Saturday, August 27, 2011

Steven Kolpan on Hudson Valley Riesling

In the September-November issue of Hudson Valley Table, highly acclaimed wine writer Steven Kolpan (Exploring Wine) and director of the wine program at the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, writes with great passion about the new clones of riesling being planted in the Hudson Valley, and the movement toward riesling as a viable vinifera grape in the valley.

Highlighted in the piece are Whitecliff, Brotherhood, and Millbrook wineries.

Congrats to all the wineries, and special thanks to Steven Kolpan and Hudson Valley Table.

Read more at:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Silver Mountain Raspberry Apple Wine (NH)

So, on my way to Maine, I stopped at the New Hampshire state liquor store that's a mile or so from the border, where half the people traveling the highway stop at on their way to the Vacation state (maine).

I haven't been up this way in some time, so I thought I would buy some New Hampshire wines and ciders to review.

One of the wineries I came across was Silver Mountain Ciders made in Lempster, NH.

According to Freda Mooncotch, The Wine Wench, "Steve Miner and his wife Cindy Brzezinski started their business five years ago, when Miner lost his job, and developed medical problems. He knew it would be difficult to find work, so he decided to start his own business Wine and cider making was something Steve did all his life as a hobby and he started buying the equipment he needed off the internet."

We were visiting folks in Maine, and decided to open one of the bottles, after letting it cool off in the refrigerator. I lifted off the bottle cap,, and a lovely "pop!" greeted our ears. We drank the wine with cheese and apples and crackers. It was a perfect pairing.

Sun-ripened raspberries gives way to the lingering taste of autumn apples with a hint of sweetness.

This is a lovely, sparkling wine with lots of flavor, somewhat like a framboise. Really lovely!

Farnum Hill Kingston Black ’07 Reserve (NH)

The Poverty Lane Orchards and Farnum Hill Ciders are owned by Stephen M. Wood and Louisa D. Spencer, and are made with the help of their crew which includes Brenda Bailey, Fitzgerald Campbell, Jenny Daniel, Brian Goodwin, Lucas Kleinhans, Nicole LeGrand Leibon, Jacques Tourville, Jeff Williams, and Corrie Wolosin.

Farnum Hill Ciders are dry and complex. They grow true cider apples of English, French, and American origin. Cider apples, though nasty eaten fresh, produce gorgeous aromas, flavors and sensations after respectful fermentation and blending. New Hampshire weather seems to concentrate the flavors of certain English, European, and New World cider apples growing in our rocky clay soils.

Farnum Hill's ciders can suggest cornucopias of fruit flavor, without sweetness. (‘Fruity’ and ‘sweet’ are different.) According to Farnum Hill, "It’s best not to seek ‘apple’ in our ciders, any more than you’d hunt for ‘grape’ in a good wine (or ‘grain in a good beer, for that matter.) The sugars in these apples generally yield alcohol levels of 6.5-8.5% by volume. (Most dry grape wines contain between 11% and 15% alcohol.)"

Tannins are probably the most surprising feature of our ciders, because so many people learn that wine tannins come from grape skins, and therefore expect blond beverages to contain no tannins. Bittersweet and bittersharp cider apples contain potent tannins all the way through, as the first startling bite proves.

Given the tannic structure and bouquet of their ciders, Farnum Hill recommends serving their ciders at red wine temperatures, 55-ish Fahrenheit. (The recommended “room temperature” for red wines was phrased in the days before central heating.)

Kingston Black technically is a “bittersharp” apple variety, which in the English-speaking cider world means that its high tannin and acid levels make it a suitable cider apple: however, its sugar level, at least growing here, regularly yields 8.5% alcohol. They make only about 100 or so cases of this ‘Special Reserve.’ They don;t make it every year.

It is important to note that this is a still cider, in a 750ml bottle with straight cork. Its aromatic and flavor hooks range from floral through fruity (muskmelon) to something more subtle.

"Unlike our other ciders, Kingston Black in our view belongs with subtle dishes, rather than with spicy or otherwise rowdy flavors. Note that not only Kingston Black’s alcohol but also its price is quite high for a cider."

P.S. In old apple variety names, the word “black” means “extremely dark red.”

Their notes are spot on. The wine is more like a very, very good apple wine, more like a stoney chardonnay or a big riesling. It is like a dry, white, still white wine. And it is meant for chicken, pork chops, some nice pasta dishes, grilled vegetables, etc.

This is what FCH positions it to be - one of their best offerings...very special, very unique, very high quality, and worth the price.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bartlett Blueberry Dry Oak Aged (ME)

OK, I'll keep this one short, because I've said it a million times. Rob Bartlett is a genius, and to prove it, I went toMaine this weekend just past, and poured his Blueberry Dry Oak Aged wine for some friends with a steak dinner.

The wine looks, smells, and tastes like a classic Italian red. Our friends were in shock.


Maine is called Vacationland...if you go to Maine and don't treat yourself to a bottle of this wine, you've jipped yourself tremendously!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Arrowhead Springs Meritage Reserve 2007

Arrowhead Springs is one fo the leading small wineries in the Niagara Region of New York. Relatively small, more than 4,000 cases, Arrowhead produces some excellent dry wines of extremely high quality. I am a huge fan of Duncan and Robin and think they do an excellent job.

Recently, while on a mini-vacation, I entertained some friends with Arrowhead Springs Vineyard Meritage Reserve 2007. Duncan and Robin Ross own Arrowhead Springs in Lockport, NY.

A blend of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 32% Cabernet Franc, this wine has been aged for 23 months in French and American oak barrels. Barrel lots are individually selected with the goal of making the best possible wine leveraging the strengths of each variety. Big dark fruits await you, including stewed dark fruits like plums, prunes, dark raspberries, and cranberry, as well as hints of dark chocolate and cassis as promised.

The wine was an instant hit and I was lauded for my "expert knowledge" of wine. I don't make any claims to being an expert, but I was smart enough to open a bottle of Arrowhead Springs Vineyard.

What a pretty and well balanced and beautifully crafted wine this is!

Beverage Media Highlights Arrowhead Springs Vineyard in Niagara Region, NY

Beverage Media, one of the largest wine and spirits publications in America, found in almost every liquor and wine store in the US, recently did a big piece about the Niagara Region's Arrowhead Springs Vineyard in Lockport, NY in their august 2011 issue.

Duncan and Robin Ross were highlighted in the piece. A great job, and congrats!

Thursday, August 18, 2011



The Garden State Wine Growers Association will hold its annual Grand Harvest Wine Festival at Lana Lobell Farms, one of the most famous northeast equestrian estates, in Bedminster on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17 and 18 from noon to five p.m.

The farm has been around since the American Revolution and became a commercial breeding facility in 1977. The owners have granted the association access to this beautiful estate which includes a mile of frontage along the Lamington River.

The festival will feature twenty four wineries offering nearly 300 locally-produced wines, food, crafts vendors, live bands and the opportunity to experience one of New Jersey’s significant but rarely seen historic farms.

