There is perhaps no other grape variety in the world that captures the taste - the terroir - of where it's grown better than Riesling. And although Riesling is synonymous with the growing regions of Germany, Alsace and Austria, it finds an idyllic home in Washington state, where warm sunny days ripen the fruit while cool evenings preserve the crisp fruit acids essential for quality Riesling. Eroica represents a unique exploration of Washington Riesling.
The early Eroica blends were made predominately with Riesling from our Cold Creek Vineyard, a warm site producing a tropical, unctuous style of Riesling. Bob and Ernst’s quest for enhanced acidity and minerality eventually led them away from such a warm site to cooler climate vineyards in the Yakima Valley. Today, cooler vineyards that are consistent candidates for Erioca include Viewcrest in the Yakima Valley, Evergreen Vineyard, near the town of George, Washington, and our own Horse Heaven Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA.
Beyond finding the best sites, Bob and Ernst also make sure the vines are being managed to produce the highest quality fruit possible. The team collaborates on site selection, irrigation management, crop levels and canopy management. They work with vineyard managers to adjust yields and manage fruit exposure to prolong the ripening season for added flavor development of these cooler climate vineyards. Over the past ten years we have changed not only where we are getting our Riesling fruit, but how these Riesling grapes are grown.
At the blending table, Ernst Loosen and Bob Bertheau considered dozens of small lots, each reflecting a slight difference in character, depending on the site. It is this blend of the finest Riesling fruit of the vintage that gives Eroica its remarkable complexity and character.