Monday, January 29, 2007

Cave Spring Pinot Noir - With Apologies to Proust

Sunday, I came home from being away with one of my sons for the afternoon, and my wife, Dominique, was just starting to get busy in the kitchen. She heated up some olive oil, and diced small slices of garlic into the rippling pan. And then she added chicken cutlets, dipped in egg, and then doused with a mixture of bread crumbs, five salts, several peppers, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. As the cutlets sizzled in the pan, the smells of the kitchen brought me back to many a day in my childhood, in my mother's kitchen. As I recall it even now, in my head, a soundtrack of voices speaking in Italian runs in the background. I could not help but be reminded of Marcel Proust's Madelines and tea from A Remembrance of Things Past.

All of us were eager to eat. Dom made a pot of whipped summer squash, and I added a spinach salad covered with olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon, salt and pepper.

And what to have with this meal? I went down to the cellar and pulled out a favorite wine. A Cave Sring Pinot Noir.

Cave Spring Cellars was founded in 1986 by grape grower Leonard Pennachetti and wine maker Angelo Pavan. From the beginning, they have vinified vitis vinifera grapes - the noblest grape varieties of the Old World - from vineyards along Niagara's Beamsville Bench in Canada. Nestled at the heart of this narrow, fifteen kilometre shelf of the Niagara Escarpment, Pennachetti's Cave Spring Vineyard is one of Niagara's oldest vinifera plantings.

I have tasted three or four wines by Cave Spring, and I have never been disappointed. I consider them one of the better of Niagra's Canadian wineries, and one of the better east coast wineries in general.

Their Pinot Noir is 45% Cave Spring Vineyard; 5% other Beamsville Bench; 40% Twenty Mile Bench; 10% Creek Shores, and is composed of 90% Pinot Noir; 10% Gamay. The wine is barrel aged for 1 year in older French, American, and Hungarian oak.

The result is a medium-bodied Pinot with delicate cherry fruit and some vanilla. Maybe be some earth, as promised. It has nice tannins, and a dry finish with a slight touch of pepper.

I popped the cork and we sat down with the children to dinner. They had milk. Both the boys commented on how good dinner smelled, and I realized they someday would expereince the same memories, fueled by the smells of breaded cultlets being made in the kitchen. And I assumed, probably rightly, Mr. Pennachetti, who is also of Italian heritage, may have similar memories. Proust, somewhere, must have been laughing. We said a blessing as a family, and then we clinked glasses. It was a nice end to the week.

Visit Cave Sring at http://www.cavespringcellars.com/

Friday, January 26, 2007

Hermann Wiemer Profiled in Associated Press


Hermann Wiemer was profiled by the Associated Press, and the story ran across the country, being carried at Forbes.com, The Miami Herald, Houston Chronicle, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others. See a portion below and there's a link to the Miami Herald page for the rest...link below.

Associated Press
German Earns NY a Seat at Fine-Wine Table
By BEN DOBBIN
January 22, 2007

Hermann Wiemer, a German expatriate, bought an abandoned soybean farm in the hilly Finger Lakes region 1973 and put his winemaking pedigree to the test, turning it into a vineyard.

Since then, Wiemer has turned out some of the nation's best rieslings, and his viticultural know-how has literally rooted the vinifera revolution in New York. His first riesling and chardonnay vintages in 1979 won gold in New York competitions.

"When I started, vinifera were going for $600-700 a ton," he said. "Now we get up to $1,800 a ton for riesling. We're the highest priced riesling grape in the country."

The cool climate and gravelly soil in the area reminded him of the Mosel Valley in Europe, where his mother's family has made wine for 300 years and his father led efforts to restock vineyards decimated during World War II.



SEE FULL ARTICLE AT: http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/business/national/16516988.htm

Maryland Events - February and March

February 2
Berrywine Plantations / Linganore Winecellars
“Only The Shadow Knows” Wine Tasting
Friday only 10am-5pm
Using our hidden telescope may help you spot the area that gave rise to the Linganore Len legend. Tour, taste and hear the legend. Free

February 3
Basignani Winery
“Souper” Saturdays
12-5pm
Hot soup to warm up those cold February Saturdays! A souvenir glass and wine tasting included with a selection of two different soups to choose from. $

February 3-4
Berrywine Plantations / Linganore Winecellars
Cask to Kisses Wine Tasting Weekends
Sat 10am-6pm, Sun12-5pm
Surprise your Valentine with special weekend wine tasting all month. Savor our red wines with kisses of delicious chocolate. Free Ask about local B&B’s.

February 3-4
Boordy Vineyards
Fond of You Fondue
1-5pm
Sample our award-winning wines while gathered around cheese, caramel and chocolate fondues. Sip hot wassail and toast marshmallows over an open cauldron…$12 per person

February 3
Fiore Winery
Barrel Tasting
1:30-4pm
Fiore Winery will offer a tasting of red wines straight from the barrel. Learn the wine aging process from wine master, Mike Fiore. You will then have a chance to compare the young wine to the bold and sophisticated finished reds. RSVP • $

February 4-5
Fridays Creek Winery
Cabin Fever Reception
Sat 12-5pm, Sun 12-5pm
The artists at Fridays Creek Winery and Gallery invite you to escape the winter blues. Warm up with wine and art. Sample wine as you browse the work of over 25 local artists. Paintings, photos, glass, sculpture, jewelry, pottery, prints and more. Free.

February 10-11
Berrywine Plantations / Linganore Winecellars
Cask to Kisses Wine Tasting Weekends
Sat 10am-6pm, Sun12-5pm
Surprise your Valentine with special weekend wine tasting all month. Savor our red wines with kisses of delicious chocolate. Free Ask about local B&B’s.

