CORNING, N.Y., Sept. 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Finger Lakes Wine Alliance is thrilled to announce the official debut of the 2012 Finger Lakes Rieslings through its third annual 2012 Vintage Riesling Launch promotion, September 3-30, 2013. The month long celebration will include Riesling tasting events at restaurants, wine bars, wine shops, wineries, and specialty events throughout New York State. Finger Lakes Wine Alliance will also host a virtual tasting series concluding with Riesling Hour, a social media driven Finger Lakes Riesling tasting on Facebook and Twitter.

The 2012 Vintage Riesling Launch is the third annual celebration of the Finger Lakes release of a new Riesling vintage. Following the successes of the Riesling Launch the past two years, we are delighted to celebrate the launch of the 2012 Rieslings. "This is a great example of a collaborative marketing effort of the leading wineries in the Finger Lakes as we unveil the 2012 Rieslings to consumers, working with our distributors and retail partners, " says Amy Hoffman, Owner of Rooster Hill Vineyards and Chair of Finger Lakes Wine Alliance. "Events are scheduled in New York City and at a number of local retailers throughout NY where customers will have the opportunity to be the first to sample some of the wines."

Riesling tasting events will be held at restaurants, wine bars, wine shops, wineries, and specialty events throughout New York State from September 3-30, 2013. Highlights of the celebration include two events in New York City, Harvest in the Square and Wine Riot, and a series of media and consumer virtual tastings featuring 2012 Rieslings.

The 2012 Finger Lakes Riesling Launch will be a sponsor of the 18th Annual Harvest in the Square for the third year in a row. The event, presented by Union Square Partnership, will take place at Union Square Park in New York City on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. Fifteen Finger Lakes Riesling producers will be paired with "chefs from the hottest and most popular restaurants in the Union Square District," according to the Harvest in the Square website, to enhance the Riesling tasting experience for attendees through pairings with farm fresh culinary creations. For more information,

A new addition to the celebration this year is New York City Wine Riot. The Riesling Launch will have a wine booth at the Riot featuring fifteen Finger Lakes Riesling producers for two days, September 20-21, 2013, at the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan. The Wine Riot is an exciting event where consumers can taste and learn about wines from all over the world in a fun, comfortable atmosphere. For more information,

Another highlight of the 2012 Vintage Riesling Launch is Riesling Hour, the world's largest Finger Lakes Riesling virtual tasting, on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. EDT. Wine enthusiasts nationwide are invited to grab their favorite bottle of Finger Lakes Riesling, pour a glass, and join the conversation by sharing their photos and thoughts about the Riesling in their glass via Twitter using #FLXWine or the Finger Lakes Wine Facebook Fan Page. In addition, there will be three media exclusive Riesling virtual tastings; a Live Virtual Tasting on Thursday, September 5, 2013 from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EDT, #WineChat on Wednesday September 11, 2013 from 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. EDT followed by another Live Virtual Tasting on Monday, September 16, 2013 from 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. EDT.

More information about all events for the 2012 Vintage Riesling Launch can be found at

Finger Lakes 2012 Vintage Recap

The 2012 growing season in the Finger Lakes was exceptional. With good fruit set, warm weather and just sufficient rain, a solid crop achieved full ripening. Red and white wines exhibit excellent varietal expression with the reds having the darkest color in years.

Growing degree day accumulation was almost identical to 2010, the warmest growing season that the Finger Lakes has had in over 40 years. As of August 30, the region had accumulated as many growing degree days as it normally does by the end of October. Rainfall totals were below average in most months as well, particularly in May, June and August, which helped to keep disease pressure low for most of the growing season. While the area did go through a stretch of several weeks with very little rainfall in late May, June and July, most vineyards were not as significantly impacted by drought stress as many other types of crops in other parts of the East and Midwest.

The warm weather meant that the vineyards were ahead of schedule in terms of bloom, veraison and harvest. Most varieties were picked 2-3 weeks earlier than normal, and because disease pressure remained low even with the return of some rain during harvest, later ripening varieties were picked on full fruit characteristics and flavor development. Disease pressure remained low even with some rain during the very tail of harvest. As can be anticipated in a warm year, brix development was higher than normal in a number of varieties. Good acidity levels are an important component for many Finger Lakes wines, especially Riesling. Acidity levels in fruit can be problematic in warm years like 2012 but this was not especially the case.

About Finger Lakes Riesling

Riesling is king in the Finger Lakes. This noble grape is the Finger Lakes most widely planted Vinifera variety with nearly 850 acres in production and almost every winery produces at least one Riesling brand. The microclimate conditions and the slate soils that are so special to the Finger Lakes are exactly what make Riesling thrive here. The wineries of Finger Lakes Wine Country continue to be internationally recognized for their award-winning Rieslings in such publications as Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Food & Wine, Wine & Spirits, and Decanter. Many of the region's Rieslings have won many prestigious medals at wine competitions like Riesling du Monde, or Rieslings of the World, in the Alsace region of France.

About Finger Lakes Wine Alliance

The mission of the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance is to increase the visibility and reputation of the Finger Lakes AVA, its wines and wineries. The Alliance was incorporated as a not for profit corporation in the spring of 2004. The board of directors is representative of the Finger Lakes AVA and the Finger Lakes region which includes 14 counties as defined by New York State.

Photos accompanying this release are available at:

CONTACT: Stephanie Jarvis Program Manager Finger Lakes Wine Alliance (607) 936.6670Source: Finger Lakes Wine Country