New York (Finger Lakes)
Riesling was officially first planted in California in the town of St. Helena in 1861. Back then it was known as “Johannisburg Riesling” (a reference to Schloss Johannisburg in Germany) or as it is still sometimes called today, “White Riesling.”
In the 1960s Riesling was one of California’s most popular grape varieties, but was pushed out by Chardonnay and other white wines from the 70s onward. In 2006, sales of Rieslings from around the world began to climb again in California, so much so that some of the state’s mid-priced Riesling producers exhausted the supply of California grapes.
Today, Riesling is mostly grown in California’s cooler or higher regions, especially in the Anderson Valley, Santa Barbara, Monterey, and other coastal areas. Styles range from dry to sweet with a few winemakers making some very good late-harvest botrytis dessert wines.
Over the years, acreage has been on the rise. In 2008, there were 2322 acres of Riesling. As of 2017, the figure is 3840 acres.
DAN BERGER – A wine columnist since 1976, Dan Berger has resided in California’s Sonoma County since 1986. Today, in addition to his privately published weekly wine commentary, Dan Berger’s Vintage Experiences, Dan writes a national syndicated wine column for Creators Syndicate as well as articles for Decanter, Robb Report, Cheers, Beverage Dynamics and numerous other publications. He is a judge at many US and International wine competitions and a speaker at wine symposiums and universities. He has received many awards, including the Wines and Vines Magazine Wine Writer of the Year, the Wine Appreciation Guild’s Wine Literary Award, and the Father Juniperro Serra Award. His books include “Beyond the Grapes: An Inside Look at Napa Valley” and “Beyond the Grapes: An Inside Look at Sonoma County.” He has contributed to the Oxford Companion to the Wines of North America. VINTAGEEXPERIENCES.COM
FETZER VINEYARDS – Since its founding in 1968 in beautiful Mendocino County, Fetzer Vineyards has been a pioneer of California winemaking. Their history is one of ever-evolving quality and innovation and a progressive, hands-on approach to earth-friendly practices. At Fetzer they’ve always believed that the more they refine their winemaking practices to be in harmony with the environment, the more they improve the quality of their wines – and of everyday life. FETZER.COM
J. LOHR – J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines includes more than 1300 acres of cool-climate estate estate (delete one “estate”) vineyards in the Arroyo Seco and Santa Lucia Highlands regions of California’s Monterey County. From this rich and diverse palette of sustainably farmed estate fruit, J. Lohr crafts wines showcasing bold, concentrated flavors and a vibrant sense of place. The winery offers four tiers of award-winning wines: J. Lohr Estates, J. Lohr Vineyard Series, J. Lohr Cuvée Series and J. Lohr Gesture, limited-release wines available solely to tasting room visitors, wine club members and online. JLOHR.COM
SCOTT HARVEY – Winemaker Scott Harvey developed a keen interest in winemaking as a high school exchange student in Germany’s Pfalz wine region, and then studied winemaking in Germany, where he fell in love with Riesling. Today the bottles of Scott Harvey Wines in Napa Valley, California, demonstrate those early learnings. Approachable, food friendly and full of luscious fruit, these wines have struck a chord in the marketplace as “niche wines that over deliver.” SCOTTHARVEYWINES.COM