February 10-11
Boordy Vineyards
Fond of You Fondue
1-5pm
Sample our award-winning wines while gathered around cheese, caramel and chocolate fondues. Sip hot wassail and toast marshmallows over an open cauldron…$12 per person

February 10-11
Cygnus Wine Cellars
Hearts in the Cellar
Sat 1:30-4pm, Sun 1:30-4pm
Treat your sweety to a tasting of Delicious Chocolates and Great Wines from the Cellar. RSVP by February 8 • $10

February 10
Fiore Winery
Sweetheart’s Day
10-5pm
Gift baskets made up for the special someone in your life. Give a romantic wine gift basket to enjoy after a great dinner. Free

February 10-11
Elk Run Vineyards
Wine Roses and Fondue
Sat 12-4pm, Sun 1-4pm
Enjoy a tasting of six wines matched with cheese, white chocolate and dark chocolate fondue RSVP $
February 10
Fiore Winery
Valentine’s Dinner
6-10pm
Miss the hassle of crowds in restaurants on the holiday and enjoy a relaxed evening at Fiore Winery. Dinner will be served and music will be playing to help you enjoy the sweetest night of the year. RSVP • $

February 10-11
Loew Vineyards
Valentine Treats
Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 1-5pm
Treat your sweetheart right, with samples of wine, cheese and chocolates. Free

February 14
Boordy Vineyards
Romance After Dark
6-9pm
Valentine’s at Boordy. Candlelight affair featuring our award-winning wines, Fondues and fire outside. Every lady gets a feathered boa to get the party started…
RSVP • $15 per person

February 17
Basignani Winery
“Souper” Saturdays
12-5pm
Hot soup to warm up those cold February Saturdays! A souvenir glass and wine tasting included with a selection of two different soups to choose from. $

February 17-18
Basignani Winery
Case Club Week-end Event
12-5pm
Join our Case Club this week-end for special discounts, Italian cheese, and Basignani glass. Additional discounts for current Case Club members. Free

February 17-18
Berrywine Plantations / Linganore Winecellars
Cask to Kisses Wine Tasting Weekends
Sat 10am-6pm, Sun12-5pm
Surprise your Valentine with special weekend wine tasting all month. Savor our red wines with kisses of delicious chocolate. Free Ask about local B&B’s.

February 17-18
Boordy Vineyards
Fond of You Fondue
1-5pm
Sample our award-winning wines while gathered around cheese, caramel and chocolate fondues. Sip hot wassail and toast marshmallows over an open cauldron…$12 per person

February 17-18
Loew Vineyards
Valentine Treats
Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 1-5pm
Treat your sweetheart right, with samples of wine, cheese and chocolates. Free

February 24
Basignani Winery
“Souper” Saturdays
12-5pm
Hot soup to warm up those cold February Saturdays! A souvenir glass and wine tasting included with a selection of two different soups to choose from. $

February 24-25
Berrywine Plantations / Linganore Winecellars
Cask to Kisses Wine Tasting Weekends
Sat 10am-6pm, Sun12-5pm
Surprise your Valentine with special weekend wine tasting all month. Savor our red wines with kisses of delicious chocolate. Free Ask about local B&B’s.

February 24-25
Boordy Vineyards
Fond of You Fondue
1-5pm
Sample our award-winning wines while gathered around cheese, caramel and chocolate fondues. Sip hot wassail and toast marshmallows over an open cauldron…$12 per person


March 2007
March 3-4
Berrywine Plantations / Linganore Winecellars
Entwined With The Vines and Irish Saints & Medieval Mead
Sat 10am-6pm, Sun12-5pm
Let your imagination run wild, using prunings from our grape vines to create your very ownunique decorations. Tour and taste. Free

March 3
Fiore Winery
Wine Aroma Therapy
10-5pm
Test your nose and win prizes! Free

March 4
Boordy Vineyards
Stew In Our Juices
1-5pm
Sample traditional stews made with our award-winning wines. $12 per person

March 4
Cygnus Wine Cellars
Cellar Rat Holiday
Sun 1:30-4pm
Come down into the Cellar for a sampling of Cheeses and Breads from around the world, accompanied by Wines from the Cellar. RSVP by March 1 • $20 Limit 30

March 10-11
Berrywine Plantations / Linganore Winecellars
Entwined With The Vines and Irish Saints & Medieval Mead
Sat 10am-6pm, Sun12-5pm
Let your imagination run wild, using prunings from our grape vines to create your very ownunique decorations. Tour and taste. Free

March 10
Fiore Winery
Test Your Wine
12-3pm
Bring wine from your cellar to be tested by wine master, Mike Fiore and his atomic analyzer. Learn every inch of your wine without letting it spoil. Fiore Winery will recork any bottle opened. Also, see Fiore wines tested. RSVP Free

March 10-11, 17-18
Loew Vineyards
New Spring releases
Sat 10 am-5pm, Sun 1-5pm
Be the first to try the new wines of the year, paired with select cheeses. Free

March 11
Boordy Vineyards
Stew In Our Juices
1-5pm
Sample traditional stews made with our award-winning wines. $12 per person

March 11
Elk Run Vineyards
Barrel Sampling and Vertical tasting
2-4pm
Nestled in the winery join the winemaker in sampling older vintage are tasted with current and those wines from the barrel waiting bottling. Offering a true appreciation of the maturating process. Served with delectable finger foods RSVP $

March 17-18
Basignani Winery
Shamrocks & Stew
12-5pm
Share some Irish stew and Irish soda bread with us as we celebrate St Patricks Day with a wee bit of Irish music and wine of course. Glass included. $

