Rieslingfeier is an annual event in New York City that celebrates German Riesling. The cornerstone event is the Rieslingfeier Gala Dinner. Inspired by Daniel Johnnes’ famous Burgundy fête “La Paulée,” it is very likely the greatest German wine "BYOB" dinner in the world, with both winemakers and guests bringing special bottles from their cellars to share. Rieslingfeier is orchestrated by Stephen Bitterolf of the vom Boden wine importing company.
This year, Rieslingfeier took place on Saturday, February 20. 12 top German wine producers were in attendance, including world stars like Katharina Prüm, Weingut JJ Prüm, Hansjörg Rebholz, Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz, Christian Witte, Weingut Schloss Johannisberg, Caroline Diel, Schlossgut Diel, Carl von Schubert, Weingut Maximin Grünhaus and Johannes Leitz, Weingut Leitz.
This posting is part of a series covering the 2016 Rieslingfeier; it provides an overview. Here is a list of all postings:
Coming up: Rieslingfeier in New York in February and Germany-East, -South and -North by ombiasy WineTours in May and August 2016
A German Riesling Feast in New York City: Rieslingfeier 2016, USA
Rieslingfeier 2016 in New York – Gränd Tasting: The Winemakers of the Rieslingfeier 2016, USA
Rieslingfeier 2016 in New York – Gala Dinner, USA
Allmost all of the photos are mine. I used a few photos from other participants, which they put on facebook.
Annette Schiller, who organizes wines tours (ombiasyPR and WineTours), and Christian Schiller, who blogs on schiller-wine, joined the 2016 celebration of German Riesling. We were happy to meet the participating German elite winemakers. Many of them we know personally. Some of them we call our friends.
See: Announcement: 5 Exciting ombiasy WineTours in 2016 - BURGUNDY BORDEAUX GERMANY
Rieslingfeier Gala Dinner 2016
“Dear Rieslingfeier guest,
The 4th annual Rieslingfeier Gala Dinner will take place THIS Saturday, February 20th at Reynard in the Wythe Hotel. Located at 80 Wythe Avenue, just north of North 11th Street in Williamsburg Brooklyn, the hotel/restaurant is easily accessible by taxi or subway (L train to Bedford stop). The dinner is sold out and we cannot wait to welcome you!
The evening will begin at 7pm with a Sekt reception; dinner will start at 8:00pm sharp. We have an incredible team of sommeliers from around the country working this event so your wine will be quickly checked in and chilled to the perfect temperature. The five-course meal is being designed to pair with both dry and sweet Riesling, so plan on having both at your table.
The attire is whatever think you compliments some of the greatest white wines on earth.
We look forward to seeing you Saturday!”
The arguably most spectacular Riesling Party of North America took place at the trendy Reynard in the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, on Saturday, February 20. About 100 wine freaks made the pilgrimage from across the country to NYC to be with 12 top German producers, leading wine and food journalists, importers, and sommeliers to enjoy a casual dinner and Riesling rarities.
The five course meal was customized by Reynard’s Chef Sean Rembold to pair with dry and off-dry Riesling. The wine service was presided over by Rieslingfeier Chef Sommelier Raj Vaidya along with a group of the country's top sommeliers.
The evening started with a Sekt reception
The Gala Dinner
There were 13 tables with 1 winemaker and 10 guests at each table (Egon Müller was represented by his Export Manager. In addition, Ernst Loosen from Weingut Dr. Loosen and Wilhelm Weil from Weingut Wilhelm Weil were represented by Ian Dick and Nicolas Pfaff, respectively; they did not have their own table.)
At each table, about 20 wines were served. All the wines were outstanding, but some of them were out of this world. You could walk to other tables and taste the wines poured there. Guests and winemakers also walked around and shared the wines with other people.
Riesling Guru Stuart Pigott issued a nice write-up on his block ahead of 2016 Rieslingfeier, including short descriptions of the attending winemakers, which I am copying here.
