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Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen to Host 2nd Riesling Rendezvous

Feb 08, 2008

Chateau Ste. Michelle, the foremost North American Riesling producer, and Dr. Loosen, the highly acclaimed German Riesling estate, will host the second “Riesling Rendezvous,” an event to bring together leading Riesling experts and producers to explore the versatility of Rieslings from around the world. The three-day event will be held at Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in Woodinville, Washington and will feature a grand consumer festival tasting, blind panel tastings and interactive breakout sessions.


“The success of last year's program, combined with global interest in Riesling, encouraged us to hold the event again,” says Ted Baseler, president, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. “Last year it was an honor to have winemakers from Europe, Australia, Canada, Michigan, Washington, Oregon, California and New York come to Seattle to celebrate the versatility and enjoyment of Riesling. We’ve added new elements to this year’s program which will allow Riesling experts, winemakers, journalists, trade and devoted Riesling fans to dig even deeper into the attributes and issues surrounding Riesling.”

Riesling Rendezvous kicks off with a grand consumer festival tasting on the grounds of Chateau Ste. Michelle on July 27th from 5-8 p.m. July 28th is dedicated to blind tastings guided by distinguished producers to explore Riesling styles, from powerful dry wines of Austria, Alsace and Australia to the elegant German variations and flavorful, spicy interpretations from North America. The last day (July 29th) will feature break out sessions at the Westin Bellevue on compelling Riesling issues, including:

  • Ageability of Riesling – a rare tasting of older Rieslings from top producers.
  • Riesling at the Table – Chateau Ste. Michelle culinary director John Sarich and guest chefs demonstrate the versatility of Riesling with inspired Riesling and food pairings.
  • Decoding Riesling for the U.S. Market – Informative discussions on marketing to consumers, U.S. buying trends, on-premise vs. off-premise distribution channels, developing a distribution network, etc.
  • Producers Only Roundtable – A candid exchange of ideas on the challenges of growing and producing Riesling, ranging from climate-specific vineyard practices to closures.
  • Discovering New World Riesling Terroir – comparative tasting of Rieslings from new world terroirs.
  • Digging Into Old World Riesling Terroir – An in-depth exploration of old world Riesling terroirs.
  • "The first Riesling Rendezvous was extremely interesting and very well received by those who attended,” says Ernst Loosen, owner, Dr. Loosen estate. “So I'm really looking forward to this year's Rendezvous, which I think is going to be even more interesting. A lot of extraordinary winemakers and wine pros are coming. We're going to have some amazing tastings and, I have no doubt, two exciting days of spirited discussion about the many interpretations of Riesling."

    The event will be moderated by eminent Riesling authority and noted author Stuart Pigott. Panelists scheduled to participate include Mosel winegrower Ernst Loosen, Saar winegrower Egon Müller, Alsace winegrower Pierre Trimbach, Austrian winegrower Fred Loimer, Australian winemaker Stephen Henschke, esteemed wine writer Tom Stevenson, wine writer Bob Campbell MW, Washington winemaker Bob Bertheau, Rheingau winegrower Wilhelm Weil, Austrian winegrower Christine Saahs, wine writer Karen MacNeil, Australian winemaker Louisa Rose, wine writer Paul Lukacs, Nahe producer Helmut Dönnhoff, Riesling importer Terry Theise, wine writer Paul Gregutt and many others.

    Chateau Ste. Michelle has been a champion of Riesling for more than 40 years and was among the first to plant Riesling in the state of Washington. Ste. Michelle was catapulted into the national spotlight when its 1972 Johannisberg Riesling won the now-famous blind tasting of nineteen White Rieslings sponsored by the Los Angeles Times. Today, Chateau Ste. Michelle offers up to seven different Riesling styles designed to showcase the versatility of Riesling and the regional styles within Washington’s Columbia Valley, which produces more Riesling than any other American wine region.

    Nearly a decade ago, Chateau Ste. Michelle teamed up with Ernst Loosen to collaborate on Eroica Riesling, an ultra-premium Washington Riesling, Single Berry Select, a Trockenbeerenauslese style dessert wine and most recently Eroica Riesling Ice Wine. Riesling Rendezvous was born out of this special partnership’s commitment to promote the extraordinary nature of Riesling.

    For further information and registration fees, visit or email at or call 425-415/3271. Tickets will be available for the Sunday, July 27th grand consumer tasting and for the three-day event package.

    About Chateau Ste. Michelle
    Founded in 1934, Chateau Ste. Michelle pioneered vinifera grape growing in Washington state and has been producing classic European varietal wines under the Chateau Ste. Michelle label since 1967. The winery combines an ongoing dedication to research with a commitment to classic winemaking traditions. The winery owns 3,500 acres of vineyards in the Columbia Valley of eastern Washington, including Canoe Ridge Estate and Cold Creek. Chateau Ste. Michelle enjoys winemaking partnerships with two of the world’s most distinguished vintners. Col Solare is an alliance with Tuscany’s Piero Antinori and Eroica Riesling is a partnership with the Mosel’s Ernst Loosen.

    About Dr. Loosen Estate
    The Dr. Loosen estate has a 200-year tradition of producing Riesling in Germany’s Mosel region. With his modern world view and his traditional approach to winemaking, Ernst Loosen strives to produce wines that unmistakably express the character of Riesling and of the vineyards where they are grown. Decanter magazine named Ernst Loosen 2005 “Man of the Year” for his perseverance in promoting and producing great Rieslings around the world.

    Riesling Rendezvous is a service mark of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Ltd.


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