Persons interested in learning more about the festival can call The Garden State Wine Growers Association at 609-588-0085 or go to the association website at Tickets for the festival are $25 an adult at the gate and include a complimentary wine glass and sampling of all wines. Advance discount tickets for the wine festival can be purchased only at the association web site.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

2011 New York Wine & Food Classic Results

Martha Clara Vineyards 2010 Riesling wins "Governor's Cup"
Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars wins "Winery of the Year"
by Jim Trezise from the Wine Press
Watkins Glen, New York, AUGUST 16

Martha Clara Vineyards 2010 Riesling from Long Island won the coveted "Governor's Cup" trophy at the 2011 New York Wine & Food Classic competition, held on August 15 & 16 at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen, NY. The "Winery of the Year" award went to Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars from the Finger Lakes.

The elegant Governor's Cup, a large silver chalice, recognizes the "Best of Show" or top prize of all 741 entries in the Classic, known as "The Oscars" of New York wine. The "Winery of the Year" award is presented to the winery with the best overall showing based on the level and number of awards in relation to entries.

This year's competition included 726 New York wines and 15 spirits from the Long Island, Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes, Niagara Escarpment, Lake Erie, and other regions of New York State. The Martha Clara Vineyards 2010 Riesling was also voted Best White Wine, Best Overall Riesling and Best Medium Sweet Riesling on its way to the ultimate award. Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars won Best Overall Chardonnay and Best Chardonnay on its way to the Winery of the Year award, along with several other top medals.

A "Specialty Wine Champion" award was added in 2008 to recognize consistent quality among the increasing number of wines made from fruits other than grapes, or honey. The 2011 winner was Earle Estates Meadery with Best Honey Mead and Best Fruit Wine. A "Best Limited Production Wine" award went to Fox Run Vineyards Fine Old Tawny Port.

The awards were based on blind tastings by 21 expert judges-4 from California, 9 from New York, 6 from other states and 2 from the United Kingdom. Judges included prominent wine writers, restaurateurs, retailers, and wine educators. Three-judge panels determined the initial awards, with top-scoring wines evaluated by all 21 judges for Best of Category and Governor's Cup awards.

Celebrating its 26th year, the Classic is organized by Teresa Knapp of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, and is open to all 307 New York wineries from all regions. In 2011, a total of 51 Double Gold, 66 Gold, 237 Silver, and 234 Bronze medals were awarded. In addition, "Best of Category" and "Best of Class" designations were awarded to wines rated as the finest in various areas. Double Gold medals require unanimity among a panel's judges that a wine deserves a Gold medal, whereas Gold medals require a majority vote.

The "Best of Category" awards, all eligible for the Governor's Cup, went to:

Best Sparkling Wine

Bedell Cellars 2006 Blanc de Blancs

Best White Wine

Martha Clara Vineyards 2010 Riesling

Best Blush Wine

Owera Vineyards 2010 Cazenovia Blush

Best Red Wine

Keuka Lake Vineyards 2010 Leon Millot, Estate Bottled

Best Dessert Wine

Leonard Oakes Estate Winery 2008 Vidal Ice Wine

Best of Class awards go to Double Gold or Gold medal wines in classes of at least 7 wines. The "Best of Class" awards went to:

Best Chardonnay

Lamoreaux Landing WIne Cellars 2008 Estate Bottled Chardonnay

Best Unoaked Chardonnay

Coyote Moon Vineyards 2009 Naked Chardonnay

Best Overall Chardonnay

Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 2008 Estate Bottled Chardonnay

Best Gewürztraminer
Bedell Cellars 2010 Gewurztraminer, Corey Creek Vineyards

Best Dry Riesling

Anthony Road Wine Company 2008 Tierce Riesling

with Fox Run Vineyards & Red Newt Cellars

Best Medium Dry Riesling

Serenity Vineyards 2008 Riesling, Estate Bottled

Best Medium Sweet Riesling

Martha Clara Vineyards 2010 Riesling

Best Sweet Riesling

Atwater Vineyards 2009 Sweet Riesling

Best Overall Riesling

Martha Clara Vineyards 20120 Riesling

Best Pinot Gris

American Vineyards & Winery 2010 Pinot Gris

Best Vinifera White Blend

Sheldrake Vineyard 2010 Luckystone White

Best Vignoles
Keuka Spring Vineyards 2010 Vignoles

Best Hybrid White Blend
Atwater Estate Vineyards Stone Bridge White

Best Niagara

Americana Vineyards & Winery Crystal Lake

Best Cabernet Sauvignon

Ventosa Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

Best Merlot

Osprey's Dominion 2007 Reserve Merlot, Estate Bottled

Best Cabernet Franc

Ventosda Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Franc

Best Lemberger

Fulkerson Winery 2009 Lemberger

Best Vinifera Red Blend

Paumanok Vineyards 2007 Assemblage

Best Honey Mead

Earle Estates Meadery Raspberry Reflection

Best Fruit

Earle Estates Meadery Apple Enchantment

Best Spirit

Swedish Hill Winery Raspberry Infusion

Best Late Harvest Wine

Anthony Road WIne Company 2008 Riesling Trockenbeeren,

Martini Reinhardt Selection

Best Ice Wine

Leonard Oakes Estate WInery 2008 Vidal Ice Wine

Best Vinifera Sparkling

Bedell Cellars 2006 Blanc de Blancs

Double Gold medals were awarded to Americana Vineyards & Winery Crystal Lake; Anthony Road Wine Company 2008 Tierce Riesling and 2008 Riesling Trockenbeeren Martini Reinhardt Selection; Atwater Estate Vineyards 2009 Sweet Riesling, Sweet Chancellor and Stone Bridge White; Bedell Cellars 2010 Gewürztraminer Corey Creek Vineyards and 2006 Blanc de Blancs; Belhurst Estate Winery 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Traditions and Naturel Sparkling; Brooklyn Winery 2010 Batch 001 Chardonnay; Clovis Point 2007 Merlot Vintner's Select; Coffee Pot Cellars 2008 Merlot; Coyote Moon Vineyard 2010 Brianna; Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars 2010 Dry Riesling; Earle Estates Meadery Apple Enchantment, Raspberry Reflections and Creamy Apricot; Finger Lakes Distilling Seneca Drums Gin; Fox Run Vineyards Fine Old Tawny Port; Fulkerson Winery 2010 William Vigne Juicy Sweet and 2010 Vidal Blanc Iced Wine; Glenora Wine Cellars 2010 Gewürztraminer and 2010 Vidal Blanc Iced ; Heron Hill Winery 2008 Late Harvest Vidal Blanc; Keuka Lake Vineyards 2010 Leon Millot Estate Bottled; Keuka Spring Vineyards 2010 Riesling and 2010 Vignoles; Knapp Winery & Restaurant Limencello; Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 2010 Dry Riesling Estate Bottled and 2008 Chardonnay Estate Bottled; Leonard Oakes Estate Winery 2008 Vidal Ice Wine and Steampunk Cidre; Lieb Cellars 2009 Pinot Blanc; Lucas Vineyards 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling; Macari Vineyards & Winery Collina Red; Martha Clara Vineyards 2010 Riesling; Mazza Chautauqua Cellars Grappa of Steuben; McGregor Vineyard 2007 Rob Roy Red Estate Grown; Montezuma Winery Riesling; Owera Vineyards 201 Semi-Dry Riesling and 2010 Cazenovia Blush; Pellegrini Vineyards Vintner's Pride Finale Bin "Ice-Style"; Penguin Bay Winery 2010 Riesling; Rooster Hill Vineyards 2010 Medium Sweet Riesling Estate Grown & Produced; Serenity Vineyards 2008 Riesling Estate and 2007 Merlot Estate; Swedish Hill Winery Raspberry Infusion; Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2009 Dry Riesling; Torrey Ridge Winery Niagara; and Ventosa Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Franc.

