East Coast Wine News, April 5

Revenue at U.S. distilleries, including those on the East Coast, dropped 55% in 2020.

A round up of the news from March 30 - April 5, 2021 on the East Coast wine industry because the news is out there, and it needs to be highlighted.

  • Reminder: This Saturday night, April 10, is Open Local Wine night. Open a bottle of wine made locally, throw a picture on social media and use the hashtag #openlocalwine. Tag the winery, too, so they know you drank their wine.

  • New Jersey's Laurita Winery's co-owner Ray Shae died "peacefully and surrounded by his family" last week. Tom Cosentino, executive director of the Garden State Wine Growers Association, told Mike Davis of the Asbury Park Press that "everyone that dealt with Ray will sorely miss his pleasant demeanor and his guidance and advice. We’re all better for knowing him."

  • For Penn Live, Paul Vigna says that Va La Vineyards in Pennsylvania is not just one of the best winery's in the region but in the country. He checks in with owner Anthony Vietri about the 2020 vintage and this year's upcoming season.

  • As part of his series on checking in at various wineries for Penn Live, Vigna also speaks with Mike Beneduce, winemaker at Beneduce Vineyards in New Jersey and Judy Crow from Crow Vineyard & Winery in Maryland.

  • North Carolina's Sharon Fenchak from Biltmore Estate Winery is featured in The News-Press as one of five women who've reshaped the wine world for better.

  • While you're remembering to support East Coast wineries, remember that East Coast distilleries need support, too. Nicola Carruthers reports for Spirits Business that US distilleries saw revenue drop by 55% in 2020 after tasting rooms were closed due to the pandemic. Since the pandemic sent people online to buy alcohol, distilleries are looking to their state legislatures to pass laws that allow direct shipping to consumers "to meet this new consumer expectation and to compete in this rapidly-changing marketplace.”

Image: Ted McGrath/Flicker

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