Sometimes a grape does so well in a place that it becomes synonymous with the region. That was the case with California cabernet sauvignon, and it's also true of Finger Lakes riesling. As in Germany's Mosel Valley, where much of this German grape is grown, the sloping vineyards along the paw-like reach of the deep, glacial Finger Lakes are graced with moderate, drying breezes generated by the water's convection. The cool—not cold—climate favors riesling and Northern European grapes. Not only that, but as Thomas Pastuszak, the wine director at NoMad in Manhattan who studied and worked in the region, explains, "The last Ice Age brought incredible minerals, leaving microterroirs that don't exist elsewhere in the U.S. The soil complexity resembles the great regions of Europe." Versatile and aromatically expressive, riesling is the perfect grape for such soil, says Pastuszak, because it can "speak of where it's coming from."