International winemakers, journalists, sommeliers and riesling geeks of every stripe converge on Traverse City this month for the third City of Riesling event. Northwest Michigan, specifically the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas, increasingly gain recognition as one of the world’s premier riesling terroirs, and this event provides tastings and seminars that showcase the best of our local dry and medium dry bottlings alongside wines from Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Ontario, California and the New York Finger Lakes district.
City of Riesling, organized by advanced sommelier and restaurateur Amanda Danielson and local riesling guru and winemaker at Mari Vineyards, Sean O’Keefe, welcomes riesling luminaries and international wine personalities from disciplines across the wine world. Berlin-based wine critic Stuart Pigott, author of Best White Wine on Earth: The Riesling Story, is joined this year by California wine writer John Winthrop Haeger and Sydney-based wine blogger and talk show host Mike Bennie. Old Mission and Leelanau winemakers will pour their wines alongside international riesling rockstars like Germany’s Joachim Heger and Franzi Schmitt, Andrew Hedley from New Zealand’s acclaimed Framingham Wines and more than 15 winemakers from across North America.
City of Riesling spreads riesling love over two full days of events on July 23rd and 24th, kicking off with Lunch by the Bay: The World on Our Coast, where participants can sample rieslings and enjoy a lavish al fresco luncheon at Clinch Park in the company of winemakers, vineyard owners and journalists. Panel discussions, guided tastings and roundtable seminars run throughout both days and the festival’s showcase event, Night of 100 Rieslings, which features a bar of international rieslings staffed by winemakers and sommeliers, a riesling-friendly catering spread by S2S and a live solo performance Michigan singer/songwriter and contestant on The Voice, Laith Al-Saadi.
A portion of the proceeds from the events will benefit FLOW, a Traverse City–based nonprofit dedicated to protecting Great Lakes water.