News from the IRF
ProWein is Europe’s largest wine trade show, and the International Riesling Foundation (IRF) will be right in the midst of it to educate colleagues about the organization and its upcoming promotion called Summer of Riesling. The show takes place in Düsseldorf, Germany on March 27-29.
The IRF’s presence is courtesy of The Pradikat Wine Estates (VDP), a 100-year-old organization of high quality German producers who support the IRF’s initiatives. A group of IRF members from France, Germany, and the United States will offer samples of Riesling wines from around the world while educating attendees about the IRF’s purpose and programs.
The feature of this year’s ProWein presence will be promotion of a “Summer of Riesling” program that will take place in several major markets within the U.S., as well as many secondary markets. Summer of Riesling was created by Paul Grieco of New York City’s Terroir Wine Bar and Hearth Restaurant, and for the past few years the ONLY wine available during the summer months (from June 21 to September 21) was Riesling—many brands and styles from around the world. Consumers loved it.
The International Riesling Foundation is working with Mr. Grieco and his colleague Steven Solomon to expand the promotion not only to other restaurants and wine bars in New York City, but also to Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and many smaller cities across the United States, as well as Toronto, Canada. The two will be on hand at ProWein to describe the program and how people can become involved.
The IRF is the only global wine trade organization based around a single varietal wine, and was created to “increase the awareness, understanding, trial and sales of Riesling wines through a comprehensive, integrated system of industry cooperation, research, trade education, and consumer communication.” Its 30-member Board of Directors includes some of the top Riesling producers from around the world.
A major initiative was the creation of the IRF Riesling Taste Profile to help producers describe their wines and consumers to better understand them. The Taste Profile is a simple graphic used on back labels, point of sale materials, and elsewhere with an arrow along a line indicating whether the wine in the bottle is Dry, Medium Dry, Medium Sweet, or Sweet. There are recommended technical parameters for winemakers involving levels of sugar, acid, and pH, but ultimately it is the decision of the winery where the arrow goes.
The IRF Taste Profile is now on more than 15,000,000 bottles of Riesling for sale in the U.S. market, and that figure will grow substantially in the next few years. It has proved highly popular among consumers by taking the mystery out of Riesling, and is becoming expected by them when they buy Riesling. Full information about the Taste Profile is available here drinkriesling.com.