Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Matt Specarelli of Benmarl Winery Talks New York Wine With Fox News

Lifestyle & Budget
Wine and Economic Growth Go Hand in Hand
By Tracy Byrnes

Published July 15, 2011

When most people think of wine they think of dinner, relaxing on the couch after work, or celebrating an event.

It’s not often people equate wine with economic growth. But they should.

Take New York: The wine industry added $3.76 billion to the state’s economy in 2008, according to a study by Napa-based Stonebridge Research Group, LLC.

Aside from the increasing revenues in the state’s agricultural and manufacturing sectors, wine is the only agricultural product that generates excise and sales taxes for the state and local economies.

Then there is tourism income. Wine trails throughout New York are a major reason nearly five million tourists visited in 2008, bringing lots of money to the rural economies.

That’s why it was so great to speak with Matthew Spaccarelli, general manager of Benmarl Winery the other day. Benmarl, America’s oldest vineyard, is located in Marlboro, N.Y., and was founded in the early 1800s. Today it is run by Spaccarelli’s family.

Matt and his family are on a mission to bring attention to New York wines and get the word out that you don’t have to go to Napa Valley to get a great Merlot.

Questions for Our Wine Pro
What is your Death Row wine?

Anything with a high alcohol content! Just kidding. I would have to say a good quality Burgundy. I enjoy Burgundy, but I'm not really sure why. Perhaps in my last moments I'd be able to figure it out. Or perhaps Burgundy is some sort of metaphor for the afterlife, "we dont understand it, but it's going to be good." Unless of course you committed a crime that landed you on death row, then the metaphor would most likely come in a box with a pour spout at the bottom!

What region produces the best wine in your opinion?

Being a New York Wine producer, I am partial to the quality, character and diversity of the wines produced here. Aside from New York wines, I often find a bottle of wine from the Loire Valley in France sitting on my table. Like New York, these wines are delicate and balanced and have a sense of place. It is their subtleties rather than their boldness that makes them shine at the dinner table.

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