The story is a nice one and I'm glad to see AppAm get the press and publicity.
Eric discusses several good points in the piece, but two stand out to me:
- American's don't think of "place" right now
- Maybe American wine regions shouldn't compare themselves to others
Both are certainly true in my mind. Of course, I know plenty of people who buy wine by region (even U.S. region) but they are wine geeks, not the average consumer.
The second point is one that I feel even more strongly about--especially when it comes to my favorite region, Long Island.
Most locals talk Bordeaux and at least one mentions Friuli, but why make the comparison at all? I know, I know. It's all about marketing and spin and promotion, but the fact is that despite some similarities, the wines are different. They are more fruit-forward than most Old World wines...but not the the point of being fruit bombs like California, Australia, etc. So if it doesn't ring true, why bother?
The wines of Long Island are unique and I think there is a market for them--a market that will latch on to that uniqueness. A market that will pay a little more to "buy local." After all, "local" is the culinary buzzword of the moment. More Long Island wineries should be playing that point up more.
By the way, last summer I tasted the Michigan riesling Eric mentions in his story. It may have been the best riesling I tasted in 2006. Yes, possibly even better than the Finger Lakes renditions I enjoy so much. And the Westport bubbly? I'll vouche for the deliciousness of that wine too.
There are great wines being made all over this country.
Check out Eric's story and then head on over to Appellation America.