East Coast wine news, March 12


News about the flourishing East Coast wine business from the past two weeks or so.

  • Paul Vigna sends wine tourists on a visit to four South Jersey wine producers, and he hits all the right notes in my opinion. In his PennLive Winery tour series, he recommends visiting William Heritage, Sharrott, White Horse, and Bellview, all producing quality wines and showcasing what New Jersey wineries throughout the state can do with Garden State grapes.

  • The Cork Report's Paul Brady highlights Alsace varieties from the Northeast - specifically the Finger Lakes and Michigan - that go with barbecue. Brady says that because Alsace cuisine with its "slow-cooked and smoked hams, sausages endless potato sides with Muenster cheese, bacon lardons" is "strikingly similar to barbecue," American wines made with traditional Alsace varieties are a good paring for barbecue.

  • March is Maryland Wine Month, says CBS Baltimore. The "month-long celebration to recognize Maryland’s vineyards and their award-winning products raises a glass to the state’s wine industry" is accompanied by a variety of events. A lit of those events can be found at Maryland Wine.

  • The Washington Post's Dave McIntyre reviews two wines from Virginia's Chestnut Oak Winery, along with a few other wines. He says the young winery that's just north of Charlottesville is "showing promise," and its whites are better than its reds. Something important to note: There's been a lot of talk in the wine community about getting rid of the stigma surrounding hybrid varieties of grapes. In his review of Chestnut Oak's White Table wine made from viognier, he says "if you think hybrids are inferior, this delicious wine should convince you otherwise." (FYI - Washington Post has a pay wall and only allows a certain number of views per month before you hit it.)

  • The Cornell Chronicle says that at the 5th annual B.E.V. NY conference and symposium held earlier this month, New York sparkling wine was a topic of discussion. Winemakers were told they have an "opportunity to produce more premium sparkling wine than many other regions" because of their soil and climate and that U.S. consumers are more interested in sparkling wine.

  • North Carolina has over 180 wineries and 500 growers across the state, and case production doubled from 2013 to 2016. Those are a few of the "fun facts" about NC's wine industry revealed at N.C. Winegrower’s Association annual conference in Winston-Salem, according to Greensboro's News & Record.

  • There a good discussion on New York Upstate about the difference between ice and "iced" wines. Dozens of New York's wineries make one version or the other. Traditional ice wine is made in the Finger Lakes, Lake Erie or Niagara, but "non-traditional “iced” wine makers also appears to be growing." (My opinion: If it's good, it's good. I don't care which method is used, but the bottles need to be labeled correctly.)

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