WOODINVILLE, Wash. — Riesling lovers in the Pacific Northwest and around the globe should consider blacking out July 17-19 on their calendar as Chateau Ste. Michelle and Dr. Loosen of Germany play host to the fifth Riesling Rendezvous.
The collaboration that created Eroica, which many credit for sparking the renaissance of Riesling in the United States, again are spearheading the three-day international celebration of the noble white grape.
Riesling Rendezvous is the largest event dedicated to Riesling in the United States. More than 75 producers from Germany, Alsace, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, Idaho, New York, Michigan and California participated in the 2013 Riesling Rendezvous, an unprecedented celebration of the diversity and attributes of Riesling.
The event brings together experts and premier producers to explore the versatility of Rieslings from around the world, discuss issues and opportunities surrounding the advancement of Riesling while forging alliances among producers and enthusiasts.
Patrons of the 2013 event will see a similar itinerary for next year as Chateau Ste. Michelle and Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle serve as event venues.
Grand Tasting costs $85, 3-day pass costs $800
Tickets for the three-day event pass cost $800. The opening day features the Grand Tasting, individual tickets for the consumer-focused event are $125 for VIP and $85 for general admission.
Grand Tasting VIP tickets are limited and include one extra hour of tasting. Ticket sales for the Grand Tasting only begin in May. Registration for the three-day event begins during January at rieslingrendezvous.com.
Riesling Rendezvous 2016 Program
Sunday, July 17
Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville stages the Grand Tasting from 5 to 8 p.m., with VIP admission available at 4 p.m. Some of the world’s top winemakers will pour their Riesling on the park-like grounds surrounding the chateau. Among the winery booths will be Puget Sound food trucks that will create small bites to showcase this noble white grape. Live music also will be complementing the experience.
Monday and Tuesday, July 18-19
The Riesling Rendezvous moves across Lake Washington to Elliot Bay for educational seminars at Bell Harbor International Conference Center. Blind tastings will guided by winemakers and luminaries, who will be pouring wines ranging from the dry styles of Austria, Alsace and Australia to elegant German variations to flavorful, spicy interpretations from North America.
Breakout sessions will include the following topics:
The Changing Riesling Climate
The Reinvention of Dry Riesling
Marketing Riesling: Preaching beyond the Choir
Rediscover Alsace Riesling
There also will be a winemakers-only roundtable.
The Sponsor Showcase and Walk Around activities spotlight Riesling from featured regions, pairing Riesling with salmon as well as Riesling and cheese tastings, Riesling friendly appetizers and more.
Riesling Rendezvous began with Loosen, Eroica
More than 15 years ago, Chateau Ste. Michelle teamed up with Ernst Loosen to develop Eroica Riesling, which set the standard for Riesling not only in Washington state but throughout the United States. Riesling Rendezvous was born out of this special partnership, and it is a member of the Riesling Coalition that brings events to North America, Australia and Germany on a rotating basis.
Chateau Ste. Michelle, founded in 1934, has been a champion of Riesling for more than 45 years and was among the first to plant Riesling in the state of Washington. Ste. Michelle found its way into the national spotlight when its 1972 Johannisberg Riesling won the now-famous blind tasting of 19 Rieslings sponsored by the Los Angeles Times. Head winemaker Bob Bertheau and his team offers up to nine styles of Riesling, showcasing the versatility of Riesling and the regional styles within the Columbia Valley, the country’s most prolific region for Riesling.
The Dr. Loosen estate has a 200-year tradition of producing Riesling in Germany’s Mosel region. Decanter magazine named Ernst Loosen 2005 “Man of the Year” for his perseverance in promoting and producing great Rieslings around the world.