Gold medals were awarded to American Vineyards & Winery 2010 Pinot Gris and Chardonnay; Anthony Road Wine Company 2010 Gewürztraminer; Brooklyn Winery 29010 Maiden; Casa Larga Vineyards Tapestry and 2009 Gewürztraminer; Castello di Borghese 2009 Riesling; Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery Riesling Estate Grown; Chateau Lafayette Reneau 2010 Dry Riesling Estate; Coyote Moon Vineyards2009 Naked Chardonnay; Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars 2009 Gewürztraminer Reserve; Finger Lakes Distilling Cherry Liquor and Maplejack Liquor; Fox Run Vineyards Ruby Port; Fruit Yard Winery 2010 Peach; Fulkerson Winery 2009 Lemberger; Glenora Wine Cellars 2010 Late Harvest Riesling, 2010 Pinot Blanc and 2009 Cabernet Franc; Goose Watch Winery Classic Cream Sherry; Harbes Family Vineyard Chardonnay Ice Wine; Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Pinot Gris; Hector Wine Company 2010 Riesling; Heron Hill Winery 2009 Semi-Sweet Riesling; Hosmer Winery Sparkling Wine Methode Champenoise; Jamesport Vineyards 2007 "Sidor" Reserve; Keuka Lake Vineyards 2010 Semi-Dry Riesling; King Ferry Winery Silver Linig Chardonnay; Knapp Winery & Restaurant 2010 Riesling and Brandy; Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars Riesling Red Oak Vineyards Estate Bottled, 2010 Semi-Dry Riesling Estate Bottled, 2008 Merlot Estate Bottled, 2009 Riesling Ice Estate Bottled; Lucas Vineyards 2010 Dry Riesling; Martha Clara Vineyards 2009 Chardonnay and 2010 Estate Reserve Riesling; McGregor Vineyard Black Russian Red 30 Month Barrel Reserve; Montezuma Winery Fat Frog Red; One Woman Wines & Vineyards 2008 Merlot; Osprey's Dominion Vineyards 2007 Reserve Merlot Estate Bottled; Owera Vineyards 2010 Dry Riesling; Paumanok Vineyards 2007 Assemblage, 2009 Riesling Late Harvest, and Sauvignon Blanc Late; Peconic Bay Winery 2010 Riesling; Penguin Bay Winery Tuxedo White; Red Newt Cellars 2008 Gewürztraminer Curry Creek Vineyards; Rock Stream Vineyards Grappa; Sheldrake Point Vineyards 2010 Luckystone White and 2008 Riesling Ice Wine; Sparkling Pointe 2007 Brut; Swedish Hill Winery Riesling Cuvee and Spumante Blush; Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2010 Vidal Blanc; Torrey Ridge Winery Catawba; Tug Hill Vineyards 2010 Raspberry Rhapsody Estate Grown; Ventosa Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon; Wagner Vineyards 2008 Chardonnay Reserve Estate Bottled and 2008 Vidal Blanc Ice Estate Bottled; White Springs Winery 2010 Riesling 101; Whitecliff Winery Awosting White; Winery of Ellicottville 2010 Noiret; Wölffer Estate Vineyard 2010 Diosa Late Harvest; Zugibe Vineyards 2009 Pinot Gris and 2009 Riesling.

Complete results of the 2011 Classic will soon be posted under "New York Gold" at, which also includes Gold medal New York wines from other major competitions.

Media Contact: Jim Trezise, 585-394-3620, ext. 203,

2011 New York Wine & Food Classic Judges

Julie Arkell

Freelance Wine & Spirits Writer & Author, London, England

Mollie Battenhouse, DWS
Wine Director & Educator, International Wine Center, New York, New York

Dan Berger
Wine Journalist and Publisher, Santa Rosa, California

Jill Blume
Enology Specialist, Purdue University, & Executive Director, Indy International Wine Competition

Shannon Brock

Wine Coordinator, New York Wine & Culinary Center, Canandaigua, New York

Rene Chazottes
Wine Director, Maitre Sommelier, The Pacific Club, Newport Beach, California

Jim Clarke

Wine Writer and Director, MEGU, New York, New York

Doug Frost, M.W., M.S.
Wine Writer and Educator, Prairie Village, Kansas

Chris Gerling
Enology Extension Associate, Cornell University College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, New York

Lorraine Hems, CS, CWE
Lecturer of Wine Studies, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY & Instructor, New York Wine & Culinary Center, Canandaigua, New York

Linda Lawry
Director, International Wine Center, New York, New York

Fred LeBrun
Columnist, Albany Times Union, Albany, New York

Ann Littlefield
Direct Wine Marketing Brand Champion, Napa, California

Bill Mahoney
Wine Manager, Premium Wine & Spirits, Williamsville, New York

Anna Katharine Mansfield, Ph.D
Assistant Professor of Enology, Cornell University College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, New York

Ann Miller
Marketing Specialist, Missouri Wine & Grape Board, Jefferson City, Missouri

Jerry Pellegrino
Chef/Owner, CORKS & Abacrombie Fine Foods, Baltimore, Maryland

Maggie Rosen
Independent Journalist & Author, London, England

Dr. Bob Small
Professor Emeritus, Collins College of Hospitality Management, Cal Poly University & Chairman, Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition, Pomona, California

Todd Steiner

Enology Program Manager, Ohio State University, Wooster, Ohio

Phil Ward
Brand Manager & Wine Educator, American B.D. Co./The Opici Wine Group, Board of Directors, International Riesling Foundation

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Running Hare Winery (MD) Awarded Gold Medal at International Wine Competition

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (August 10, 2011) -- A Calvert County-based winery, Running Hare Vineyard, received prestigious recognition at the Riverside International Wine Competition in May by taking home a gold medal for a Malbec variety and bronze medals for the Shiraz and Sangiovese. The competition has been held in California for 30 years using blind tasting selection by professional wine evaluators. The event recognizes a wide variety of wine styles – including those from regions that don’t often receive recognition. A total of 48 judges evaluated more than 1,930 wines at the South Coast Resort in Temecula, California during the event.

Barb Scarborough, director of sales and marketing at Running Hare Vineyard, is honored by the accolades. “Since opening as a commercial winery in August 2008, Running Hare Vineyard has been awarded five international gold medals for its wines competing against wineries from all over the world. We’ve received a total of 48 awards both in regional and international competitions. Our winemaker, Jerson Garcia, works hard to perfect his craft and continues to rise to the challenge to make a quality product that is enjoyed not only on a consumer level but also is worthy to compete and win against wineries that are much larger with much more experience from all over the world.”

Michael and Barb Scarborough’s love of wine had been cultivated in France where Michael lived as a child and his desire to pursue winemaking as a hobby was realized in 2003 with a planting of 100 vines. Since then, the Scarboroughs have added several varieties of grapes and the vineyard has expanded from the initial 100 vines to approximately 5,000 vines on an eight-acre vineyard. The production has also expanded from the original 550-gallon tank capacity to 12,772-gallon tank capacity producing over 100,000 bottles of wine a year since the winery’s grand opening in August 2008.

