Interest? - Printable Version

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- Thomas - 03-23-1999 08:33 PM

Just thought I would post something here to see if anyone comes. I am amazed how few people not only know little about, but are uninterested in New York wine. Why is that?

- Jerry D Mead - 03-23-1999 09:53 PM

Lack of commercial availability in most national markets, and New York not being practical way to order direct.

Talk to your legislators.


- Kcwhippet - 03-24-1999 08:14 AM


I think those of us living on the right coast may have some advantage over the others. There are wines here that I feel can hold their own against anyone. Some of the best domestic Rieslings I've ever had are from NY - Dr. Frank, Wiemer, etc. The Bordeaux varietals from the North Fork are among my favorites - in fact, we take the ferry over from New London every fall to renew our supply. There are some very good wines coming out of NY - though I do have to say I'm not very fond of those from Castel Grisch or Bully Hill.

Don't forget, too, that there are others up here besides NY. I like Chamard in CT, and Westport Rivers in MA.

It's really too bad more people don't have the opportunity to taste the wines from the Northeast. I think it would be an eye opener.


- vitis - 03-24-1999 08:43 AM

Being a vineyard owner and winemaker I felt compelled to respond. Eastern white wines have great acidity, are well-balanced, and pair wonderfully with food because of their lighter styles. There is no doubt that red wines are also beginning to shine. Whole berry fermented reds and Merlot from Long Island can rival any cool climate in the world. It is important for consumers to realize that every wine region of the world produces wine of a distinct flavor and style. Eastern wines tend to be lighter in style but make much better everyday wines. Prices also are much more value oriented than our western counter parts. Distribution has and will probably always be a challenge. It is important for consumers to remember this phrase: "Think global, drink local."

- Thomas - 03-24-1999 09:08 AM

WC, yes distribution is a problem for New York, and the rest of the East, not to mention Ontario, Canada. But distribution problems do not seem to hinder wine pros from touting small properties in Oregon or even Texas: the NY Times once did a piece on American Chardonnays -- covered Idaho but not New York.
As for whites -- no challenge. Reds are another story.
I often get turned off by Long Island's vegetation in the wines, but that problem is fading. Here in the Finger Lakes, some of us are watching carefully Cabernet Franc. We all know what that grape is capable of in the Loire -- it is a fine red grape for cool Finger Lakes climate.
I liken the Northeast of Itlay -- Friuli, Alto Adige -- to Northeastern US wines. And, I guess, since in each case they are primarily great food wines, with minimal wood interference, which of course is part of why many wine gurus can't understand them. It is more fun, and perhaps more profitable, to wax over wood than over table wine.

- Dick Peterson - 04-03-1999 12:48 AM

You've got to remember that most European varietals can't be easily grown in the northeastern US because of the cold winters. This limits the variety and volumes of the established "European type" varietal wines available for distribution. We can find an occasional "really nice" Merlot or Riesling or Chardonnay from eastern vineyards but mostly the eastern wines are more or less influenced by hybrids or blends with hybrids and/or Labrusca and Labrusca-like varietals. These have flavors that take some getting used to for the wine drinker who grew up drinking traditional European varietals.

Personally, having grown up in Iowa (where my first winemaking experience was with Concord), I always smile when I taste the rare DeChaunac that is really pleasing or one of the more delicate NY whites that are becoming more common.

- Thomas - 04-03-1999 10:02 AM

With all due respect Dick, you are years behind in your attitude about the East, at least with respect to New York State.

Perhaps you can take your next vacation here. I would be happy to show you around.

- Jason - 04-03-1999 10:25 AM

I have been impressed with the wines of Palmer. Sauv Blanc and reds are very good in typical Old World style. Chard is more New World, especially the Barrel Fermented.
Cab Franc is really interesting.

- glenora - 04-04-1999 11:58 AM

foodie--I don't think that Dick is to far off the mark--It is "not easy" to grow many of the vinifera varieties in NY, which is not to say that it can't be done because it is being done, and there are several great producers in the State.

Also there are a lot of wines being produced from the French-American grape varieties, again some excellent wines.

And, for those few people who only drink wines from France I suspect they would find NY wines to be somewhat different tasting, but once again that is not all bad.

If you succeed in getting Dick to take his next vacation in our fine state I would be glad to show him around the Finger Lakes wine region.

- Thomas - 04-04-1999 12:55 PM

Who is that from Glenora? I am sure we know each other -- remember Cana Vineyards?

I think by his statement, Dick is unaware of the volume of work being done in NY with classic European grapes. Notice he did not mention Pinot Noir, and that he indicated good Chardonnay, Riesling and Merlot are an "occasional" thing.

In Riesling he surely is wrong. Finger Lakes Rieslings rival any in the world -- more than occasionally.

I am glad you are willing to split the cost of showing Dick around when he arrives here. By then, you guys will have that new 30 unit inn and restaurant up and running.