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  • January 27, 2013
  • Rieslingfeier

  • by Stephen Bitterolf

At the turn of the 19th century, the greatest German Rieslings were more expensive than the grandest reds of Bordeaux. Although German Riesling continues to inspire passion among countless wine lovers and collectors, although it is a darling of critics and sommeliers, Riesling remains dangerously undervalued and all too often overlooked. As Ulrich Stein, winemaker at Weingut Stein in the Mosel Valley, pointed out in a manifesto summarized in The Art of Eating: "Over the next three to five years, some 3,000 hectares of Mosel vineyards—fully one-third of the current total—are in danger of going fallow."

RieslingfeierRieslingfeier, which translates simply to “a celebration of Riesling,” is a two-day event that will be held in New York on February 15 and 16, 2013. Winemakers Andreas Adam, Klaus Peter and Julia Keller, Florian Lauer, Katharina Prüm, Thomas Haag (Schloss Lieser), and Dorothee Zilliken will be traveling to New York to take part in a number of events, including a small collectors’ dinner, a Riesling seminar hosted by David Schildknecht, and a free and open-to-the-public “Riesling crawl” involving top merchants in New York City, such as Acker Merrall & Condit, Chambers Street Wines, and Crush Wine & Spirits.

The main event is the 90-person Rieslingfeier dinner, which will be hosted at Rouge Tomate. This dinner, inspired by Daniel Johnnes’ famous Burgundy fête “La Paulée,” will be the biggest German BYOB dinner to ever come to New York, with both winemakers and guests invited to bring special bottles from their cellars. There will be a number of Riesling luminaries in attendance, such as Paul Grieco, David Schildknecht, and Rudi Wiest and the wine service will be handled by some of the greatest sommeliers in New York, including Pascaline Lepeltier, Patrick Cappiello, Levi Dalton, Michael Madrigale, Ryan Mills-Knapp, Josh Nadel, John Patterson, Grant Reynolds, Aldo Sohm, Raj Vaidya, and Hristo Zivoski.

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Image courtesy of Rieslingfeier.

Stephen Bitterolf is a Riesling fanatic based in New York.