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Britain's Summer of (German) Riesling

2 Jul 2012 by Jancis Robinson

Feedback, please!

From today until the end of July, selected British restaurants and independent wine merchants will be celebrating German Riesling as part of an initiative called The 31 Days of German Riesling.

Inspired by the Summer of Riesling initiated by New York restaurateur Paul Grieco back in 2008, The 31 Days of German Riesling is country-specific, unlike Summer of Riesling 2012, about which you can read here.

See for full details of the British version. About 40 UK restaurants and retailers are taking part and consumers have a chance to win prizes, including a weekend break in Germany. The theory is that the restaurants listed below will be running German Riesling promotions, highlighting suitable food matches. The Kensington and Fulham Wine Rooms, for example, will be running two evening Riesling classes on 7 and 14 July, and will be showcasing various wines throughout the month.

German wine importers ABS Wine Agencies, The WineBarn, Boutinot, World Wine Agencies, German Wine Agencies, OW Loeb, Wine Schoppen and Weinforum have also signed up to support the campaign.

Do use the comments box to report on any German Riesling initiatives you notice (or not) at the establishments listed below, or to comment on this effort in general.

Restaurants taking part:

London and the South East
Fulham Wine Rooms - London
Hunan - London
Kensington Wine Rooms - London
Ransome's Dock - London
Soho Wine Bar - London
The Glasshouse - London
The Jugged Hare - London
Vinoteca Farringdon - London
Vinoteca Marylebone - London

South West
Bell's Diner - Bristol
Bordeaux Quay - Bristol
Drakes - Surrey
Flinty Red - Bristol
Ellenborough Park - Gloucestershire

Loves Restaurant - Birmingham

North West
Market Restaurant - Manchester
Vinea - Liverpool

Retailers taking part:

London and the South East
Alfred the Grape - Buckinghamshire
Mill Hill Wines - London
The City Beverage Company - London
Oxford Wine Company - Oxford
The Wine Store - Cambridge
Thomas Peatling Fine Wines - Suffolk
South Downs Wines - Lindfield, West Sussex
South Downs Wines - Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex
Harveys of Lewes - Sussex

South West
Avery's - North Somerset
Christopher Piper Wines Ltd - Devon
Corks of Cotham - Bristol
Oxford Wine Company - Tetbury
Oxford Wine Company - Cirencester
Village Wines - Kent

Barrels and Bottles - Derbyshire

North West

Barrica Wines - Preston

Northern Ireland

McAlindon Wines - Belfast

Appellation Wines - Edinburgh

For more information on specific activities and promotions throughout The 31 Days of German Riesling, contact; tel 020 7759 7405.


Just noticed your blog on the tasting on the reislings.Well the Harveys Brewery shop and the 31 days of reisling. Have changed my attitude towards german wine....Fantastic well made wine .Great examples avaible....Yes i am now buying german wine....

17 Jul 2012 18:50 by sarah h

Harveys Brewery in lewes held a tasting of some loverly reislings .From young fresh to more complex well aged examples.I had 2 favourites lois gumtrum and gunderlock .Elegant crisp off dry.great with spicey food DEFINATLY GIVE THEM A TRY......

17 Jul 2012 18:41 by ade

In The Kensington WIne Rooms last night and they've gone for a full on Summer of Riesling assault with most of the big hitting countries covered.  Amongst the 8 by the glass/available to sample (25ml shots) they had 4 from Germany - 2 Selbach Osters, a 99 and a 90, a bone dry from Villa Huesgen and a von Blauem Schiefer from the unstoppable Heymann-Lowenstein.  I love riesling and the selection is on the whole very gratifying indeed!  They say the selection will refreshing through the focus, so get down and taste the old stuff before they're replaced... 

5 Jul 2012 16:10 by Patrick Laughman

The Jugged Hare on Chiswell St, which I visited last night, has a discreet but definite German Riesling presence on its wine list. This consists of a boxout of three German Rieslings which are all available by the glass, carafe and bottle, as well as in a flight of 3 x 50ml pours.

There is currently a QbA trocken, a Nahe GG and a Spätlese on offer, but we were given to understand that these may well change as wines sell throughout the month. I tasted the GG - a 2009 Laubenheimer Karthaüser by Martin Tesch - and it was excellent.

Great to see these wines available by the glass. There was no specific mention of the '31 days' campaign.

3 Jul 2012 07:46 by Richard Hemming

I should explain that Tim Carlisle is from Banbury wine merchant S H Jones.

3 Jul 2012 06:45 by Jancis Robinson

I thought seriously about taking part but for me the promotion had a number of drawbacks that meant we didn't. Every month we particularly feature wines from one old world and one new world country. This enables us to draw attention to the most interesting wines in our portfolio. I would love us to do something with Germany - we have in the past, and I'd love us to do something with Riesling - but to take a country that is pretty niche and low volume (for us) and then restrict a promotion to one (niche) grape variety doesn't really make sense to me. I don't want lots of promotional messages in our shops at one time because I think we need clear, concise, easy to understand messages. If I pick Germany as a country to feature, but then talk about 31 days of Riesling I draw attention away from other grapes or it can look like one one hand I'm saying that German Spatburgunder is great, and on the other hand I'm just talking about Riesling and nothing but Riesling.If I choose to include it in a month with other countries promotions, then again I'm telling customers too many things at the same time - a bit like when my 4 year old starts talking and can't stop!It would be better (IMHO) to spend a bit more time worrying about German wines in general - many people don't know that there are other things - and when they find them and taste them we find that they are very receptive. It's a shame because we have worked well with a number of generic bodies, and some have done things really well, and others less well, but invariably working with them at all means we all do better but in this instance despite meeting the criteria for taking part anyway we just can't do it and justify doing it. 

2 Jul 2012 15:17 by Tim Carlisle

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