March 17-18
Berrywine Plantations / Linganore Winecellars
Entwined With The Vines and Irish Saints & Medieval Mead
Sat 10am-6pm, Sun12-5pm
Let your imagination run wild, using prunings from our grape vines to create your very ownunique decorations. Tour and taste. Free

March 17
Fiore Winery
Luck o Fiore
10-5pm
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by testing your luck. Show us your knowledge of Fiore Winery and its history to win prizes. Free

March 17-18
Loew Vineyards
New Spring releases
Sat 10 am-5pm, Sun 1-5pm
Be the first to try the new wines of the year, paired with select cheeses. Free

March 18
Boordy Vineyards
Stew In Our Juices
1-5pm
Sample traditional stews made with our award-winning wines. $12 per person

March 24-25
Berrywine Plantations / Linganore Winecellars
Entwined With The Vines and Irish Saints & Medieval Mead
Sat 10am-6pm, Sun12-5pm
Let your imagination run wild, using prunings from our grape vines to create your very own unique decorations. Tour and taste. Free

March 25
Boordy Vineyards
Stew In Our Juices
1-5pm
Sample traditional stews made with our award-winning wines. $12 per person

March 31-April 1
Berrywine Plantations / Linganore Winecellars
Entwined With The Vines and Irish Saints & Medieval Mead
Sat 10am-6pm, Sun12-5pm
Let your imagination run wild, using prunings from our grape vines to create your very ownunique decorations. Tour and taste. Free

March 31
Fiore Winery
Case Club Party
5-9pm
Bring a vintage bottle of Fiore Wine. Every member will sample and judge from the wine brought and from some of our reserves. The winning member will receive six bottles of a current vintage. RSVP • Free

Profile: Paul Roberts, Deep Creek Cellars - Maryland


It was as an apprentice at California's prestigious Chateau Montelena that Paul Roberts leaned how to make superb wine: start with quality grapes, and exercise imagination. Roberts sources fruit locally, regionally, and nationally, and also grows his own.

After 10 years of growing grapes in Deep Creek's Alpine climate, Roberts has learned that his Cabernet Franc are suited best to pink wines. He's particularly proud of his 2006 estate-grown Cabernet Franc rosé, due out in late spring. "You'll think it's from the Loire Valley."

The winery reflects Roberts' casual, rustic style, and the wines, nearly all dry, are bottled without filtration. From the quaint tasting room, to gravity-flow bottling and hand-labeling equipment, the focus is on nature and its resources. He is one of the nation's few winemakers to spell out his philosophy in a book — From This Hill, My Hand, Cynthiana's Wine (1999).

"Paul typifies what a growing industry needs; he's an innovator, and he's not afraid to take chances," says Dick Penna, grape grower and chair of the Maryland Wine and Grape Advisory Commission.

Retailer Mitchell Pressman, owner of Baltimore's top-rated Chesapeake Wines, says: "Paul is a brilliant winemaker who happens to have a small vineyard in western Maryland… The wine is delicious and unique."

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Westbend Vineyards 2004 Chambourcin

I recently went to Ashville, North Carolina for work. I am always excited, for I always stick my nose in a small wine shop or generl store and see if I can't find a North Carolina wine to try. Recently, I found one.

Westbend Vineyards is located in Lewisville, North Carolina. The 60 acres of prime vinifera vineyards are neatly tucked into the gently rolling countryside in the northwest corner of Forsyth County, where the Yadkin Valley begins. The name Westbend refers to the Yadkin River, which takes a bend to the west in this area and has given the name to the region.

The first vineyard at Westbend was planted in 1972, against the advice of some rather heavy agricultural authorities. But the owner, Jack Kroustalis, was not discouraged by the naysayers. He began planting vinifera varieties that are used to produce fine California and French wines. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc are now thriving along the banks of the Yadkin. And they have won many awards (see below).

I came home late at night, and Dominique had made small, fresh ravioli covered in a red sauce with cubed chicken and chickpeas. And I eagerly opened a bottle of Westbend Vineyards.

2004 CHAMBOURCIN was very bright and fruity. This medium-bodied wine was loaded with cherries and blackberries. And, as promised, light tannins carry through to a earthly mineral dry finish.

Even now, as she is babbling in my ear, purposely annoying me, wanting my attention, I am greatful for her culinary talents, and her cheerful companionship (cheerful?). Westbend Vineyards is worth searching for. It was delicious and went perfectly with our pasta dinner. Someday soon, I'm going to have to go on a diet.

2006 AWARDS

WINES OF THE SOUTH
2004 FUME - SILVER
2004 CHAMBOURCIN – SILVER
2004 RIESLING - SILVER
2003 BF CHARDONNAY – BRONZE

FLORIDA STATE FAIR
2003 BF CHARDONNAY - SILVER
2004 LENOIRIEN PINOT NOIR - SILVER

FINGERLAKES INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION
2005 LILLY B - SILVER

TASTERS GUILD
05 LILLY B - SILVER
04 MERLOT - SILVER
04 PINOT NOIR - SILVER

MID-ATLANTIC WINE COMPETITION DIXIE CLASSIC FAIR
05 LILLY B - GOLD
05 YADKIN FUME - GOLD
04 MERLOT - GOLD
05 CHAMBOURCIN - GOLD
03 VINTNER'S SIGNATURE - SILVER
LUCKY LUCCI - BRONZE
CAROLINA BLUSH - BRONZE

NC STATE FAIR
05 VIOGNIER - GOLD
CAROLINA BLUSH - SILVER
05 CHAMBOURCIN - BRONZE

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bedell Cellars is a Hot Brand!


