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Evolving the German Wine Queen Tradition

German Wine Queens, 1952-2022, Art Credit Valerie Kathawala

Evolving the German Wine Queen Tradition 

by Cathy Huyghe


The story starts with a pedicure and a camping van.


Each year when the German wine queen visits New York City, Paul Grieco treats her to a pedicure. (If the queen’s mother is also visiting, she gets one, too.) Grieco is a sommelier, vocal Riesling advocate, and owner/manager of Terroir wine bar in New York. He is also part jester, reveling in the micro-tradition of the pedicure while also pointing toward the intellectual esteem in which he holds every queen he’s ever met. 


Grieco honors the queens, he said, “because we [at Terroir] are fans of history and culture and [the queens] are an important part of historical harvest festivals. Without the harvest, there would be no wine...and no Terroir.”


That is one snapshot of the German wine queen tradition.


Another shows the queen less as royalty and more as a modern young woman on an of-the-moment adventure with German wine.



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