A piece on Missouri Riesling came across the news desk today from Westphalia Vineyards:
Missouri Riesling wine was once widely available in the United States, but virtually all vines were destroyed at the onset of Prohibition in 1919. Considered an extinct, Native American grape, Westphalia Vineyards rediscovered a vine at the National Agricultural Experimentation Center at Cornell University that had been planted in 1890. Thanks to Thomas Jefferson, Cornell University was given the mission of preserving every American grape species.
Westphalia Vineyards started with five cuttings in 2005 and have now propagated this unique varietal to over 500 healthy vines. This year Westphalia Vineyards will bottle the first Missouri Riesling in nearly 100 years. We call this experiment “Renaissance,” the rebirth of Missouri Riesling, a Native American grape varietal. Production of this estate grown release is limited to just 40 cases.