BEDELL CELLARS, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, got something else to toast about as well: Selection as one of the “Top 10 Hottest Small Brands in the World” by Wine Business Monthly and WineBusiness.com. Founded by Susan and Kip Bedell—who long ago was dubbed the “Master of Merlot” by the Wine Spectator—the winery is now owned by Michael Lynne, co-chairman of New Line Cinema (Lord of the Rings Trilogy, among others). While still specializing in Merlot, Bedell has branched out with some other fine wines as well, and has a particular vision of wine as art, and with art, as evident from its labels and the art in its tasting room.

Congratulations to all on well-deserved recognition.

Glenora Wine Cellars 30th Birthday


GLENORA WINE CELLARS celebrated its 30th anniversary recently, and according to Jim Tresize, President of Uncork New York, both congratulations and thanks are in order. Following enactment of the Farm Winery Act of 1976, Glenora was the first farm winery to be licensed in the Finger Lakes region, and has since remained a leader in many other ways. They have often been first to introduce new wine types or styles; opened one of the first winery restaurants; then opened the elegant 30-room Inn at Glenora to help meet the burgeoning demands of wine country tourists; have been involved in many industry organizations for years; and have won all kinds of awards, including Best Sparkling Wine at the San Francisco International Wine Competition about a decade ago. It’s amazing to think that just 30 years ago the first winery was just getting started on Seneca Lake , which now has about 50. Thanks to people working together, the New York wine industry has gone from economic crisis to phenomenal success.

Congratulations to Glenora President Gene Pierce and his team.

Canada, Oh Canada


Being in the publishing business, I have sometimes had to travel for work. I am always thrilled to get a chance to visit Canada. I know, I know,, they're a bit too quiet and the live right next door. But I love Montreal and especially Toronto, and I am dying to go to Vancouver and British Columbia....maybe even the Canadian Rockies.

But going to Canada isn't as fun as it used to be. And why, you might ask, is that? Well, in the old days, I used to bring a large duffle bag, and I used to buy a load of Canadian wine, then then bring it on the plane as my carry on luggage. My visits at one point were almost legendary, as I once had several friends help me bring home my wine by stashing some in their luggage. It was always for personal consumption and I was always well within the limits of the law, if not the airline's cap on personal luggage.

I've always wanted to do a big story on Canadian wine, but I've never got the chance. Thee is a big story there, but it has gotten too big, and so I am planting a flag in Canada. I say right now, Canada makes good wine. Not just good wine - Great Wine! And not just ice wine, but all kinds. From the Ontario region to Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, just above Washington state. And so, going forward, I will review many more Canadian wineries as well. Henry of Pelham, Cave Springs, Inniskillin, and more.

There are many great wines being made in Canada's hundreds of wineries. There are lovely chardonnays and deep, dry reds, and of course fabulous ice wines and ice ciders, too.

When you go to Canada, try these delicious wines. They are wonderful surprises. I would also sugest a tour of wineries next time you go north of the border.

Here are some of my favorite Canadian wines:
Cave Spring Cellars - almost everything
Inniskillin - almost everything
Mission Hill - almost everything
Henry of Pelham - some very nice surprises
Pellier - wonderful ice wines
La Face Cachée de la Pomme Neige Ice Cider - he best, newest ice wines - simply awesome

Other popular wines I have not yet drank include:
Chateau des Charmes
Jackson Triggs
Pelle Island Winery

Great Canadian wine website: http://www.winesofcanada.com/

Here are some great books on the subject:






















Wine Awards in Canada
There are many competitions in Canada...two of the biggest are the Canadian Wine Awards and the Ontario Wine Awards.

For the Ontario Wine Awards, which are very prestigious, you can go to their website: http://www.ontariowineawards.ca/

2006 CANADIAN WINE AWARDS
I've only listed below the gold and silver award winners - a complete list can be found at: http://www.wineaccess.ca/Portals/4/CWA2006.pdf
or at their website: http://www.canadianwineawards.ca/

Medal Results of the 2006 Canadian Wine Awards
by Donald G. House
Syrah, the big reds, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris rule in British Columbia! Riesling,Chardonnay and Icewine in Ontario! Many of Canadian wine’s emerging regional strengths were confirmed by the 6th annual Canadian Wine Awards, but there are surprises as well – two Ontario gold for Cabernet Sauvignon that herald Niagara’s best ever showing in categories based on the red Bordeaux varieties The competition held in Penticton, B.C. in September featured over 700 wines from all of Canada’s wine regions. Sixteen judges from B.C, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec worked through the best organized and documented blind wine judging event ever held in Canada.

"It was an exciting year to be a taster at the Canadian Wine Awards”, said Chief Judge David Lawrason. “The competition was very tough in most of the categories, and overall the judges felt quality was generally higher and more consistent across more wineries than ever before.” Over 90 wineries entered this year.

In the December Issue of Wine Access on newsstands in mid-November, watch for complete results of the Special awards, including Winery of the Year, Red, White, and Sparkling, and Sweet Wines of the Year, the top wines in each category, plus analysis and commentary of the 2006 Canadian Wine Awards.

