Tastes Like Home: Experimenting With Waipara Riesling

Tastes Like Home: Experimenting with Waipara Riesling

Post by Chuck Hayward | September 28th, 2011

Terroir is a hot topic, no doubt. The idea that winemakers are required to transmit the specific qualities of a plot of land to a finished wine is gaining traction, and for many critics, it is considered bad form for the vigneron to leave an imprint that reflects personal style. That camp believes the winemaker’s role is to act as minimally as possible and take a hands-off approach in order to highlight a wine’s terroir.

However, I think it’s impossible to separate the impact of man from winemaking. We as humans are the ones who recognize superior vs. inferior terroir. Growers decide what grapes to plant and how to grow them. Winemakers make endless judgments about when to pick grapes, what yeast to use, how long to age, and so on. The actual decision to practice minimalist winemaking is probably the most important choice that can be made.

Wine writer Dan Berger inspects a bottle of his favorite varietal

Cut to an interesting tasting recently sponsored by New Zealand Winegrowers, responsible for educating consumers and the trade about kiwi wines. In 2010, twelve New Zealand winemakers agreed to create wine from the same batch of fruit— riesling from the Waipara growing region just outside of Christchurch—and were given four tons of uncrushed fruit from Mud House vineyards. They each produced 250 cases of wine at their own facilities, scattered throughout six of the country’s growing regions. (more…)

And Now a Break From Our Regularly Scheduled Programing

And Now a Break From Our Regularly Scheduled Programing

Post by David Derby| April 20th, 2011

David entertains other riesling fans

Spring is in the air and come early April, it seems that all attention turns to Bordeaux. This year the majority of the sales team covered the latest vintage with a deeper analysis than ever before. But not this assistant wine buyer. It’s been said, on occasion, that I march to the beat of a different drummer. So instead of heading towards France, I made tracks to Germany, in pursuit of understanding the noble riesling.

My goal was to explore the land, meet the people, experience the culture and, of course, taste the wines. For many wine aficionados, riesling holds a special place in our hearts. For some, it was our first love. For others, the gateway to other wines from so many different places. But with all the wines in the world, some are best recognized when coming from their iconic homeland. Take sparkling wine and Champagne, sangiovese and Italy, riesling and Germany. While Germany certainly makes wines in addition to riesling, that is the grape most people associate with the country. (more…)