Citrus, Black Olive
Bulgur, Labneh, Grilled Bread
Clams, Butter Beans, Bacon, Parsely
Celery Root, Chicory, Kumquat Mostarda
Stompetoren Grand Cru (Cow, NL)
Hannsjörg Rebholz, Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz
Stuart Pigott: Hansjörg Rebholz of Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz in Siebeldingen in the Pfalz producers some of the best and most original dry wines on Planet Riesling; character and elegance rather than raw power are their hallmarks.
My wife Annette Schiller and I were sitting with Hannsjörg Rebholz, Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz, Pfalz.
Johannes Leitz, Weingut Leitz
Stuart Pigott: Johannes Leitz of Josef Leitz in the Rheingau, who since the turn of the century firmly put Rüdesheim back on the map for top quality dry and west wines, and transformed this producer from being a name known only to insiders into a global Riesling brand.
Gernot Kollmann, Winemaker, Weingut Immich Batterieberg
Stuart Pigott: Gernot Kollmann took over the direction and winemaking at Immich Batterieberg in Enkirch on the Mosel in 2009, and within very few years he has turned it into one of the region’s leading producers of dry Riesling.
Stefan Steinmetz, Weingut Günther Steinmetz
Stuart Pigott: Stefan Steinmetz of Weingut Günther Steinmetz in Brauneberg on the Mosel is one of the rising stars of this region.
Carl von Schubert, Weingut Miximin Grünhaus
Stuart Pigott: Dr. Carl Ferdinand von Schubert has directed Weingut Maximin Grünhaus in Mertesdorf in the Ruwer since the early 1980s and today this famous estate is once again right at the top of its game, making uniquely aromatic and strikingly racy wines.
Christian Witte, Domaine Director, Weingut Schloss Johannisberg
Stuart Pigott: Christian Witte has taken world-famous Schloss Johannisberg in the Rheingau out of a period of erratic performance back to the very top since he took over there in 2005; great dry and sweet Rieslings!
Dominik Sona, Managing Director, and Franzi Schmitt, Winemaker, Weingut Koehler-Ruprecht
Stuart Pigott: Dominik Sona does things the traditional way at Weingut Koehler-Ruprecht in Kallstadt in the Pfalz, just as his predecessor Bernd Phillipi did, and that makes for deep and complex dry Rieslings.
Jochen Beurer, Weingut Beurer
Stuart Pigott: Jochen Beurer makes some remarkable dry wines in this rising star among Germany’s wine regions.
Johannes Weber, Hofgut Falkenstein
Stuart Pigott: Johannes Weber of Hofgut Falkenstein on the Saar, has made a major commitment to traditional winemaking techniques is also one of the stars of his region.
Katharina Prüm, Weingut JJ Prüm
Stuart Pigott: Katharina Prüm of J. J. Prüm in Wehlen on the Mosel has already been introduced. This producer is synonymous with Mosel elegance and finesse!
Caroline and Sylvain Diel, Schlossgut Diel
Stuart Pigott: Caoline Diel makes brilliant dry and sweet wines that have made her one of the region’s top winemakers.
Florian Lauer, Weingut Peter Lauer
Stuart Pigott: Florian Lauer of Weingut Peter Lauer in Ayl on the Saar, who since 2005 has taken this small estate from anonymity to international star status with complex wines ranging from bone dry to aromatically sweet.
Konstantin Weiser and Alexandra Künstler of Weingut Weiser-Künstler
Stuart Pigott: Konstantin Weiser and Alexandra Künstler jumped into deep water in 2005 when they purchased their first steep vineyards with slate soils and launched Weiser-Künstler in Traben-Trarbach on the Mosel.
Some of us went up to the Rooftop Bar of thw Wythe Hotel, where you had a wonderful view of Manhattan.
Rieslingfeier was founded in 2012 by Stephen Bitterolf, a passionate advocate for Germany's culture of winemaking. He was the Wine Director at Crush Wine & Spirits in New York where he helped develop one of the largest German wine programs in the country before founding his own import company, vom Boden.
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