Levi Dalton Interviews Paul Grieco

The father of the Summer of Riesling shares his story


Paul Grieco doesn't need an introduction if you're at all involved with the New York wine scene. If you're not, you might be surprised to learn how fundamentally important Paul has been to a whole generation of wine drinkers and how they approach wine, all through the work at his restaurant Hearth and his group of Terroir wine bars.

Levi Dalton is back, this time interviewing none other than Paul Grieco, father of the Summer of Riesling. A pivotal player in the evolution of wine's role in the restaurant world, Paul also changed how wine is being considered by a new generation of consumers, both in the industry and out.

Levi and Paul share a casual chat with the familiar din of a restaurant preparing for service in the background. Please forgive the audio of this video, it was filmed as the restaurant was getting ready for dinner rush. It is an atmosphere both Paul and Levi are accustomed to and unfazed by.

Paul's Story

Listen in as Paul recounts his family history in the restaurant business, the seminal trip that changed his outlook on the restaurant industry, and how wine is woven into the fabric of life beyond those restaurants.

The things that intrigue Paul may have had a profound effect on the world of wine and the perspectives of a new generation of wine professionals, based on the tangible history of each wine. He has broken the mold in describing wine and opening the door to wine to a myriad of people, ranging from newbies to honed professionals.

Developing a List

Developing the wine list at Hearth introduced a novel concept of seasonality based on the foods on offer and drinking tendencies during each season. The list not only broke ground in this respect, but Paul also found a different way to make a bold statement by reinterpreting his wine list as a package of stories.

Listen to the compelling evolution of Paul's take on the wine list and how this style established a new paradigm. His look back at his time at Gramercy Tavern adds a fascinating perspective to Paul's story.

The Grieco Empire

Paul presents his view on how the economy helps to shape his expansion plans and how the restaurant landscape has changed over the last decade.

Beyond the evolution of the business model, Paul is also well-known for the introduction of the Summer of Riesling, a 'signature Paul event.' This element of the Terroir calendar is an integral part of the way Terroir has remained an advocate for Riesling in particular and less well-known wines in general, coming full circle with Paul's recent comment regarding Bordeaux.


What drives Paul Grieco? It's not the hours and working environment. Find out what drives Paul, his advice for the next generation of wine professionals, and what he looks for when hiring for his establishment.

The Grieco Palate

What is the Paul Grieco palate and what bores the crap out of him? Find out all that and more in this clip. Listen in as Paul describes the lists that excite him and the people who have inspired him.

What's Next?

Levi ends his interview with Paul looking forward to the future. Would it surprise you that Paul is excited about New Zealand and Australia? Nothing that Paul says or does should be surprising, especially not the changes Paul would like to see in the wine industry.

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