Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Terragena 2018 Riesling, Wiley Vineyard, Anderson Valley

What is there not to love about Riesling? From light, crisp Rieslings to richer, sweeter ones, Rieslings are extraordinarily versatile with food. So, when I order my weekly fix of sushi, a dry Riesling was the logical answer. I selected a dry Riesling from Terragena Winery in the Anderson Valley. Dry, crisp and tangy, it paired perfectly with my sushi and that is why the Terragena 2018 Riesling, Wiley Vineyard, Anderson Valley is the Please The Palate wine of the week.

Terragena means “born of the earth” and Terragena Winery was in fact, born of the earth. In 2008, Chris Buchanan, who studied mathematical economics, moved from New Orleans to Humboldt County. He bought undeveloped land with steep forested hillsides and a few clearings. He set up a tent in the middle of one of those clearings and started to study the land by hiking around it. He built a yurt to live in and started developing off-grid water and power systems.

In 2013, after building a 1,000,000 gallon pond that collects rainwater and setting up a drip irrigation system, he planted his vineyards. As Chris built his winery by hand, sustainability was part of the focus. Today, the entire estate is run with solar power, utilizes an off grid domestic water system from a year round spring, and the rain water collection pond irrigates the estate vines. Terragena Winery is a fully functioning off-grid and sustainable vineyard and winery.

Chris’ estate property includes a two-acre vineyard planted to Pinot Noir. Chris works with six other vineyards in the Anderson Valley to make up to 20 different wines. His total production is 1000 cases with most lots being 50-150 cases in size.

The Riesling is sourced from the Wiley Vineyard, a 20 acre vineyard in the deep end of Anderson Valley. Planted in 1976, the two acre Riesling bloc of vines is the oldest at the Wiley Vineyard. With the Pacific Ocean only ten miles away, the climate at vineyard site is very cool.

The Terragena 2018 Riesling, Wiley Vineyard, Anderson Valley is a field blend of 92% Riesling and 8% Muscat. It was fermented in neutral oak and stainless steel. Aromas of apricot pit, grapefruit pith, green apple, citrus and white flowers are inviting. On the palate, the wine is full bodied with mouth-coating acidity and chalky minerality. The wine was a lovely pairing with sushi and sashimi.

Only 1,320 bottles (110 cases) are made of the Terragena 2018 Riesling, Wiley Vineyard, Anderson Valley which retails for $39 direct from the winery.