Riesling lovers coming to Washington for Riesling Rendezvous

By on June 3, 2013

Washington wine

Hundreds of Rieslings from around the world will be tasted next month at the Riesling Rendezvous. (Photo courtesy of Chateau Ste. Michelle)

SEATTLE – The world of Riesling is returning to Seattle next month.

The draw is the fourth Riesling Rendezvous, a global look at the most noble of white wine grapes.

Riesling Rendezvous is sponsored by Chateau Ste. Michelle in nearby Woodinville and Dr. Loosen, one of Germany’s top Riesling producers. Loosen is owned by Ernst Loosen, who also is involved in Ste. Michelle’s Eroica Riesling collaboration.

Riesling Rendezvous is the largest international gathering of Riesling producers and enthusiasts in the world. It features three days of tasting, discussing and learning about Riesling.

A three-day pass for the entire event is $800.

Riesling Rendezvous Grand Tasting is July 14

Riesling Rendezvous

Keith Kenison, winemaker for 14 Hands Vineyards, pours during the Riesling Rendezvous Grand Tasting, which takes place on the grounds of Chateau Ste. Michelle. (Photo courtesy of Chateau Ste. Michelle)

It kicks off Sunday, July 14, with the Grand Tasting on Chateau Ste. Michelle’s winery grounds in Woodinville, about 15 miles from downtown Seattle. More than 60 Riesling producers from seven countries will be represented, including the United States, Germany, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Slovakia and Austria. From within the United States, wineries from seven states will participate, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, New York, New Jersey and Michigan.

The Grand Tasting will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Shuttle service will be provided between the Seattle Marriott Waterfront and Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Tickets for the grand tasting are $75 for general admission or $100 for VIP tickets.

First day of Riesling Rendezvous features dry Rieslings

Riesling Rendezvous

The Riesling Rendezvous seminars will be staged at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront. (Photo courtesy of Chateau Ste. Michelle)

On Monday, July 15, the morning starts with opening remarks from Loosen, Ste. Michelle CEO Ted Baseler and global Riesling authority Stuart Pigott.

After that, 300 Riesling enthusiasts will participate in a blind tasting of global dry Rieslings. It will be moderated by author John Haeger. Three years ago, this was considered by many to be the most entertaining tasting of the event.

After lunch, three breakout sessions will include:

  • “Riesling’s Outer Limits” with Stuart Pigott.
  • “Proving that Terroir Matters” with Dr. Ulrich Fischer.
  • “Winemakers Only Roundtable: To Blend or not to Blend” led by Bob Bertheau of Chateau Ste. Michelle and Ernst Loosen.

The afternoon will conclude with a special walk-around tasting of wines from Idaho, New York and Germany.

Second day of Riesling Rendezvous to feature sweeter wines

On Tuesday, July 16, the day will begin with a blind tasting of off-dry to sweet Rieslings, moderated by journalist Tim Atkin, a Master of Wine.

The International Riesling Foundation will then make a presentation called “Riesling Research and Revelations.”

After a lunch sponsored by Icons of Australia, there will be three breakout sessions:

  • “The Electric Riesling Acid Test” with Emily Wines, M.S.
  • “Marketing Riesling: Preaching Beyond the Choir” with Leslie Sbrocco.
  • “Masters of Riesling – Grosses Gewaches” with Steffen Christmann and Wilhelm Weil.

The event will conclude with a farewell reception at Chihuly Garden and Glass at the Seattle Center.

About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is the editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is a frequent judge at international wine competitions. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books. He writes about wine for The Seattle Times. You can find him on Twitter and .

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