Tuesday, October 02, 2018

My New Piece for The Cork Report: Vineyard Designate: Sawmill Creek Vineyards

The Cork Report
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A block of pinot noir vines in Sawmill Creek Vineyards.

As you may or  may not know, I have started writing for The Cork Report. Here's a new piece I just wrote.....follow the link below to read the article in it's entirety.

Vineyard Designate: Sawmill Creek Vineyards

Editor’s note: Similar to the tastemakers series I write for the site, Carlo DeVito is going to showcase some of the best and most important vineyards sites on the East Coast and Midwest. We’re calling this new series “Vineyard Designate.”

Growers rarely get the headlines. It’s the winemakers who seem to set fashion and quality and grab all the headlines, feature articles, and photo ops. But there are growers who have become brand names in and of their own right.

A vineyard designated wine is a wine produced from grapes grown in a single vineyard with that vineyard’s name appearing on the wine label. Under United States wine law, if the name of vineyard appears on the label at least 95% of the grapes used to make the wine must come from that vineyard. According to columnist Dr. Vinny at Wine Spectator, “they certainly indicate a confidence that the wine is at least distinctive.”

The concept was best surmised by Stett Holbrook in the Los Angeles Times, who wrote, “In France, terroir is taken as gospel. Over the last two decades, California winemakers have also embraced the notion, and it’s become more and more common for wines to be marketed with a “single vineyard” designation. Winemakers have been talking less about winemaking and more about soil and microclimate and the uniqueness of vineyard character. You don’t often find the word on a wine label, but when the label touts a particular vineyard, that’s code for terroir.”

Heitz Cellars seems to have led the way with the Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvingnon. And St. St. Jean pretty much lead the way with their Chardonnays. These were the leaders in single-vineyard or single-vineyard designations. There are two kinds of single-vineyard designations. The first would be the single vineyards of a particular winery. And there are the single vineyards of professional grape growers. The later is more rare.

This is the first in a series of articles about the development of single-vineyard wines outside of the West Coast. “It was in the 1990s that vintners opted to go bigtime with vineyard-designated bottles. They said they were spurred by the extra complexity that certain sites exhibited, but that’s only half the story. The other half was that, by then, it was apparent the public would pay more for single vineyard wines,” wrote Steve Heimoff. “As I said, I’m not sure that the best, most wholesome and complete, not to mention satisfying, wines come from individual vineyards. But wine isn’t just about hedonism, it’s about intellectual fun. For me, as a wine lover and critic, I love these single vineyard or block designation wines because they’re so interesting in themselves, even if they’re sometimes a little lacking something essential.”

We happen to think it’s about terroir, first and foremost. Single vineyard designations offer the ultimate in terroir. And the concept has not only gained ground in the eastern winemaking regions as well, it has made headlines.

to read the rest go to:

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Publisher's Weekly Raves About "Big Whiskey" by Carlo DeVito

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Big Whiskey: Kentucky Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey, the Rebirth of Rye and the Distilleries of America’s Premier Spirits Region
Carlo DeVito, with Richard Thomas and Emily West. Cider Mill, $29.95 (480p) ISBN 978-1-60433-776-1

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A former publishing executive, DeVito takes a deep dive into the spirit in this dazzling study, offering profiles of distilleries like Heaven Hill in Bardstown, Ky. (home to Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, and the Parker’s Heritage lines), as well as craft distilleries and some of the key players who make bourbon such an intoxicating subject, such as Chris Morris of Woodford Reserve and Jim Beam’s Booker Noe. Readers expecting bottle-by-bottle ratings and rankings won’t find that, as DeVito acts more as a tour guide and historian than purveyor, but the book is filled with enough recommendations for bottles and bars, barroom trivia and arguments (can Tennessee whiskey be classified as bourbon?) to keep the conversation going until the wee hours. If the book has a flaw, it’s the small type. Those who can muscle though are bound to appreciate DeVito’s clear love for the topic and informative entries, not to mention the book’s reverential portraits of its subject, the terroir, and the men and women behind some of the best bottles on the market. This is an entertaining accompaniment to a healthy pour and a nice cigar. (Aug.)


Friday, September 21, 2018

Valley Table magazine celebrates Hudson Valley Cider! (NY)

Great article in The Valley Table about the continued explosion of hard cider in the Hudson Valley! Written by Timothy Buzinski it's in the September/November 2018 issue. Super job!