East Coast Wine News, March 29


A lineup of New Jersey's Auburn Road wines, crafted by winemaker Julianne Donnini.


A round up of the news from March 23 - March 29, 2021 on the East Coast wine industry because the news is out there, and it needs to be highlighted.


  • Chardonel gets some attention from Wine Enthusiast's Rebecca Toy. The grape that was developed in New York in the 1950s is a cross between Chardonnay and Seyval Blanc is one grape growers on the East Coast and in the Midwest are looking to as climate change increasingly requires adaptability.

  • Zafa's Krista Scruggs writes about being one of 18 black farmers in Vermont, where there are currently 7,000 farms. The winemaker is looking to "cast a counterspell against the curse of colonialism," she says in Food & Wine.

  • In other Zafa news, Seven Days' Sally Pollak reports that the winery - that's been shut down since last November because of regulatory issues - has now received licenses to to manufacture, sell and distribute wine in Vermont.

  • Eric Wallace declares that Linden Vineyards in Virginia makes some of the best wines on the East Coast on VinePair. Owner Jim Law, who tends to keep a low profile, opens up about his vines and wines for the piece.

  • Research published from Cornell shows a detailed snapshots of production trends from 1954 to 2018, and changes in acreage and varieties from 1966 to 2011 in New York state.

  • Alexander Peartree suggests 9 Finger Lakes (New York) Rieslings for under $35 in Wine Enthusiast.

  • For Jersey's Best, Hank Zona raises a glass to three female craft beverage producers in New Jersey, including Julianne Donnini, winemaker at Auburn Road Vineyards. In another Jersey's Best post, Zona recommends Auburn Road's Dry Rosé (which I highly recommend, also.)

  • The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the PLCB illegally restricted wine shipping to restaurants and wine shops for the past four years. The illegally restricted wines were ones that aren't carried at the state stores and should have been shipped directly to restaurants and wine shops, but the PLCB forced them to be shipped to stores and charged a $2 a bottle charge for it. What does this have to do with East Coast wine? Some restaurants, like Bloomsday Cafe in Old City, Philadelphia, bring in wines from various East Coast states, and the illegal restrictions created an issue with the restaurants getting them, particularly when the PLCB stores were shut down during COVID, reports Chris Brennan for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

  • Knob Hill Winery in Maryland has closed, according to Paul Vigna for Penn Live. The owners announced its closing on a Facebook post.

  • I have a new wine column for the subscription based The Peasant Wife. For my first column, I focused on two new grapes to New Jersey's Outer Coastal Plain AVA in New Jersey, Trentina and San Marco. Imported from Italy's Trentino region, they are now in trial plantings and several NJ vineyards.

  • On New York's North Fork of Long Island, the recently purchased Laurel Lakes Vineyard will have its name changed to Ev&Em, according to Lisa Finn for Patch.

  • Todd Shapiro interviews Pindar Damianos of the New York's North Fork's Pindar Vineyards for Dan's Papers about the winery's recent Governor's Cup win and more.

  • The early warm temperatures in New York's Finger Lakes region have not been so great for the start of grape growing season, reports Chris Scholomiti for Auburn Pub.


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