Celebrating the Finger Lakes' famous Riesling
FINGER LAKES—Wineries along Seneca and Keuka Lakes are celebrating one of the areas most notable wines this month: Riesling.
Finger Lakes Wine Country and participating wineries are promoting “May is Riesling Month” to bring more attention to the wine that in turn is getting the Finger Lakes recognized. Morgen McLaughlin, president of Finger Lakes Wine Country, said Riesling is grown more than any of the other nearly 40 different wine varieties produced in the Finger Lakes. She said there are more than 1,000 acres in production. Wine and Grape Foundation Executive Director Jim Trezise said Riesling makes up about 10 percent of all grapes produced in the Finger Lakes.
The microclimate conditions and the slate soils that are so special to the Finger Lakes are exactly what make Riesling thrive here. The wineries of the Finger Lakes continue to be internationally recognized for their award-winning Rieslings in such publications as Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Food & Wine, Wine & Spirits, and Decanter.
Many of the region’s Rieslings have won many prestigious medals at wine competitions like Riesling du Monde, or Rieslings of the World, in the Alsace region of France. Chateau LaFayette Reneau Winery’s 2010 Dry Riesling was named New York Grand Champion of the Jerry Mead New World International Wine Competition in April. The California event featured wines from around the world. Thirsty Owl Wine Company, Lakewood Vineyards, Inc., Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, Fulkerson Winery, and Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars also won awards for their Rieslings at the competition.
“I adore New York Rieslings for their higher-than-normal acidity and minerality which you just can’t find anywhere else in the states,” said Taylor Eason, internationally syndicated wine writer and educator out of California. “To get this sort of quality, you have to look towards France’s Alsace region. Even then, the New York Rieslings have their own individuality.”
“We are thrilled to announce the return of our May is Riesling Month promotion,” said McLaughlin. “We invite Riesling lovers everywhere to join Team Riesling and take advantage of special Riesling packages, attend exclusive Riesling events, and enjoy great savings on Finger Lakes Riesling purchases. Journey to Finger Lakes Wine Country this May to meet the winemakers at their source and to discover why our region is home to world-class Riesling.”
Visitors to the region can pick up the special #TeamRiesling button for free at any of the participating tourism businesses for access to special Riesling promotions, packages and tastings. If a visitor is spotted wearing the #TeamRiesling button and a picture is posted to Facebook or Twitter, then he or she is eligible for a chance to win one of many great prizes. #TeamRiesling is also the special Twitter hashtag used during May for fellow wine lovers to connect and share Riesling stories.
The May is Riesling Month celebration will include special events at renown Riesling producers like Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard and Red Newt Cellars; and specialty Riesling tastings at wineries including Hunt Country Vineyards, Glenora Wine Cellars, Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars.
The Seneca Lake Wine Trail’s Riesling to Visit Passport, the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail’s Vino Visa Coupon book, and the Keuka Lake Wine Trail Passport will be available for great savings along the respective trails. Lastly, Riesling Hour, the world’s largest virtual Riesling tasting returns on Thursday, May 31.