I've really enjoyed sipping on this Riesling, one of my favorite grapes to imbibe and one that gets unfairly short shrift among too many folks. 

I was lucky enough to stumble into this wine through getting to know Luke Stankos, the production manager at Grand Cru Custom Crush in Windsor. Custom crush facilities play a crucial role in helping many small wineries get off the ground; providing facilities, licensing, equipment and know-how within the capital intensity of building out a winery or signing a long-term lease. Many of the wines I've released through the years have been made in custom crush spaces like Grand Cru (Windsor) or Punchdown in Santa Rosa.

The space I work out of in Richmond, though less formally a custom crush, also operates as a co-op for myself and budding natural winemakers. Many wineries will take on custom crush clients to help pay the bills, keep cash flow moving through, or to hit their bonded amount if their production is below the threshold. 

Luke is originally from Michigan, but spent years working in New York and Canada, where he fell in love with Riesling. Given his current space in the wine world, he's well-positioned as a landing spot for quality grapes that may not have a buyer come harvest time. This was the case with this Riesling. From a sustainably farmed vineyard overlooking Lake Sonoma in the Dry Creek Valley AVA, this site stays cooler than you would expect this area to. Dry Creek Valley is historically known for its Zinfandels and its Italian heritage, so it's unusual to see something like Riesling do so well here. 

I love this wine because it holds acid softly. I like my Rieslings bone-dry, which this is, and to have a healthy dose of zip. I get amazing florals on this, concentrated stone fruit notes, and super clean acid throughout. It's a perfect summer sipper chilled down on a warm day, but will also stand up nicely with creamy pastas, Indian food, or sushi. 

Should you wish to buy more of this wine, please do so below! Active members (placed an order within the last 3 months) can use the code HOOKITUP! to see bottle prices of $12/per for past releases, while the wine is available for one-off purchasers for $20/bottle.