Wine tastings are held at the vineyard Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. with live music every Sunday. Running Hare Vineyard wines can be purchased directly at the vineyard and at retail stores around the region. Barb says, “We are very excited at the growth and popularity of our wines being sold, not only locally in Maryland but in Washington, D.C. and Delaware. Just recently, our wines were also picked up by a wholesaler in Florida.”

For more information, visit online at, call 410-414-8486 or email

Pennsylvania Growers Think 2011 Will Be Excellent Vintage

Area winemakers see a promising vintage
Written by ERIC RUTH
The News Journal

Up and down the state, this summer's fiery sun has been baking farm fields into stone. The rows of drooping crops thirst for rain, and the farmers hold faint hope that the skies will bring salvation.

Yet among the gnarled vines of the wineries that speckle the countryside here and in nearby Pennsylvania, growers see that fierce sun as a savior, and welcome the dry days. The brutal heat and parched soil are the perfect ingredients for a crop that's rich and sweet, for wines that are deep and lush.

"Right now, things are going well, and if we keep up with the weather as it is, it should be as good as 2010, which was a great harvest," said Caryn Dolan, manager of public relations and special events at Paradocx Vineyard in Landenberg, Pa.
It will be a year or two in the barrel before they find how well all those happy grapes transform into wine, and the region's capricious weather means there's still plenty of room for a disaster -- from soggy soil and bursting grape skins to hungry birds and heavy hailstorms.

"So far, it's been wonderful, but we're in by far the most important stretch," said Anthony Vietri, proprietor of Va La Vineyards in nearby Avondale, Pa. "The next six to eight weeks are going to determine the quality of the harvest. ... So what we do is prepare for the worst all the time."

In these parts, a grower's task can quickly be complicated by the fickle mid-Atlantic weather, which is literally a continent away from the consistent climate of America's premier wine-growing region, California's Napa Valley. Here, farmers spend their days plucking and trimming plants to allow air and sunlight to circulate, tipping their tops this way and that to favor a certain exposure. They carefully keep the bunches from touching; they pull the leaves from around each cluster; they tend to every plant, every bunch, day in and day out.

"There's almost nothing to do" once the vines are up and growing in Napa, Vietri said.

"Here, we have almost constant hand manipulation to keep the canopies open and expose it to sunlight."

Read the whole story at:


FARMINGDALE, NJ—New Jersey’s largest wine festival, Jazz It Up, will be held Saturday and Sunday Sept. 3 and 4, from noon to 5 p.m. at Allaire State Park in Farmingdale, featuring the opportunity to taste nearly 300 different, locally-produced wines, listen to great, live jazz entertainment including Around the Horn on Saturday and The Keith Marks Quintet on Sunday and to explore the grounds of Allaire State Park, home to an early 19th Century industrial iron producing community.

Around the Horn, will be performing on Saturday. This quartet collectively combines smooth classic jazz with playful improvisation to create a very eclectic and vibrant sound featuring all styles of jazz and cross-over rock. Keith Marks has been leading his quartet in a variety of performances at major festivals, colleges and universities, clubs and corporate events for over 30 years.

With the music comes the wine and the opportunity to sample the products of 25 New Jersey wineries including scores of award-winning vintages.

Festival attendees also have the opportunity to step back in time and experience life in a 19th Century bog iron producing community. Craftsmen in period garb; such as blacksmiths, carpenters, leatherworkers, molders and tinsmiths; will be demonstrating their skills for visitors while explaining how their roles affected life at the iron works. Younger visitors to the historic village can learn what life was like for the children of the iron works company by becoming apprentices to the master craftsmen.

Costumed interpreters throughout the Historic Village's homes offer visitors demonstrations in various aspects of 19th Century domestic life, such as hearth cooking, spinning, quilting and sewing, laundry, gardening and even proper etiquette. The children of the village demonstrate popular games of the time as well as the chores which prepared them for later life.

Meanwhile, the festival sponsor, the Garden State Wine Growers Association, will be giving out wine trail passport books which encourage wine fans to visit each of the association’s member wineries with tasting rooms to get their passport stamped. Visitors who get stamps from all participating wineries and return the passport book to the association will receive an elegant set of wine glasses and will be eligible for a drawing for a trip for two to the wine-growing area of Germany.

Anyone who comes to Jazz It Up will also be eligible for a free drawing for a $150 gift certificate to any one of the 70 member bed and breakfasts of the Preferred Inns of New Jersey.

Persons interested in learning more about the festival can call The Garden State Wine Growers Association at 609-588-0085 or go the association website at Tickets for the festival are $25 a person at the gate. Advance discount tickets can be purchased only at the association web site. Large groups and bus groups can call the Association “Wine Line” for more information.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Eastern's Bayside Blues and Wine Fest August 20, 2011 (MD)

Eastern's Bayside Blues & Wine Fest
Saturday, August 20 from 1 - 7 p.m.

Come join the blues fans from all over to listen to an excellent array of blues performed by musicians from the tri-state area. You will be blown-away by their amazing line-up which includes a diverse style of Hard Rocking Rhythm and Blues, Zydeco and soulful Blues. In addition to the music, they will have the Wineries of Maryland to offer their latest assortments of wines for tasting. The festival is located in Middle River Maryland along the waterfront at Eastern Yacht Club overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. The location is the perfect place for festive gatherings; where you can listen to the blues, take pleasure in a stroll along the waterfront, or shop from their wide selection of merchants offering their latest art and fashion.

Have fun!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

A Visit to Redhook Winery

So Grayson Hartley, the winemaker at Haight-Brown calls me and says he's coming down to the city, and he's going to Brooklyn Winery and Red Hook Winery, do I want to join him? Are you kidding me? My lunch hour just took on a whole new meaning, here I come!

Unfortunately, because I just couldn't leave work early (meetings and all) I arrived too late for the Brooklyn Winery tour, so I was bummed. But I was in time for the next stop. First off, the Red Hook Winery is a little wierd. There's no sign. There's no doorbell, and there is no tastingroom. This is a small artisinal producer doing very cool things though.

The Red Hook Winery produces wine from grapes grown in the North Fork region of Long Island, specifically at the vineyards of Macari, Jamesport, and Ackerly Pond. Currently available varietals include five whites (Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Gewurztraminer, Riesling) and three reds (Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon).

Cookbook author Katie Lee best described the story in Food & Wine magazine:
Red Hook Winery is the brainchild of Mark Snyder, a native Brooklynite who sells top California wines through his company, Angels’ Share Wines (and who, in his previous life, was a guitar tech for Katie’s former husband, Billy Joel). Snyder has long worked with top winemakers, which is how he was able to bring two of the biggest talents from the Napa Valley region to Brooklyn. One is Abe Schoener of Scholium Project, an avant-garde thinker, whose wines have been described as anything from “exotic and compelling” to “just too weird.” “I mentioned my Brooklyn plan to Abe in passing, and he said, ‘You know, that sounds like a good idea,’ ” Snyder says.

