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Come All Ye Riesling Faithful

2013 January 8
by Mike

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.

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  19. Kirstie permalink
    February 28, 2013

    A great Riesling to look for in NY is Dr. Frank!

  20. January 13, 2013

    This should be an extremely interesting event and Christian G.E. Schiller hopes to join the party and cover it on schiller-wine and the facebook page “Drinking German Wine in America”.

  21. January 13, 2013

    I suspect that if the event catches on, and I hope it does, New York rieslings will be part of the mix soon enough. And I can’t feel too bad for NY riesling–it is getting a star turn at the presidential inauguration, which is quite a bonanza.

    Francois, Keller will be showcasing the dry side of German riesling, while Prum will be representing the “fruity” style. So it appears that it will be a mix of both, showcasing the stylistic variety now on offer in Germany. Hopefully, the event will prove to be a big hit and will become an annual thing, in which case they can expect to see you next year!

  22. M Robert permalink
    January 12, 2013

    Agree, some of the best comes from the Finger Lakes of New York, my suggestion is Tierce Riesling on the menu of the up coming Inauguration.

  23. mauss permalink
    January 10, 2013

    An important detail : only dry riesling or also various Spätlese, Auslese, BA, TBA ?

    Keine Loosen or Dönnhoff or Kesselstatt ? These are the ones I will have to put in my luggage ?

    Let me play loto first :-)

    I would love to be there since – most probably the best sentence so far on this blog – “Riesling commands devotion like no other grape on the planet”.

    As seen many times on Snoopy comics : sigh !!!!!

  24. Andrew Faiola permalink
    January 9, 2013

    What, a Riesling-fest in NY with no NY state Rieslings? Hermann J. Weimer would not be impressed.

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