For information, please contact:
Donald G. House
dhouse@redpointmedia.ca
403.240.9055
David Lawrason
dlawrason@redpointmedia.ca
613.966.3503
Anthony Gismondi
Anthony@gismondionwine.com
604.926.4751

The Finalists for 2006 Winery of the year are
Burrowing Owl, Okanagan Valley
Calona Vineyards, Okanagan Valley
CedarCreek Estate Winery, Okanagan Valley
Chateau des Charmes, Niagara Peninsula
Inniskillin Wines, Niagara Peninsula
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan, Okanagan
Mission Hill Family Estate, Okanagan Valley
Pillitteri Estates, Niagara Peninsula
Quails Gate Estate Winery, Okanagan Valley
Sumac Ridge Estate Winery, Okanagan Valley

SPARKLING
Silver
Sumac Ridge 2002 Steller's Jay Brut, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $25

WHITES
Pinot Blanc
Silver
Sumac Ridge 2005 Private Reserve Pinot Blanc, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $13
Lake Breeze 2005 Pinot Blanc, Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $16

Un-Oaked Chardonnay
Silver
Vineland Estates 2005 Chardonnay Un-Oaked, Niagara Peninsula, ON $14

Chardonnay Oaked
Gold
Niagara College Teaching Winery 2004 Warren Classic Chardonnay ON $28
Blasted Church 2004 Chardonnay Revered Series, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $26
Silver
Angels Gate 2004 Old Vines Chardonnay VQA, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula,
ON $24
Golden Mile Cellars 2005 Chardonnay Luckhurst Family Vineyards, Oliver, Okanagan
Valley, B.C. $20
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2004 Chardonnay Proprietors' Grand Reserve, Okanagan
Valley, British Columbi$19
Lake Breeze 2005 Seven Poplars Chardonnay, Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley,
B.C. $22
See Ya Later Ranch 2005 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $20
Township 7 2004 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $18

Riesling Dry to Off Dry
Gold
Flat Rock Cellars 2005 Riesling, Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, ON $17
Mt. Boucherie Estate 2005 Estate Collection Riesling, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $15
Silver
Cave Spring Cellars 2004 Riesling CSV, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, ON $30
Quails' Gate Estate 2005 Limited Release Dry Riesling, Westbank South, Okanagan
Valley, B.C. $16
Thirty Bench 2005 Riesling, Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, ON $18
Thirty Bench Small Lot 2005 Riesling Steel Post Vineyard, Beamsville Bench, Niagara
Peninsula, ON $30
Wild Goose Vineyards 2005 Stony Slope Riesling, Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley,
B.C. $17

Gewürztraminer
Gold
Calona Vineyards Artist Series 2005 Gewürztraminer, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $14
Thornhaven Estate Winery 2005 Gewürztraminer, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $15

Sauvignon Blanc
Silver
Sandhill Sauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $17
Vineland Estates 2005 Sauvignon Blanc, Niagara Peninsula, ON 19$

Other White Aromatics
Silver
Quails' Gate Estate 2005 Limited Release Chenin Blanc, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $19
Sandhill 2005 Small Lots Viognier, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $25

REDS
Pinot Noir
Gold
Coyote's Run 2004 Black Paw Vineyard Pinot Noir, Niagara Peninsula, ON $36
Silver
Cedar Creek Estate 2004 Estate Select Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $27
CedarCreek Estate 2004 Platinum Reserve Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $40
Golden Mile Cellars 2005 Black Arts Pinot Noir, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $35
Mission Hill Family Estate 2004 Reserve Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $22
NK 'Mip Cellars 2004 Qwam Qwmt Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $30
Quails' Gate Estate 2004 Limited Release Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $25
Quails' Gate Estate 2004 Family Reserve Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $40

Cabernet Franc
Silver
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2004 Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley, B.C. B.C. $27
Pillitteri Estates 2002 Cabernet Franc Family Reserve, Niagara Peninsula, ON $50

Merlot
Gold
Pillitteri Estates 2002 Merlot Family Reserve, Niagara Peninsula, ON $50
NK 'Mip Cellars 2003 Qwam Qwmt Merlot, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $30
CedarCreek Estate 2003 Platinum Reserve Merlot, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $40
Silver
CedarCreek Estate 2004 Classic Merlot, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $20
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2004 SunRock Vineyard Merlot, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $30
Stag's Hollow Renaissance 2004 Merlot, Okanagan Valley, B.C., Canada $30
Sumac Ridge 2003 Black Sage Vineyard Merlot, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $20
Hawthorne Mountain 2004 Merlot, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $17
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2004 Merlot Proprietors' Grand Reserve, Okanagan Valley,
B.C. $25
Mission Hill Family Estate 2003 S.L.C. Merlot, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $40
Quails' Gate 2004 Family Reserve Merlot, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $40
Red Rooster Winery 2004 Merlot Grand Reserve, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $30

Cabernet Sauvignon
Gold
Creekside Estate Winery 2002 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Niagara Peninsula, ON
$29
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Proprietors' Grand Reserve,
Okanagan Valley, B.C. $25
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2004 SunRock Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley, B.C.
$30
Pillitteri Estates 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Family Reserve, Niagara Peninsula, ON $50
Silver
Cedar Creek Estate 2004 Platinum Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley,
B.C. $45
Mission Hill Family Estate 2004 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley, B.C.
$23
Quails' Gate 2004 Limited Release Cabernet Sauvignon B.C. $18
Reif Estate 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula, ON $50
Sumac Ridge 2004 Black Sage Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley, B.C.
$20

Gold
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2004 Red Meritage Proprietors' Grand Reserve, Okanagan
Valley, B.C. $25
Summerhill 2002 Cabernets, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $19
Silver
CedarCreek Estate Winery 2004 Estate Select Meritage, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $30
Creekside Estate Winery 2002 Reserve Meritage, Niagara Peninsula, ON $34
Laughing Stock 2004 Portfolio, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $37
Magnotta Winery 2003 Enotrium, Niagara Peninsula, ON $40
NK 'Mip Cellars 2004 Qwam Qwmt Meritage, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $40
NK 'Mip Cellars 2003 Qwam Qwmt Meritage, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $40
Pillitteri Estates 2002 Trivalente Family Reserve, Niagara Peninsula, ON $75
Sandhill 2003 Small Lots Two, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $30
See Ya Later Ranch 2004 Ping, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $25
Sumac Ridge 2003 Pinnacle Red, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $50