Foley took more convincing. Says Snyder, “When I first mentioned my idea, Bob laughed.” Foley, who makes velvety reds for producers like Switchback Ridge and his own Robert Foley Vineyards, ultimately signed on after a scouting trip to Long Island’s Macari Vineyards. The vineyard was that good. “Finally, when Mark asked, ‘Are you in?’ I said, ‘Heck, yeah!’ ” Foley recalls.


OK, so here's how it works. Each winemaker will take half a shipment of fruit. So if two tons of chardonnay come in, each winemaker takes half. And both will probably take a shot, and split those two single tons, and split them and half, to make two different styled wine. So out of two tons, come four wines. They do whole cluster fermentations. Partial whole cluster fermentations. Wild fermentations. Stainless steel, oak, etc. It's insane. But it yields some wonderful wines.


We met with Chris and Darren. Chris Nicolson, the winemaker in residence, is the man with the plan on the day to day, and Darren is the trusty cellar man. These are two very cool guys. Chris has apprenticed here for four years (and serves as a fishing boat captain six weeks out of every summer off the coast of Alaska hauling in wild sockeye salmon). Darren Palace is a dedicated, hard core Yankees fan, with a massive passion for wine.

We tasted through about five wines. The 2010 wines were phenomenal. This is now the second barrel tasting of a 2010 Cabernet Franc, and it was astonishing! 2010 is shaping up beautifully across the east coast, and these wines were astonishing. The 2010 Chardonnays and Rieslings were also outstanding.

Two wines that I can recommend that are currently in the stores would be the Electric 2008 Jamesport Vineyard a gorgeous chardonay tinged with about 3% Riesling. It's got a tremendous nose and is a bright, clean, complex, layered white, with green apple, melon, and a hint of kiwi? Incredible.

The other was a Merlot 2008 Jamesport Vineyard. Big bold dark cherries, a hint of raspberry and cassis. A nice lashing of vanilla. A very, very nice drinking red and grows and grows on you as you drink it.

These guys love wine, and are really doing something special. A tremendous visit and tremendous promise. Find these wines!

Read Katie Lee's article at Food & Wine here:

Friday, August 05, 2011

New Jersey Wine Competition Award Winners 2011


Twenty-four members of the Garden Stated Wine Growers Association have been awarded medals in the annual New Jersey Wine Competition including Winery of the Year won by Heritage Vineyards in Mullica Hill.

The competition is conducted annually by the Rutgers University Cooperative Extension under the supervision of Rutgers University wine expert, Dr. Gary Pavlis.
Member wineries that won awards include Heritage which took three gold medals for a 2009 Chambourcin, a 2010 Chardonnay Reserve and its 2009 BDX blend of four red wines. The winery also won two silver medals for a 2010 Chardonnay Cuvee and its vintage Jersey Red blend. Heritage also captured seven bronze medals for its wines including a 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, a non vintage Apple, a 2009 Cabernet Franc, a 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, a 2009 Merlot , its non vintage Jersey White and a 2009 Syrah.
The winery also was awarded the medal for best hybrid for its 2009 Chambourcin.

The Best Sparkling Wine award went to Tomasello Winery in Hammonton for its non-vintage Blanc de blanc. Tomasello also captured the Best Dessert wine award and the Association’s Governor’s Cup for a dessert wine with its 2009 Vidal Ice Wine. The Hammonton winery also won a gold medal for a 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Oak Reserve and three silver medals for its non vintage Champagne, a 2007 Cabernet Franc and a 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. Tomasello also won four bronze medals for its wines including a non vintage Sparkling Raspberry, a non vintage Still Raspberry, a 2007 Petit Verdot and a non vintage Blackberry.

The Best American Wine award went to Valenzano Winery of Shamong for its Shamong Red Reserve which also earned a gold medal. Valenzano also won an additional 10 bronze medals for its other wines including a White Cranberry, 2008 Merlot, a 2008 Indian Mills Blend, Pineland Blush, Cranpagne, and a 2007 Cabernet Merlot blend, a 2009 Chardonnay, a non vintage Port, a Blueberry and a Honey Wine.
Other Wineries that took awards include:

4 JG’s Orchards & Vineyards of Colts Neck took four bronze awards for its 2005 Chambourcin, 2007 Cabernet Franc, 2007 Chambourcin and its 2008 Cabernet Franc.

Amalthea Cellars of Atco took a double gold medal for its 2006 Cabernet Franc Limited and a gold medal for its 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. Amalthea also took two silver medals for its 2008 Merlot and its 2008 Cabernet Franc. The Atco based winery took 11 bronze medal for its wines including a non vintage Villard, its 2007 Europa IV blend, its 2006 Cabernet Franc Reserve, its 2008 Syrah, its 2007 Europa VII blend, its 2008 Late Harvest Villard, its 2008 Chardonnay Sur Lie, its non vintage Metis, its 2008 Europa III blend and its 2007 Chardonnay Reserve.

Auburn Road Vineyards in Piles Grove won a silver medal for its 2008 Merlot Reserve and seven bronze medals for wines including its non vintage Kind of Blue blueberry, its non vintage Blessington, its 2009 Chambourcin, its 2008 Merlot Reserve, its 2010 “The White Bottle” Chardonnay, a 2010 Pinot Grigio and its 2009 Rustica blend.

Cape May Winery in Cape May took two silver medals for its 2009 Merlot and its 2009 Cabernet Franc. The winery also won seven bronze medals for its 2010 Cape May Pinot Grigio, its 2010 Isaac Smith Albarino, its 2010 Cape May Riesling, its 2008 Isaac Smith Red Riesling, its 2009 Cape May Barrel Chardonnay, its non vintage Isaac Smith Pinot Noir and its non vintage Isaac Smith Port.

Cedarvale Vineyard in Logan Township won three bronze medals for its non vintage Nectarine, its 2009 Cabernet Franc and its 2009 Merlot.
Coda Rossa in Franklinville took a silver medal for its non vintage Cabernet Franc and bronze awards for three non vintage wines including an Ameritage and two Chambourcins.

Cream Ridge Winery of Cream Ridge took two silver medals for its non vintage Raley’s Red and its non vintage Cream Ridge White. The Monmouth County-based winery also took four bronze medals, all for non vintage wines, including its Ciliegia Amabile cherry wine, its Pineapple wine, its Almondberry wine and its Cream Ridge Red blend.

DiBella Winery in Woolwich Township won a bronze medal for its 2008 Cabernet Franc.
DiMatteo Vineyards in Hammonton won a gold medal for its non vintage Diamond Wine as well as six bronze awards for several non vintage wines including its Pasquale Red and Blushing Madison and three fruit wines including a cranberry, a strawberry and a blueberry.

Hawk Haven Vineyards in Rio Grande netted nine bronze medals for its wines including a 2009 Riesling, its 2008 Quill blend, its 2008 Red Table Wine, its 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, its 2009 Pinot Gris, its non vintage “American Kestral White” Chardonnay, its 2008 Merlot, its 2008 Talon and its 2009 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay.

Hopewell Valley Vineyards in Pennington won six bronze medals for its wines including a non vintage Vidal Blanc, a 2009 Barbera, a 2008 Chambourcin, a 2005 Port, a non vintage Pinot Grigio and a non vintage Vidal dessert wine called Dolce Vita.

