It's interesting to observe which wines customers in our tasting room choose to taste. Chardonnay is the white wine favorite, then in order of popularity: Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris. Riesling and Muscat are last and we're continually perplexed as to why Riesling has the fewest fans. We suspect it's because most imported German Riesling (as well as domestic Riesling) wines contain a substantial amount of residual sugar so many Riesling wines taste sweet.
Sheep grazing in Campsite Riesling. When we were building our house in Philo in 1975, we camped out in a spot protected from the wind, and "air conditioned" during the summer days with cool air draining from three hundred acres of forest above. Twenty years later we planted the Campsite with three clones of Riesling. Babydoll sheep now graze the fields throughout the year as the trellis is high enough to prevent sheep from eating leaves or grapes.
Three tasters sampling Navarro wine. Sadly, less than four percent of California's Riesling grapes are grown in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino; perhaps more consumers would request it, if more wineries grew and produced dry wine from this exciting grape variety.
In France, Riesling (and Gewürztraminer) can only be planted legally within 30 miles of the German border; the French are justifiably chauvinistic about their food and wine, so perhaps it has extended to grape varieties as well. What a shame since most decent Riesling wines display more varietal character than many white grape varieties. Nevertheless, the banning of Riesling in all but a tightly restricted area is perhaps a sad legacy to the wars these countries have suffered. This 2014 Riesling definitely doesn't finish sweet. It does contain a whisper of fermentable grape sugars, but these are balanced, almost hidden, by high acidity and low pH. The bouquet hints of honeysuckle and apple. The flavors are of stone fruit and apricot with jasmine, fennel and lemon notes. We were unable to produce as much dry Riesling as we would have liked; this is our lowest production in the last eight years so please don't dawdle filling up your cellar. Silver Medal winner.