Friday, March 29, 2013

Rich Olsen-Harbich Speaks Out on Merlot and Chardonnay in Edible East End (NY)

The Edible Blog
Great piece on the value and importance of terroir in relationship to Long Island Merlot and Chardonnay. Some absolutely fantastic wines are being made in Long Island right now. Kudos to Brian and his staff at Edible East End for giving Rich the platform for his piece! - C. DeVito

Bedell Winemaker Rich Olsen-Harbich

Sticks up for Merlot and Chardonnay

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The Revenge of the Clones
March 28, 2013 | By Rich Olsen-Harbich

Back when the first vineyards were planted on Long Island, many people “in the know” didn’t believe our region could successfully grow European wine grape varieties like chardonnay and merlot. Forty years later, we have proved the critics wrong many times over. Today Long Island remains one of the most innovative and creative producers in the world of these two wines. Without these two varieties, the face of Long Island wine would be far different and in my opinion, much less successful.

Long Island has recently been criticized for producing too much chardonnay and merlot. Some have said these grapes just “aren’t sexy right now.” Although I don’t think one should need a grape to ignite his or her libido, I believe there is much to say in defense of a stable, long term varietal relationship. This is especially true when there is so much more to do, so many more clone/rootstock combinations to explore and so many more wines to make. The best is truly yet to come.
Any lover of Long Island wines will tell you that the wines we make today are better than what we made in the past. The reason?  Some of it of course is due to experience and know-how and an ever increasing understanding of our terroir. But there’s another big reason–clones.

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