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December 2011


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New Zealand celebrates summer of riesling

22 Dec 2011

Summer is the season for outdoor food and wine events in New Zealand, and this year a worldwide movement embracing this - The Summer of Riesling is set to captivate the country.

The movement includes an array of tastings, dinner and events all dedicated to the white wine riesling - and only riesling.

Summer of Riesling
The Summer of Riesling first began at Terroir Wine Bar in the East Village of New York City in 2008, as an attempt to get guests to try the noble grape.

Throughout the entire summer only riesling was offered by the glass as the white wine option.

The event was an astounding success, and began a revolution which saw bars and restaurants highlight riesling in a variety of ways every year over summer.

The Summer of Riesling has now spread throughout North America and the world, with Australia and New Zealand joining the party, and France Amsterdam and Germany set to in 2012.

Spotlight on New Zealand
The Summer of Riesling is supported by some of New Zealand’s finest riesling producing wineries, restaurants and retailers.

Together they will host a series of tastings, dinner and events dedicated to riesling.

The wineries include some of New Zealand’s most serious riesling producers such as Amisfield Wine Company in Central Otago - in New Zealand’s southern most wine growing region, to Villa Maria in New Zealand’s largest city Auckland.

Over 80% of New Zealand riesling is grown in Marlborough and North Canterbury, and the majority of wineries in the region will be involved with the celebrations.

The New Zealand Summer of Riesling kicks off on 12 January and will continue into March to reflect the wonderful "Indian Summer" conditions most New Zealand Riesling wine regions experience.

Riesling 'Overlord'
Summer of Riesling founder Paul Grieco - also known as ‘The Overlord’ - from New York will be in New Zealand for the festival.

Grieco is manager of Manhattan Restaurant Hearth, Wine Bar East Village, and Terroir Tribeca, and through these restaurants has spread his love of riesling to the USA, and now the world.

‘The Overlord’ will be in New Zealand to engage local trade and taste the countries finest rieslings, with visits to Auckland and Wellington.

Climax festival
Paul Grieco will host one of the largest events of the festival Climax, at Pegasus Restaurant in the Waipara Valley near Christchurch.

Guests are asked to bring along their favourite bottle of riesling to share with others over a three-course feasting style menu.

The patrons will also enjoy tastings of New Zealand rieslings, and are invited to stay on after their meal to enjoy some of Pegasus Restaurant’s finest wines.

Background: Wine in New Zealand

New Zealand is a premier new-world wine country, producing award-winning red and white wines that reflect clean air, sunshine and sustainable wine practice. The wines are exported to cellars worldwide.

Many New Zealand vineyards have restaurants and cellar doors that are open to the public for tasting and sales.

The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail is a self-drive tour of three wine regions, and regional operators also offer gourmet food and wine tours, and vineyard cycle tours.

Leading New Zealand wine regions include West Auckland, Gisborne, Martinborough and Hawke's Bay in the North Island, and Marlborough, Central Otago and Canterbury in the South Island.

More information

New Zealand Events

New Zealand Food & Wine

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Related Links
Other Sites
•  Pegasus Bay Winery website
•  Amisfield Wine Company website
•  Summer of Riesling website


Amisfield Winery, Queenstown - click for more.
Dining outside in the courtyard at Amisfield Winery

Wine tasting at Pegasus Bay vineyard - click for more.
Wine tasting at Pegasus


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