Summer of Riesling Communiqué 2
July 4th, 2017
In Praise of America's Wine...an epic poem
Riesling, how much do I love thee?
And by Riesling, I mean the grape and the wine.
And by "I" I mean America, the great land of wine.
Our Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson, ventured to the grape's birthplace, Germany, in 1788,
falling in love with Riesling's majesty in the vineyard, as well as in the glass.
So much he loved the grape that he brought vine cuttings back to his garden in Paris
and planted a mighty vineyard...okay, just 6 vines, but it was majestic.
By the turn of the 20th Century, Riesling was an honored member of great restaurants' wine lists,
on these American shores, occupying the majority of the wine list's real estate
and fetching the highest prices...yes, yes, even hirer than Bordeaux and Burgundy.
The grape was even being grown in California, under the proper name of Johannisberger Riesling, but its affinity for America's wine terroirs was still to be realized.
Frank Schoonmaker, the American master blaster of all things wine in the 1940s / 50s / 60s,
recognized this, stating in 1941: "it will produce one of America's best wines."
Today, Riesling has finally realized its status as a vinous hero.
From the shores of New York's Finger Lakes...is this the Riesling Promised Land?!
To Michigan's Old Mission Peninsula...the upstart with massive potential.
To Oregon's Willamette Valley...where Pinot Noir thrives so does Riesling.
To Washington State's Columbia Valley...oh mama, here lies the most acreage in the U.S. of A.
To California...pockets of greatness throughout the cooler climes of the golden state.
Mighty truth be told, The United States of America ranks second
(to Germany) in terms of Riesling vines planted.
The glories of the Riesling grape have found roots in our majestic American wine landscape.
Yet, for all its wonders in the vineyard, we Americans still have work to do when it comes to actually enjoying and savoring the wondrous wine. Simply put, we need to drink more Riesling!
The yumminess of the wine beguiled our forefathers.
Today, let's raise a glass and toast their Riesling astuteness and #MakeRieslingGreatAgain.
Happy 4th of July.