I read about it first in the New York Times over the weekend and then I received a press release this morning...but Bedell Cellars and Corey Creek Vineyards have hired Pascal Marty, formerly of Chateau Mouton Rothschild, as a consulting enologist.
This is big news around these parts and I'm quite curious to see how this all plays out.
Both wineries are owned by Michael Lynne, co-chairman and co-CEO of New Line Cinema, so he certainly has the money to hire such a winemaking mercenary. He also has high aspirations...wanting one of his wines to be ranked among the top 100 in the world, saying "Our region can make wines of that quality."
Reading this article...I'm glad to see Marty mention the need to focus less on winemaking and more on viticulture. "Forget winemaking," he said "Focus on viticulture. Long Island vineyards have been planted 30 years ago following the Californian way. Big mistake. Californian viticulture is not compatible with Long Island climate. Most parameters have to be modified. It will take another 30 years to do so, but some aspects can be modified without pulling everything out and replanting."
He's absolutely right and I only know a handful of winemakers here who I think truly believe the grapes are the most important thing. I think some of them get caught up in their own egos a bit. I do know that some winemakers have started planting their vineyards in a more French method. Theresa Dilworth of Comtesse Therese comes to mind.
like to ask my wine geek friends in California something: Is this an
indictment against current winemaker Kip Bedell (pictured at right)? He's famous for his
Merlot here and has been deemed Mr. Merlot by his peers and fans alike.
How common is it to bring in a hired gun like this?
Other LENNDEVOURS posts that mention Bedell Cellars and Corey Creek Vineyards: