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International Riesling Foundation formed

An international organization to support and promote Riesling has been formed.

The International Riesling Foundation was incorporated in Washington State on 15 November.

Its founding meeting, attended by major producers, was held on 30 November in San Francisco at Constellation Wines US, the world’s biggest wine company.

The next meeting, open to prospective members, takes place at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium, a trade show, in Sacramento, California, in January.

The group ‘hopes to improve communications among worldwide Riesling producers and has a main goal of consumer education, including determining how consumers view Riesling wines and possibly establishing global standards for clarifying how consumers view the sugar levels.’

Although statistics show growth in Riesling sales, especially in North America, consumers’ major problem is the absence of information on labels about dryness through sweetness levels.

Producers from California, New York, Washington, Oregon, Michigan, British Columbia, Germany and New Zealand attended the initial meeting. Australia is expected at the next one.

The foundation resulted from ‘efforts to establish greater public awareness of the greatness of the grape variety that was begun earlier at the first Riesling Renaissance conference at Chateau Ste Michelle in June,’ the organization said.

Inquiries are being handled by James Trezise, president of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, in the Finger Lakes region, a Riesling stronghold.

Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York

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