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In the 40-plus years since Alex and Louisa Hargrave planted and founded Long Island’s first commercial vineyard and winery in 1973, the region has fought hard, vintage by vintage, to earn its reputation for producing some of the best wine in the East, almost exclusively from classic French varieties like Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Pioneering winemakers from all over the worlds helped to shape the Finger Lakes into a modern region. These founding winemakers began growing vinifera and raised the quality of wine, and that in turn attracted a new generation of talented individuals, who continue to push the boundaries and carry on the pursuit of excellence in the Finger Lakes.
It is impossible to begin to talk about the current winemaking scene in the Finger Lakes without covering its immensely important influence on the national winemaking scene. The Finger Lakes is not the oldest winegrowing region in the state, that distinction belongs to the Hudson Valley, but it is the largest, and arguably the best-known region in New York state. There are more than 100 wineries between the five major lakes. The Finger Lakes are five large lakes carved out by the withdrawal of the Wisconsin ice sheet. They formed deep gouges creating Scandinavian fjord-like lakes, with deep bottoms. This kind of depth offers an important temperature moderating influence that acts as a buffer from the cold northern winds and weather flowing down from Canada. This is commonly called Lake Effect.
By Paul Vigna Nova Cadamatre is director of winemaking for Constellation’s Canandaigua Winery, developing the 240 Days wines from the Finger Lakes. She and her...
“Wine Quality Conference” will focus on the eastern wine region’s pursuit of excellence. Healdsburg, CA, October 30, 2017 - Wine Industry Network (WIN) opened...
Two hundred years after writing, “we could, in the United States, make as great a variety of wines as are made in Europe: not exactly of the same kinds, but doubtless as good,” Thomas Jefferson’s dream is being realized throughout the Commonwealth of Vi
Blame it on the scuppernong. A variety of the Muscadine, it’s not only the official fruit of North Carolina but the first grape cultivated in the United States. Indeed, the Mothervine in Manteo on Roanoke Island, a nearly 500-year-old scuppernong vine, is the oldest-known cultivated grapevine in the nation. No state makes more Muscadine, a unique and often sweet wine.
Numbers reflect the improvements – with New Jersey having now increased to 50 wineries and more than 1,000 acres of wine – as do the recent awards – Sharrott’s port-style red called Wicked, made from Chambourcin grapes, won the state’s Governor’s Cup and a double gold in the San Francisco Wine Competition this year. That’s just one example.
Still, getting noticed by the state’s consumers remains a work in progress, said Kevin Atticks, longtime executive director of the Maryland Wineries Association and founder of the Baltimore-area management firm called Grow & Fortify. That company also represents the state’s craft brewers and distillers.
The reality is that the clientele remains largely in the dark about what to expect, despite a significant uptick since 2010 in the number of producers making premium wines. While the industry itself grapples with its direction: largely sweet wines vs. dry wines and a focus on events vs. a priority on the wines.