Planting Hudson River Valley's Newest Riesling


If you weren't paying attention, you could very easily end up trampling some of Hudson River Valley's newest Riesling vines. "For us, it's a great addition to our portfolio of wines. I think we have a really good site — between the elevation, the hillside, the soil type — it's just a natural variety to have grow here," remarks John Graziano, Millbrook's winemaker since 1984.

To an untrained eye, the plots look like little more than large dirt patches, spanning an approximate three acres on the elevated eastern hillside of the winery's picturesque estate. But then you take a closer look and notice demarcations in the ground — a long stretch of symmetrical rows, and within each, a set of evenly spaced small mounds. Bend down to get closer look still and there it is: the knobby top of a baby Riesling vine, just barely poking out from the mix of light clay and gravel debris.

The obvious question to be asked: Why now?