Geneva, NY

Finger Lakes Sees the Return of the International Riesling Expo

Synthia Stark

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In Geneva, New York, the International Riesling Expo returns to the Finger Lakes for FLXCursion 2021: Riesling and the New Normal. After a resounding success from the 2019 conference, it's great to see some sense of normalcy and socialization in the area.

From July 17, 2021, until July 20th, 2021, Riesling producers, academics, writers, Masters of Wine, professionals, and enthusiasts from all over the world will get together to celebrate this special and unique grape variety.

There will be seminars, tastings, wine dinners, and more. The public may be welcome to some of the events, such as a free open-air street party.

Saturday Night Riesling Fever

"Saturday Night Riesling Fever" is an open-air street party that will feature Riesling and showcase some live music and dances at 7:30 PM on July 17, 2021, on Linden Street in Geneva.

Danielle Ponder, of Rochester, New York, will perform. She will also appear at the Newport Jazz Festival later this month.

The festivities for this part are open and free to the public. There will be a section closest to the stage that is reserved for only those with tickets for the seminars, grand tour, and/or conferences.

You can watch a video of Danielle Ponder perform a cover from Radiohead's Creep below:

Public Seminars

There will be two consumer-friendly/public seminars, and these will include tastings.

It will be held from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Saturday, July 17th at The Smith Opera House. It is located at 82 Seneca St. in Geneva, New York, and it will cost $100.

Part 1

One panel discussion will occur from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM and it is called "Let's Talk Riesling". Cheryl Stanley will host a discussion with panellists Erika Frey, Nova Cadamatre, and other amazing guest winemakers.

They will lead the tastings for some of the best Rieslings from around the world.

Part 2

Then, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, another panel discussion will occur called "Riesling: Food's Best Friend" and it will feature wines paired with cheeses and food bites. The purpose of this discussion is to showcase how Rieslings complement various foods.

Dominick Purnomo, wine director and co-owner of Yono's Fine Dining in Albany, New York, will moderate a panel of sommeliers, including Wanda Mann of "The SOMM Journal."

Here's a map of the area below:

Grand Tour and Excursion

A Grand Tour will be held on Sunday, July 19. Five stops will be made around the Finger Lakes region. Each stop will have tastings.

Instead of your usual traditional winery visits, tastings will occur at vineyards and other unique locations to really showcase the history, agriculture, climate, and geology of the Finger Lakes and why it is the best environment to grow Riesling.

Experts will also discuss what makes Finger Lakes unique.

After the first talk, buses will depart from The Smith Opera House in Geneva and will return the attendees by the end of the day. They will be an option to drive separately.

This specific tour will cost $100.

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Riesling Dinners and Pop-Ups

Multiple restaurants will have some pretty fascinating and intriguing wine dinners. This means that some will be able to interact with famous winemakers from around the world, on top of experts in and around the Finger Lakes region.

Some of these may have already started and will require reservations through each respective establishment.

These have already included:

  • Avvino in Rochester on July 9, where a wine dinner hosted winemakers from German wineries Selbach-Oster and von Winning
  • Kindred Fare in Geneva on July 10, where WXXI's Evan Dawson, author of "Summer in a Glass," discussed wineries, and famous chef Samantha Buyskes prepared a meal
  • Ports Café in Geneva on July 10, where VIP German winemakers were present
  • The Left Bank in Geneva on July 10, where a vintage Riesling dinner featured Ernst Loosen of Dr. Loosen in Germany

To top it off, Wines of Germany will sponsor a pop-up wine bar at Microclimate Wine Bar, 38 Linden St. in Geneva. The wine list will change every night. You can still view the extended schedule here.

Industry Conferences

There will be many conference seminars for industry experts and scholars and will investigate many topics much more deeply, such as:

  • “Terroir and the Age of the Internet”
  • “Riesling: Wet and Dry, The Present Climate”
  • “Riesling and Beyond, The New Frontiers”

There will of course be many other seminars too.

Leading Experts/Key Speakers

Discussions will be hosted and led by the top industry experts, including (but are not limited to):

  • David Schildknecht
  • Kelli White
  • Miguel de Leon
  • Nova Cadamatre MW
  • Stuart Pigott
  • Thomas Pastuszak

It will conclude with a keynote address from Andrea Immer Robinson MS.

Leading Producers

There will also be famous and respected Riesling producers there too. Some of them include:

  • Andreas Huetwohl from Weingut von Winning
  • Ernst Loosen from Weingut Dr. Loosen
  • Johannes Selbach of Selbach-Oster
  • Kerry Shiels from Côte Bonneville

It will be great to see the thriving Riesling community back in the Finger Lakes region. Industry experts from all over the world get to discuss something that they are all passionate about, learn from those experiences, and make a much more promising future.

This just goes to show that Finger Lakes is the go-to place for Riesling.

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International Collaboration

Plus, international efforts made this conference possible. Many Riesling-producing countries, organizations, and regions worked together to make this happen, including (but not limited to):

  • Australian Wineries
  • Finger Lakes Wine Alliance
  • New York Wine & Grape Foundation
  • Washington State Wine Commission
  • Wines of Austria
  • Wines of Germany

Tickets

As of today on July 17th, the public seminars will be held and the tickets are $100. For the tickets concerning the grand tour of the Finger Lakes, that is on Sunday, July 18th, and that will also be $100.

For the full in-person experience of the professional industry conference, the tickets are $500. If you plan to attend virtually, it will be $50 instead.

One can obtain tickets from the FLXCursion website. For those in or around New York, including Geneva, it might be worth your time.

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