Photo: Courtesy Chateau Ste. Michelle

Rise of Riesling

Photo: Courtesy Chateau Ste. Michelle

Long overlooked as simply a “sweet” wine, riesling is enjoying a renaissance.

In Seattle, this comes as no surprise—riesling was one of the first grape varietals grown in Washington and now thrives on 6,320 acres of vineyards in the state.

To get a taste, head to one of the most prolific riesling producers: Chateau Ste. Michelle (*14111 NE 145th St, Woodinville; ste-michelle.com). Chateau’s award-winning riesling is so popular that the winery joins forces with the Dr. Loosen estate (a top riesling producer from Germany) to host Riesling Rendezvous (July 17–19), a three-day event that gives attendees the opportunity to taste rieslings from around the world and learn about riesling trends. Visitors are also welcome to drop by Chateau’s tasting room year-round for a pour.

To savor more rieslings—and other varietals—tour the 100-plus tasting rooms in Woodinville Wine Country (*woodinvillewinecountry.com) and the more than 20 Seattle Urban Wineries (seattleurbanwineries.com) within city limits. Or simply stop by a local restaurant to enjoy a glass and a perfectly paired plate. Purple Cafe and Wine Bar (*1225 Fourth Ave; thepurplecafe.com) is a terrific place to start, with a menu of local fare. It also features a riesling flight that allows you to compare “Birdie” riesling from Sparkman Cellars (*19501 144th Ave NE, Ste E400, Woodinville; sparkmancellars.com) alongside picks from around the world.

If dessert wine is what you’re looking for, seek out Pacific Northwest ice wines—made when temperatures drop to freezing while grapes are still on the vine. Try Goose Ridge Winery’s (14450 Woodinville-Remond Rd NE, Ste 108, Woodinville; gooseridge.com) ice wine for one sweet sip. Cheers!

 

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