Laurita Winery in New Egypt captured four bronze medals for fur non vintage wines including a Norton, a Lemberger, a Chambourcin and a Cabernet Franc Nouveau.

Natali Vineyards in Cape May Court House took bronze medals for five non vintage wines including a Tempranillo, a Dolcetta, a Beach Plum, a Nebbiolo and a Merlot.

Old York Cellars in Ringoes won a silver medal for its 2009 Sweet Riesling and two bronze awards for its 2009 Chardonnay and 2009 Vidal Blanc.

Plagido’s Winery in Hammonton took a double gold award for its non vintage Oaked Merlot and three silver medals for its non vintage Cranberry, Blueberry and Niagara wines. The winery also won bronze medals for 12 non vintage wines including its Antonio Rosso, its Concetta’s Casalinga, its Plagido’s Red, Cory’s Zucchero Essante, its White Tail Apple, Homestead port style wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Chambourcin, a Cherry, a Blueberry, a Cabernet Franc Merlot blend and a Cabernet Franc Reserve.

Renault Winery in Egg Harbor won a silver medal for its 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Premium as well as 12 bronze awards for its wines including a 2008 Chardonnay Premium, its 2009 Garden State Red, a 2008 Cynthiana Reserve, a non vintage American Champagne, a non vintage Pink Champagne, a 2009 Riesling as well as a non vintage Chianti, Fresello, Chablis, Chardonnay, American Port, Louis R Premium Champagne.

Sharrott Winery in Blue Anchor captured four bronze medals for its 2010 Chardonnay Unoaked, a non vintage Vignole, a 2010 Vidal Blanc and a 2009 Merlot.

Silver Decoy Winery in Robbinsville won two silver medals for its 2008 Merlot and its 2010 Traminette. The Mercer County based winery also won four bronze awards for its 2008 Retriever, a 2009 Syrah, its 2009 Sunrise Blush and its 2008 Marechal Foch.

Terhune Orchards & Winery in Princeton picked up a silver medal for its 2009 Red Rooster as well as two bronze medals for its 2010 Vidal Blanc and its 2009 Chambourcin.

Unionville Vineyards in Ringoes captured a gold medal for “The White Montage” and a bronze for its Port Vat # 16.

Westfall Winery in Montague won bronze medals for four non vintage fruit wines including Blueberry, Strawberry/honey, Cranberry and Red Raspberry.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Virginia Gazette Raves About Virginia Wine Tourism

EDITORIAL: Tourism uncorked
Modified: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 7:19 AM EDT
Originally Published: Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Virginia Gazette

The recent debut of Saudé Creek Vineyards in New Kent provided a snapshot of a business woefully unprepared for the crushing interest in its venture. Amid the chaos, however, was a glimpse of a tourism angle that could help greater Williamsburg.

There are now three wineries in a 30-mile radius of Williamsburg, four if you count the storefront Vintner’s Cellars in Yorktown. Working together, they could package tourism in a way that would benefit the wineries, lodgings, restaurants and perhaps even tourist attractions.

Here’s the model to consider. A Hampton Inn & Suites in the Shenandoah Valley has put together a $250 package that offers 2 nights lodging, vouchers for free tastings at four nearby wineries, and a three-course dinner at a local steakhouse. Six businesses stand to benefit from one two-day visit.

The beauty is the simplicity. Wineries are smart enough, or should be, to know that having a competitor nearby is good for business. It’s the same logic that entices Home Depot to locate next to a Lowe’s. If you don’t find what you want at one business, you might at the one across the street.

The public was creating its own wine tour at Saudé Creek. Several familiar faces showed up a few hours later at New Kent Winery, about 5 miles away.

The wineries can take it a step further, with food and entertainment. Williamsburg Winery does this at Gabriel Archer Tavern, where the focus is on meals. Vintner’s has caught on with nighttime entertainment.

As in northern California, visiting four wineries in a day is not uncommon here. There are dozens of wineries within an hour’s drive of Charlottes­ville. And Vintage Ohio, a statewide wine festival held in a state park each August, gives attendees an opportunity to sample 100 wines in one night. No bottles are sold inside the festival. Ingeniously, customers must exit through a sales tent, the industry’s equivalent of departing a museum exhibit through the gift shop.

Ohio wineries get it right in another respect. Many offer tasting trays, typically $8-$10 for a medicine dose cup-size sample of up to a dozen wines. Offer a cheese and bread tray for another $10, and people will make an evening of it, and probably take a few bottles home.

Greater Williamsburg could capitalize by offering a package of 2-3 nights lodging. Space the tastings over two nights, visiting the wineries in New Kent one night, then Williamsburg and Yorktown the next. Get restaurants on board for dinners and breakfasts. And local livery companies could latch on with a designated driver service.

Wine tourism is real. Sales of wine in Virginia grew 13% in 2010, according to the Virginia Wine Board. There are already multiple companies offering wine tours across the state. And a week ago Charlottesville hosted a conference of 300 wine bloggers.

One of those bloggers was Huffington Post wine writer Mary Ortlin.

“You get a critical mass of 300 or so bloggers blogging about Virginia wine,” she wrote. “Add in the thousands of tweets all of us sent out while visiting Virginia wineries and tasting Virginia wines... Virginia is on its way to being a player in the wine world.”

There are approximately 190 wineries in Virginia today. The time is ripe to uncork ours for local tourism.

Read more at:

Richmond Times Dispatch Reports Barboursville to Export to China

Va. winery to export wine to China
By: Olympia Meola
Published: August 03, 2011
Barboursville Vineyards has reached an agreement to export its wines to China in what the McDonnell administration believes marks the first commercial transaction between a Virginia winery and a Chinese importer.

About a dozen Virginia wineries export their products, mostly to the United Kingdom, but several are eyeing the growing Chinese market.

Gov. Bob McDonnell and his entourage carried products from seven Virginia wineries on his recent trade trip to Japan, China and South Korea. The Barboursville deal with the Tianjin Tewoo Group is a result of discussions stemming from that mission.

The winery will ship more than 500 cases of its Octagon 2008, Viognier Reserve 2009, Phileo, Malvaxia Passito 2008, Cabernet Franc Reserve 2008, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 and Merlot 2009. The winery declined to disclose the monetary value of the agreement.

The initial agreement represents a small sector of Barboursville's gross production, but there's a larger significance in entering that market for the Orange County-based winery founded in 1976 by Gianni and Silvana Zonin.

"As Barboursville reflects to celebrate its 35th anniversary in Virginia, I can think of no better way to look toward the future than expanding our sales into China, one of the world's largest wine import markets," said Luca Paschina, Barboursville's winemaker and general manager.
Virginia is the nation's fifth-largest wine producer and seventh-largest wine grape producer. The industry employs about 3,000 people in Virginia and contributes almost $350 million to the state economy annually, according to a 2005 economic impact study, the most recent one.