Syrah/Shiraz
Gold
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2003 Syrah, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $30
Silver
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2004 Shiraz Proprietors' Grand Reserve, Okanagan Valley,
B.C. $25
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2004 Shiraz Proprietors' Reserve, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $19
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2004 SunRock Vineyard Shiraz, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $30

Other Reds - Vinifera and Hybrid Single Varieties
Silver
Inniskillin Okanagan 2004 Discovery Malbec, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $24

SWEET WINES
Late Harvest
Gold
Chateau des Charmes 2004 Late Harvest Riesling, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara
Peninsula, ON $18
Silver
Quails' Gate 2005 Botrytis Affected Optima, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $30
Wild Goose Vineyards 2004 Total Botrytis Affected Riesling, Okanagan Falls, Okanagan
Valley, B.C. $60

Icewine - Riesling
Gold
Cave Spring Cellars 2004 Riesling Ice Wine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $60
Chateau des Charmes 2002 Riesling Icewine Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard, St. David's
Bench, Niagara Peninsula, ON $6
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan 2005 Riesling Icewine Proprietors' Grand Reserve, Okanagan
Valley, B.C. $60
Silver
Hillebrand Showcase 2004 Riesling Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $60
Inniskillin Wines 2004 Riesling Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $70
Mission Hill Family Estate 2004 S.L.C. Riesling Icewine, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $80
NK 'Mip Cellars 2005 Qwam Qwmt Riesling Icewine, Osoyoos, Okanagan Valley, B.C.
$60

Other White Ice Wine
Gold
Gehringer Brothers 2005 Minus 9 Ehrenfelser Icewine, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $48

Icewine - Vidal
Gold
Château des Charmes 2004 Vidal Icewine, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Peninsula, ON
$42
Silver
Birchwood Estate 2005 Vidal Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $35
D'Angelo Vineyards Estate 2004 Vidal Icewine, Lake Erie North Shore, ON $40
Flat Rock Cellars 2005 Sweet Revenge, Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, ON $40
Jackson-Triggs Niagara 2004 Vidal Icewine Proprietors' Reserve, Niagara Peninsula,
ON $46
Magnotta Winery 2004 Vidal Icewine Limited Edition, Lake Erie North Shore, ON $30
Mission Hill Family Estate 2004 Reserve Vidal Icewine, Okanagan Valley, B.C. $50
Peller Estates AP Signature Series 2005 Vidal Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $60
Pillitteri Estates 2004 Vidal Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $40
Reif Estate 2004 Vidal Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $47
Strewn Winery 2004 Vidal Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $45

Red Icewine
Gold
Inniskillin Wines 2004 Cabernet Franc Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $89
Pillitteri Estates 2004 Merlot Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $50
Silver
EastDell Estates 2004 Cabernet Franc Icewine, Niagara Peninsula, ON $65

Fruit Wine
Silver
Clos St. Denis 2004 l'Original Pomme de Glace Ice Cider, Quebec $24
Raven Ridge 2005 Braeburn Iced Cider, B.C. $36

Sunday, January 21, 2007

There's Hope for Virginia Wineries

Lawmakers say there is a chance shipping rights could return
BY GREG EDWARDS
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER Jan 4, 2007

Lawmakers backing bills to restore self-distribution rights to Virginia wineries believe the legislation could succeed this year.

"The momentum we have been gathering is substantial," said Del. Christopher B. Saxman, R-Staunton.

Sen. John Watkins, R-Powhatan, the bill's other sponsor, said the measure would help keep small-businesspeople in business, promote tourism, preserve farms and maintain open land.

Virginia wineries lost their right to self-distribute after a federal judge ruled in 2005 that the practice unconstitutionally discriminated against out-of-state wineries. The General Assembly authorized self-distribution in 1980 to give the fledging wine industry a boost.

The proposed legislation would fix the constitutionality of state law by allowing both in- and out-of-state wineries to self-distribute up to 3,000 cases of wine annually in Virginia.

Watkins said he believes Virginians want lawmakers to support the state's wineries and vineyards.

Ann Heidig of the Lake Anna Winery and president of the Virginia Wineries Association said the Virginia Farm Bureau, the Virginia Agribusiness Council, the League of Conservation Voters, the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association, Virginia Retail Merchants Association, the Virginia Association of Counties and many other groups and individuals support the legislation.

Winery owners and wine retailers, who appeared at a news conference in Richmond yesterday, described how the loss of self-distribution rights have hurt their businesses.

David King of the King Family Winery in Crozet said a wine bar featuring Virginia wine he had opened in Charlottesville lost its source of supply when wineries lost the right to self-distribute.

David Johnson of the Peaks of Otter Winery in Bedford County said he gave up on a planned expansion of his winery last year. "I'm sitting there with a building I really don't need," he said.

Without harming wine distributors, it is time to modernize Virginia's three-tiered alcohol marketing system, Watkins said. Since the 1930s, the manufacture, wholesale distribution and retail marketing of alcoholic beverages has been legally separated and regulated.

When Virginia wineries asked the General Assembly to restore self-distribution last year, lawmakers bowed to politically powerful wine distributors who vigorously opposed the proposal. Allowing out-of-state wineries to self-distribute would hurt their businesses, they said.

Walter Marston, a lobbyist for the distributors, said the wineries still have not shown a need for extending self-distribution to out-of-state wineries. The time has come for the wineries to adapt to the loss of self-distribution, he said.

Saxman, however, said the proposed legislation is a reasonable compromise.

