a weekend bacchanal devoted to Riesling and modeled after the Paulée de New York. For the debut edition of Rieslingfeier (“Riesling Celebration”), Bitterolf has put together an impressive lineup of winemakers. Katharina Prüm of J.J. Prüm, Klaus Peter Keller and Julia Keller of Weingut Keller, Dorothee Zilliken of Forstmeister Geltz Zilliken, Thomas Haag of Schloss Lieser, Florian Lauer of Weingut Peter Lauer, and Andreas Adam of A.J. Adam are all traveling to New York to take part. So, too, is friend-of-this-site David Schildknecht, who covers Germany for the Wine Advocate.
The weekend will kick off on Friday February 15th with a dinner at Eleven Madison Park featuring Prüm and Keller. On Saturday afternoon, four of the producers—Adam, Lauer, Haag, and Zilliken—will join Schildknecht for a seminar on diversity in the Mosel and Saar. This will be followed by a Riesling Crawl; all of the growers will be doing free tastings at various Manhattan wine shops, with staggered start times to ensure that highly motivated crawlers can hit each one. Rieslingfeier will conclude on Saturday night with a gala dinner at the restaurant Rouge Tomate, with wine duties handled by some top New York sommeliers. The producers will supply wines, and in the style of the Paulée, each guest is supposed to bring a bottle of German wine (and, no, that doesn’t mean Blue Nun—the winemakers will be digging deep into their own cellars, and it’s hoped that guests will match their generosity).
Riesling commands devotion like no other grape on the planet, and as if the Summer of Riesling weren’t enough, the Riesling faithful have now decided to put their stamp on winter, too. But I think Rieslingfeier is going to be a terrific event, offering a nice snapshot of the contemporary German wine scene and much good drinking. Here’s a link to the website.