The number of wineries in Virginia has grown from 120 in 2005 to nearly 200. A new study is planned for fiscal 2012. (804) 649-6812

Read more at:

Virginia Winery Festivals in August

August 6
Lake Anna Winery, Spotsylvania
It's a beach party! Kick back with a glass of your favorite wine and listen to live Caribbean music under the stars on the grounds of Lake Anna Winery. The popular event is sponsored by the Heart of Virginia Wine Trail. Taste award winning wines from Cooper Vineyards, Lake Anna Winery, Grayhaven Winery and James River Cellars Winery. Enjoy great Caribbean food (items priced al a carte). Hours are 5 to 10 pm.
Tickets are $15 and available online at
For additional information, call Lake Anna Winery at
540-895-5085. Lake Anna is located on Route 208, three miles east of Lake Anna at 5621 Courthouse Road in Spotsylvania.

August 15
Parkway Marina, Smith Mountain Lake
The Bedford Beach Bash is the place to be for a great afternoon of wine and music. The only festival of its kind held on the shores of Smith Mountain Lake, it's a great way to enjoy those last long days of summer sun. This year's Bash features eight wineries, three microbreweries, music performances from "Buffet style" bands, craft and food vendors and a car exhibit by the Virginia Corvette Club. There's plenty of room for shagging to the beach music of The Fantastic Shakers.
Tickets ($20 advance, $25 at the gate) are available at numerous vendors throughout the area and on line at
Parkway Marina is located at 16918 Smith Mountain Lake Parkway in Huddleston. The festival is hosted by the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce.
540-586-9401 ·

August 5: Friday Night Under the Stars
AmRhein's Wine Cellars (Bent Mountain)
Enjoy the special dinner with a bottle of wine and entertainment, all under the stars. Music by Breeze Bros. Rain or shine.
540-929-4632 ·

August 5 & 6: Cork and Blues Festival
Glen Maury Park (Buena Vista)
Blues bands and Virginia wineries. Great music lineup starting Friday night. Food vendors including BBQ. Rain or shine under covered pavilion. Camping available.
1-800-555-8845 · 

August 6: Blackberry Harvest Festival
Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery (Nellysford)
Pick your blackberries and taste the wine. Bring a picnic or purchase a Pig Pickin' meal. Live music, craft vendors and family festivities all day.
434-361-1266 ·

August 6: Music, Mead & Cider
Foggy Ridge Cider (Dugspur)
Local music and cider and mead just 2 miles apart near the Blue Ridge Parkway in southwest Virginia. Sip cider at Foggy Ridge. Enjoy mead on the Blacksnake Meadery's 'Sippin Porch. Creative tunes from talented musicians.
276-398-2337 ·

August 6 & 7: Annual Summer Norton Tasting
Burnley Vineyards (Barboursville)
Vertical tasting of the four vintages of Norton and two vintages of Norton in the port style red. Not a library tasting. Each wine available for purchase.
540-832-2828 ·

August 7: Wine & Food Pairing
Casanel Vineyards (Leesburg)
Chef Miriam will prepare an all-you-can-eat buffet brunch. Bring your appetites and enjoy the food and wine
540-751-1776 ·

August 7: Unplugged Sunday Afternoon Series
Cooper Vineyards (Louisa)
Enjoy music by Emme St. James as well as beautiful vineyard views on the spacious new deck. Bring your own picnic to have with a bottle of award-winning Cooper Vineyards wine.
540-894-5474 ·

August 7: Luna-See
Wintergreen Winery (Nellysford)
A Night to Dance by the Light of the Moon at "The Verandah at Wintergreen Winery". Full moon, wine, live music and dancing.
434-361-2519 ·

August 7: Wine and Food Pairing
DelFosse Winery (Faber)
Wonderful wine and food pairing menu by Genevieve DelFosse. Reservations required.
434-263-6100 ·

August 12: Luau
Cross Keys Vineyards & Estate (Mt. Crawford)
Dress for the occasion and join in the tropical experience. Steel drums and dinner of pork, fruits, veggies, cheese, breads and desserts.
540-2340505 ·

August 12: Wine Moon Beams
Hickory Hill Vineyards (Moneta)
Watch the falling stars at an evening of star gazing during Perseid meteor shower. Rain/Cloud date is August 14.
540-296-1393 ·

August 12: Friday Night Under the Stars
AmRhein's Wine Cellars (Bent Mountain)
Enjoy the special dinner with a bottle of wine and entertainment, all under the stars. Music by Robotic Jive. Rain or shine.
540-929-4632 ·

August 13: Blessing of the Grapes
Philip Carter Winery (Hume)
Join in the timeless tradition of the consecration of the harvest. Guests, who are asked to dress in white, will process to the vineyard for the blessing, followed by a simple vineyard meal.
540-364-1203 ·

August 13: Pig Roast 2011
Wintergreen Winery (Nellysford)
BBQ feast prepared by the BBQ Connection "Pigs on the Run" Competition team. Live music and wine tasting.
434-361-2519 ·

August 13: Paddle, Wine & Concert
Tarara Winery (Leesburg)
River and Trail Outfitters guide leisurely paddle by canoe or kayak down scenic stretch of the Potomac followed by private tasting at Tarara. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the music.
301-695-5177 ·

August 13: Starry, Starry Nights
Veritas Vineyards & Winery (Afton)
An unforgettable night under the stars with live music, wine and the big outdoors. Dance to the music of Little Freddie King (New Orleans Blue Legend).
434-263-7015 ·

August 13: No Strings Attached
Fincastle Vineyard and Winery (Fincastle)
Festive outdoor evening of wine and music featuring "No Strings Attached". (One of the more adventurous string ensembles today....Washington Post)
540-591-9000 ·

August 13: Blackdog Wine & Beach Festival
Chateau Morrisette (Floyd)
Amazing bands, great food, our famous sangria and your favorite wines. Variety of foods, arts and crafts. Rent your own gazebo and listen to the Mix Emotions and the Band of Oz.
540-593-2865 ·

August 13: First Annual "Winestock"
Mountain Rose Vineyards (Wise)
All day music festival featuring local bands and great food. Pull out the old tie-dyed T-shirts and hippie beads. Groove on!

August 14: Unplugged Sunday Afternoon Series
Cooper Vineyards (Louisa)
Enjoy music by Emme St. James as well as beautiful vineyard views on the spacious new deck. Bring your own picnic to have with a bottle of award-winning Cooper Vineyards wine.
540-894-5474 ·

August 19: Friday Night Under the Stars
AmRhein's Wine Cellars (Bent Mountain)
Enjoy the special dinner with a bottle of wine and entertainment, all under the stars.
Music by Dowing Brothers. Rain or shine.
540-929-4632 ·

August 19: Lecture & Wine Tasting
James Monroe Museum & Memorial Library (Fredericksburg)
James Gabler, author of "Passions: the Wines and Travels of Thomas Jefferson" illuminates the relationship between Jefferson and James Monroe. Wine tasting follows.
540-654-1123 ·

August 20: Rootstock Summer Fest
Potomac Point Winery (Stafford)
Summer fun with food, music (Pete Baker and The Shack Shakers) and car show.
540-446-2266 ·

August 20: The Now Knows Wine
Bogati Bodega & Winery (Round Hill)
A robust, full-bodied, educational opportunity offering an approachable look at wine tasting and how to taste wine with all your senses.
540-338-1144 ·

August 20: Sugarleaf Soiree
Sugarleaf Vineyards (North Garden)
Fourth Anniversary celebration of release of inaugural award-winning vintage and opening of the tasting room. Enjoy wine, cheese and a walk through the vineyard.
434-984-4272 ·