Contact staff writer Greg Edwards at gedwards@timesdispatch.com or (804) 649-6390.

Making a Case: Small wineries seek Virginia's help

FILE/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Date published: 1/4/2007
By CATHY JETT

Two Virginia legislators plan to introduce a new bill that would allow small wineries to self-distribute.

Wine lovers may get the chance to again find Cabernet Francs, Nortons and Syrahs from Virginia's small wineries in their favorite restaurants and retail shops.

Del. Chris Saxman, R-Staunton, and Sen. John Watkins, R-Midlothian, will introduce a bill in the upcoming General Assembly session that would allow winery owners to self-distribute up to 3,000 cases of wine to such places as the Virginia Wine Experience in downtown Fredericksburg.

"We don't want to hurt distributors," Watkins said yesterday during a Virginia wine industry press conference in Richmond. "We want to grow small wineries large enough so there's enough to distribute regionally and nationally."

The legislators chose the 3,000-case limit, Saxman added, because that's the tipping point where wineries need to get a distributor if they plan to grow. Currently, the annual median production at Virginia's 120 wineries is 2,500 cases, according to the Virginia Wineries Association.

Charles Duvall, vice president of the Virginia Wine Wholesalers Association, said he hasn't seen the bill, but his organization will probably oppose it. The legislation extends self-distribution to small, out-of-state wineries, something wholesalers were successful in persuading the General Assembly to reject last year.

Virginia's wineries were free to sell directly to shops and restaurants until last July 1. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state laws allowing in-state wineries, but not out-of-state businesses, to self-distribute was discriminatory. States had to level the playing field, and Virginia decided not to allow wineries to sell directly to stores or restaurants.

They can, however, still sell their products at winery tasting rooms and wine festivals.

The change has hit some wineries and related businesses such as vineyards hard, although no figures are available yet, said Ann Heidig, association president and co-founder of Lake Anna Winery in Spotsylvania County.

David King of King Family Vineyards in Crozet, for example, told the 40 or so supporters and journalists at the conference that he had to close Vavino, a wine bar in downtown Charlottesville, because his costs increased 30 percent to 40 percent once he had to buy Virginia wines from distributors.

"Wine bar margins being what they are, we couldn't afford to stay in business," he said. "I support this bill strongly. It's too late for Vavino, but it will be part of the rising tide to help the Virginia wine business."

Marcie Siegel of Acorn Hill Vineyard in Madison County said said their original business model was to produce 2,500 cases a year at first, then get a distributor once they were turning out 4,000 cases a year. They had planned to be producing up to 10,000 in five years.

Acorn Hill now averages 2,800 cases annually and has had to rethink its plans as a result of last year's General Assembly decision.

"We wanted to learn our market and see who is best to distribute our wines," Siegel said. "Now we're having to put the cart before the horse."

Russ Amrhein of AmRhein Wine Cellars in Bent Mountain, which is near Roanoke, said his wholesale income has dropped $90,000 since the new law went into effect, and he's got 5,000 cases of wine worth about $500,000 sitting in a warehouse until he can find a distributor.

"Competition for distributors is tough right now," he said. "That's one reason I'm here in Richmond today, to find a distributor."

Saxman and Watkins said their bill will not only benefit Virginia wine makers, but will help farmers continue to use their land for agricultural purposes instead of selling to developers, and encourage tourism just as the state prepares to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the first successful English colony at Jamestown.

"It'll be a tough sell," Watkins said, "but I think it will work."

Booming Wine Industry Puts Maryland Grapes in the Pink


from The Examiner (MD)
by Scott Shewfelt
Jan 20, 2007 3:00 AM

BALTIMORE - The Maryland wine industry is budding, and Americans are consuming more wine than ever, according to the Congressional Wine Caucus’ first nationwide economic study of wine and grape products.


“We’ll have 32 wineries by the end of this year,” said Kevin Atticks, director of the Maryland Wineries Association.

“Four years ago, there were only 12.”

American wine and grape industry contributes $162 billion and 1.1 million jobs to the economy, according to the recent study titled “The Impact of Wine, Grapes and Grape Products on the American Economy 2007.”

Maryland wineries have seen a 19 percent increase in sales in 2006, which is above the national average, Atticks said.

“It’s exciting to see more vines growing,” said Carol Wilson, past president of the MWA and owner of Elk Run Vineyards in Mount Airy.

U.S. wine consumption per capita ranks 38th worldwide, but the United States has shown increasing demand with wineries in all 50 states.

Maryland’s industry is growing, but neighboring Pennsylvania and Virginia each has roughly four times as many wineries. California dominates 90 percent of America’s wine production.

The study will be distributed to Congress to emphasize the importance of immigration reforms, global climate issues and other issues potentially harmful to America’s wine industry.

For Maryland, success hinges on promotional and land issues.

Grape farming is a highly capital- and labor-intensive activity, and getting farmers to change from their traditional crops often means breaking from family tradition, said Anthony Aellen, wine maker and president of Linganore Winecellars in Mount Airy.

Unionville Vineyards 2003 Hunter's Red Reserve Meritage

Maybe I am just a Jersey guy after all, no matter that I spent much of my youth in Connecticut or lived in NYC for more than 14 years. Or maybe, like Robert E. Lee, I cannot draw my sword against my own state. Suffice to say, I have a soft spot for the state Franklin said was like a barrell tapped at both ends (he made the point that NJ's two biggest cities were Philadelphia and New York).

Yesterday, was a cold, blustery day. The chilly wind was pressing against us everywhere we went. Wegmans. The library. The backyard. Church. It was brutal. And so, early in the morning, Dominique and I were thinking of making something really wonderful for dinner on Saturday nite to treat ourselves. Something robust and heart warming.

