Thirty-one wines. Twenty tasters. One hour.
They all came together Thursday evening at thein Peconic, where a group of mostly wine industry people, writers and bloggers got together to mark Riesling Hour, a promotional event celebrating the collaborative release of the 2010 Finger Lakes riesling vintage.
Thirty one bottles of wine lined the tasting bar at the small tasting room operated by winemaker Anthony Nappa. All were riesling. All but four were made in the Finger Lakes region. All but one was made with Finger Lakes grapes. Local winemakers had been asked to bring their own.
Riesling is the most popular wine made in the upstate region and many Finger Lakes rieslings have begun to gain the attention of aficionados in recent years.
The Peconic gathering was one of numerous Riesling Hour events across New York, which also included restaurant tastings and Twitter conversations. The Peconic gathering was arranged by Lenn Thompson, editor of the New York Cork Report blog.
The Finger Lakes line up — arranged from dry to sweet — was punctuated by a Riesling, brought by winemaker Kelly Urbanik and made in Mattituck with with fruit from the Finger Lakes; Nappa’s own Luminous, also made locally with Finger Lakes grapes, and two wines brought by Robin Epperson McCarthy, assistant winemaker at , Riverhead: the winery’s Governor’s Cup-winning 2010 Riesling, whose grapes were sourced in the Finger Lakes, and the Martha Clara Estate Reserve Riesling, the only wine in the group made with Long Island grapes and the winner of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association Competition.
Throughout the event tasters commented aloud on the wines they tried and compared notes.
Some favorites emerged.
By the end of the event, only one bottle was virtually empty, Damiani Semi-Dry Riesling 2010. “Really digging the Damiani 2010,” Gorton tweeted from a table on the side of the tasting room. He got off more than a dozen tweets during the event.
“Some really nice surprises tonight,” Thompson wrote on Twitter. “The Glenora 2010 is impressing. And 2010 Lakewood, too!”