East Coast Wine News, October 12


A questionable news item has misleading info about grapes used by Virginia wineries, and one of the state's most prolific wine writers has something to say about that in today’s East Coast Wine News.

A round up of the news from September 30 - August 12, 2020 on the East Coast wine industry because the news is out there, and it needs to be highlighted.


  • Virginia wine writer Frank Morgan is none too pleased with NBC 4 Washington's news segment last week that suggested many Virginia wineries use California grapes. On Drink What You Like, the Morgan says he was surprised and disappointed that the organization took one winemaker's comment and turned it a story that said "East Coast and West Coast grapes are used together in many of Virginia’s wines, but crops in California are burning, torching the grapes Virginia winemakers need." He calls on the piece's writer to to support his claim that “many of Virginia’s wines” are made with west coast grapes or post a retraction to correct the record.

  • Speaking of Virginia wine, Cathrine Todd has some good things to say about its wines on Dame Wine. In a touching tribute to the state's wines, particularly Petit Manseng, she weaves a personal tale about belonging, NYC, and VA wine and concludes that "drinking a glass of Virginia Petit Manseng is certainly a lovely reminder that America is at its best when it loudly holds up those people and things that would fade into obscurity anywhere else… anywhere else except the U.S."

  • Cathrine Todd has another East Coast piece, this time for North Forker. Despite 2020 being a turbulent year in general, it may just be a special vintage for the New York winemakers on Long Island.

  • For Wine Enthusiast, Kathleen Willcox celebrates East Coast Cabernet Franc, focusing on bottles from New York, New Jersey and Virginia.

  • The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets is offering over $299,000 in grants to specialty crop producers, including those who grow wine grapes reports Vermont Biz.

  • New Jersey is adding a new winery, as soon as it gets state approval. Jarred Daniel Saffren reports for the Burlington County Times that Stokelan Winery in Medford is hoping to open by the end of the year, but the process has been slowed down due to the pandemic.

  • Founders Jeff and Michelle Sanders have sold Glass House Winery and the Glass House B&B in Free Union, Virginia, to Jay Smith, who is from Richmond and moving to Free Union, reports Richard Leahy on his website.

North American news that's not East Coast, but not West Coast either

Not because West Coast wine news isn't important, but it already gets plenty of attention.


  • Michigan's oldest winery will celebrate its 100th birthday reports Paul Vigna on PennLive. St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw uses only fruit grown in state. Vigna has a Q&A with assistant winemaker Nancie Oxley.

  • Malvasia Bianca, Albarino, Vermentino, Picpoul Blanc and Montepulciano are five of the 10 under-the-radar wine grapes that Georgann Yara says Arizona winemakers could be using on AZ Central.

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