Our ideas differed slightly. She suggested mussels. She suggested salmon rissotto. She suggested brook trout. Now, it does occur to me that the reason my wife has stayed thin and beautiful (at least to me) is that she is better at making food choices - good food choices. Given an opportunity, I can be honest and tell you that I do not always choose the less fattening menu selection - in fact my barometer goes completely the other way.

So I pushed back. How about steaks done on the grill, Pittsburgh style? How about a pork roast? Casoule'? Finally, I prevailed somewhat. It would be a lamb roast, done with butter, salt, pepper, studded with garlic and sprinkled liberally with fresh rosemary. And instead of potatoes au gratin, we had roasted cubes of butternut squash with butter, salt and pepper. And a very nice salad of greens, cranberries, sprinkled with just a little bit of shredded broccoli and carrots and a touch of blue cheese.

What to drink? I have to admit, some pretty big names drifted across from me in the cellar....a Turley? a Hanzell Pinot Noir? a Kistler Pinot Noir? a Neibaum Coppola Cab Franc? a Pinchon Longville? or even a first growth? what should I serve?

Now, during the day, I had bought a 2003 Hunter's Red from Unionville. I put off my making my main selection for dinner, and curious to see where the Unionville Meritage had come to recently. I was so curious. I opened that as a starter wine, as both our mouths were drooling as the roasting lamb wafted through the house. The potatoes were done first...and that was t, I couldn't take it any longer. So I opened the bottle, initially to let it breath a little, but the smells coming from the kitchen invaded the house, and I was a dog in Pavolov's test.

So I got out the good wine glasses, and poured a taste of this wine from New Jersey more as an experiment than as a choice. I wasn't going to take a chance on such a good meal.

The label featured a photo of a fox hunt. Using the theme of fox hunting, a sport practiced in the Amwell Valley, Kris Nielsen and Pat Galloway, owners of Unionville Vineyards, constructed the main winery building in 1992 by renovating the historic former peach, apple and then dairy barn. The barn had been built in 1858 and expanded in 1900 and 1947. The original pegged, mortise and tendon joints connect the hand-hewed, post and beam structure and have been maintained throughout the winery building. All field stone used in the winery is from original foundations. The wishing well at the entrance is the original cistern used for livestock in the barn. I had been going to Unionville since 1994 or 1995. I consider them one of the btter wineries in the state, and are, unabashedly, among my favorites.

The 2003 Reserve Meritage is made from 72% cabernet sauvignon, 24% merlot, and 4% cabernet franc.

Dominique and I both stuck our noses in the glass after the requisite swirling around of the wine. It had legs. It also had a wonderful ruby color. And the nose was exquisite. Cherries and vanilla filled the glass. We both looked at each other? Could this be? We smelled again. Smooth and beautiful. We tasted wih great anticipation. The flavors came through. Bright and dark cherry came through, and the vanilla also showed through a little bit. And the finish was dry and ended with a touch of pucker. A delicious wine. We immediately agreed to decant the rest - we would have it with the meal and forgo one of the bigger wines - this would be excellent.

Waiting that extra 45 minutes seemed like a day-and-half. And we finally sat down. Our eight year old sons, Dylan and Dawson, has macaroni and cheese and hot dogs, and were totally grossed our by the smoldering leg of lamb and the orange potatoes. We all clinked glasses (they had milk) and we dug in. The lamb and squash were done to perfection. And now came the perfect compliment. The wine smelled even better, having had a chance to open up, and tatsed wondeful. It was an exciting moment.

New Jersey reds are really coming into their own. With Turdo and Silver Decoy, and a few others, Unioville also is now producing one of the better reds in New Jersey. I'm going to buy more and lay half of it down. But I am looking forward to some lamb leftovers today.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Keuka WIne Trail Events

Here are some other fun upcoming events:

Be Mine With Wine - February 10-11 & 17-18
Murder Mystery Tour - March 31-April 1
World Tour of Food & Wine - April 21-22
Keuka in Bloom - May 19-20
Barbeque At The Wineries - June 9-10 & 23-24
Keuka Octoberfest - September 15-16
Keuka Holidays - November 10-11 & 17-18

visit www.keukawinetrail.com

Wine On Ice in Late January


On January 26 and 27, in Elmira, New York, the Finger Lake wineries have a fun little event. At the First Arena they host a massive little get together of more than 30 wineries. It is an awesome way to get away from the winter blahs and have a little fun.

6th Annual Wine on Ice 2007:
January 26 & 27, 2007

Session I: Friday 5:30pm – 9:00pm
Session II: Saturday 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Session III: Saturday 5:30pm – 9:00pm
Take part in a wonderful way for the Finger Lakes area to take the edge off the chilly evenings. Held at First Arena in Elmira, participants are invited into the building to take to the ice to sample some of the area's premier wines.

Entertainment will fill the air as local restaurants filled tummies and local craft businesses filled the shopping bags of this year's attendees. Check back often for details so you don't miss this wonderful winter tradition!

Tickets Available At:
First Arena Box Office, Info Center in Corning, Bottles and Corks in Corning, Holiday Inn in Elmira, Holiday Inn in Horseheads, and online at www.ticketmaster.com
Ticket Prices:
Individual-Day of – Session I
$25.00 + Applicable service charge

Individual-Day of – Session II
$20.00 + Applicable service charge

Individual-Day of – Session III
$27.00 + Applicable service charge

Group** Advance Only SAVE $5
per ticket **20 or more

Admission includes a Souvenir Tasting glass-No one Under 21 allowed.

http://www.wineonice.com/