Can California really produce a great riesling?
Posted 02 October 2003 - 08:10 AM
Is it possible for California to really produce a great riesling? Washington and especially British Columbia are making some outstanding whites, including some good rieslings, gewurtzaminers, chards and semi-chards. Do you think they can make a truly great riesling?
I know you're not seeing a lot of competition from BC in regards to market share in the US (due to the horrible pain it is for them to ship across the border), but what about in competitions? They've really only been making wine for about a decade and in a lot of respects the region is still maturing (especially with reds), but they have won a number of awards -- is your vinyard, and Californian vinyards getting pressure from Candadians?
Posted 02 October 2003 - 08:47 AM
Never say never. Offhand I would have believed that it would be unlikely for CA to produce a great riesling but I now believe that there are more things possible than we ever could imagine. On the face of it, the big problem in California is the very bright sun, the very low humidity and the general absence of slate soils. But perhaps there are some trellising systems that can mitigate the macroclimatic challenges. I think that Washington state and BC have incredible potential for riesling, especially in virtue of the extremely cool nights which tend to preserve acidity, the fundament of white wine. Canadian wines are still rarely seen in these parts. I've had a great Pinot Gris from the Okanagen; I'm sure riesling could do equally well. Cheers, RG.