August 20: Summer BBQ & Concert
DelFosse Vineyards (Faber)
Enjoy a Mediterranean BBQ lunch in the outdoor pavilion along with some Jimmy Buffet music and join in a tour with vineyard manager Grayson Poats.
434-263-6100 ·

August 20 & 21: Feast of Saint Bernard
Cross Keys Vineyards (Mt. Crawford)
Bring one Saint Bernard, get 10% discount. Bring two Saint Bernards, get 15% discount.
540-234-0505 ·

August 20: Taste of Spain
Willowcroft Farm Vineyards (Leesburg)
Annual summer tasting of Spanish wines along with Tapas and Sangria.
703-777-8161 ·

August 21: Unplugged Sunday Afternoon Series
Cooper Vineyards (Louisa)
Enjoy music by Curtis Prince as well as beautiful vineyard views on the spacious new deck. Bring your own picnic to have with a bottle of award-winning Cooper Vineyards wine.
540-894-5474 ·

August 26: Friday Night Under the Stars
AmRhein's Wine Cellars (Bent Mountain)
Enjoy the special dinner with a bottle of wine and entertainment, all under the stars.
Music by Ron Swann. Rain or shine.
540-929-4632 ·

August 26: Attimo Winery Grand Opening
Attimo Winery (Christiansburg)
In celebration of the grand opening, a 4-course wine dinner. Music, appetizers, and a cake prepared by Food Network's Ace-of-Cakes at Charm City Cakes in Baltimore.
540-382-7619 ·

August 27: Mini Cooper Rally
Cooper Vineyards (Louisa)
For wine lovers and mini lovers alike. Live music by Scattered Smothered and Covered bluegrass band. James River Cellars guest winery. Wine tastings and food for purchase.
540-894-5474 ·

August 27 & 28: Mountain Road Tasting Tour
Chateau Morrisette (Floyd)
Food and drink progressive pairing on self-guided tour of Chateau Morrisette, Villa Appalaccia, Blacksnake Meadery, AmRhein Wine Cellars, Foggy Ridge Cider and Attimo Winery.
540-593-2865 ·

August 27: Jazz & Wine Festival
Sedalia Center (Big Island)
Fourth Annual. Open air pavilion with classic jazz, this year featuring Jane L. Powell on the main stage. Wine tastings from the region's best vintners.
434-299-5080 ·

August 27 & 28: Veraison Celebration
Three Fox Vineyards (Delaplane)
Share in the joy at the transition into the final ripening spring for the grapes before harvest. Special vineyard and winery tours.
540-364-6073 ·

August 27: Beat the Heat in the Foothills
DuCard Vineyards (Sperryville)
Join in a getaway to this cool new wine trail, DuCard and Sharp Rock Vineyards. Cool mountain breezes and great chilled wines.
540-923-4206 ·

August 28: Unplugged Sunday Afternoon Series
Cooper Vineyards (Louisa)
Enjoy music by Charleen Hutton as well as beautiful vineyard views on the spacious new deck. Bring your own picnic to have with a bottle of award-winning Cooper Vineyards wine.
540-894-5474 ·

Basignani Makes Baltimore Sun Magazine's 100 Favorite Things

Baltimore Sun Magazine's "100 Things We Love about Baltimore" - along with Falls Road, Basingani Winery is number 31!!

31. A drive up Falls Road - Cindy Wolf, restaurateur and head chef at Charleston

"Absolutely one of my favorite things to do is take a drive up Falls Road. The best part of the drive is between Shawan Road and Mount Carmel. It's newly paved, smooth, curvy and fast. In the summertime the views through the valleys, the gorgeous horse farms, the fields golden with hay, the sunny afternoons, that's what I love to see. There are some places you could stop for a picnic along the way, or you could stop and taste some wine with Bert Basignani." (Sun Magazine, 24 July 2011)

Congrats to Basignani!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

A Quick Visit with Rich at Bedell and a Glimpse into 2010

On a recent trip to Long Island, I stopped into see Richard Olsen-Harbich at Bedell. Rich is always doing something different, and I thought it would be a good thing to glimpse in and see what new wines he was making.

There's no question Rich will take Bedell in a wonderful new direction. He is making lots of small, high caliber batches, and will absolutely make a difference. He is the CC Sabathia that Bedell was hoping for (if you'll pardon Yankees reference).

The first was a 2010 white blend that won;t be released until next year. It was a blend of chardonnay, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer. The nose was like tropical candy, and the flavors like a bright fruit punch of pineapple, green apple, and a hint of kiwi. Absolutely bright and instant winner.

I tasted a rose made from Cabernet Franc. A salmon pink, it was a giant nose of fresh strawberries with a hint of green apple. A fantastic and refreshing rose, that will absolutely thrill next year.

The last was a 2010 Cabernet Franc that was easily the best Cabernet Franc I have ever tasted. It was huge with cherries, red currants, and vanilla. A big chewy wine that lacked the grassiness that some people talk Cabernet Franc down for. This was a tremendous wine with balance, depth, and incredible body.

These were all made with the incredible yeast culture Rich invented back in the spring. These wines, estate wines, made with their own yeasts are an incredible expression of time and place. And they also show the great promise of the 2010 vintage.

Pellegrini Vineyards Vintner's Pride Encore 1995

This is another in my reviews of older east coast wines. Some small amount of skepticism remains on whether or not the wines made in New York, Virginia New Jersey, or any place else can be cellared beyond a few years. Here's where we prove them wrong.

The most recent wine had to do with a visit to Pellegrini Vineyards. Pellegrini has some of the oldest vineyards on the North Fork. And I have had several older Pellegrini's which have held up very, very well. Well, here's another.

I walked in to do a normal tasting of wines at Pellegrini. I worked my way through the number of new wines currently available.

The 2006 Vinter's Pride Petite Verdot stood out immediately, with big fruit, great flavor, low acids and low tannins. A fantastic wine!

The 2005 Vinter's Pride Merlot was also very, very good, with cherries, raspberries, a hint of tobacco, and a tremendous mouth feel.

The 2007 Vinterner's Pride Encore was also excellent. A blend of estate reds, this deep red wine offered currants and cranberries as advertised, with great balance of acidity and tannin. A wonderful wine as well.

But I was intrigued by a display I saw and a sign advertising a 1995 Vinter's Pride Encore. It was wine that was for sale. The staff had found cases of the wine downstairs, and were selling it in the tastingroom. I of course was intrigued, and asked for a taste...and I was not disappointed.

The smell first was of stewed red fruits like strawberry, cherry, and raspberry, a hint of plum and prune as well. Also, there were some dusty leaves, like fall on a forest floor in autumn, which I found very attractive, and the slightest whiff of tomato.

The taste was all red fruits, as the nose had promised, as well as tomato and tobacco. This was an incredibly rich and complex wine with tremendous flavor and character. The flavors had melded beautifully. This was what old Bordeauxs tasted like.

If you want to taste something really special, and buy a bottle or two, you should race over to Pellegrini right now and try this incredible, delicious wine experience before it';s all gone. Supplies, predictably, are limited.

And to any skeptics that may remain, I bet you the cost of the bottle you will be pleasantly surprised.