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September 11, 2009

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i've been to the canandaigua facility and it is just enormous. not surprised that it could absorb 2.2 Mcases. Any idea how many people work at this facility? And how many might not have a job anymore?

Tom - 55 people work there and Constellation tells me they'll attempt to bring "as many as possible" up to the Canandaigua facility. Interpret that as you will. And btw, the Can facility will now make an even 10 million cases annually.

Maybe I'm missing something but has this company ever done anything positive - in all their years - to enhance quality winemaking in New York? Please enlighten me.

Here's an oddball memory from wayback:

When I was new in the wine business, 1988-1989, I worked in a wine shop in Wilmington, DE. The biggest selling wine in the store year in and year out was Widmer.

Of course, at that time I was case stacking Pichon Lalande 1979 for $39 and Latour was $49. And Mondavi Woodbridge was still called "Bob White" - it was a new brand.

Great Western, Taylor Lake Niagra, and Bully Hill were HUGE sellers at that time (in Delaware!). Let me echo ROH's comments - What has this company done lately to benefit NY wine (except employ hundreds of people of course)?

One suggestion would be to plant Riesling - invest in it like Chat. Ste. Michelle did in Washington State. That would be cool.

"Maybe I'm missing something but has this company ever done anything positive - in all their years - to enhance quality winemaking in New York? Please enlighten me."

We don't talk about such things in NY. It might hurt a few funded programs.

If that sounds cynical, well, there you go...

so you guys need to get some scratch together and buy yourselves some vineyard land. then in 80 years, you can be like "Yep, I, [your name here], was the man who tore out the Concord at the Widmer and planted the first few acres of Riesling." Youll be like Joe Rochioli talking about his Pinot.

oh yea, and in general, no matter what type of wines that company made, what they did for us is keep a very large patch of land in vineyard. Just as Chinese apple concentrate has driven out of buisness all the orchards in the Hudson Valley, eventually Constellation, and Motts, and Welches will all pull out of the Finger Lakes, my guess would be for South American grapes. The point is that the Finger Lakes AVA stands to inherit a lot of vineyard land in the near future, and this will be the major difference in the Finger Lake's success vis a vie Long Island and Hudson Valley.

Whereas the Finger Lakes has ample room to expand, both Hudson Valley and Long Island have two major constraints on their growth. The first is geography; obviously Long Island is an Island, and the for grape growing purposes the Hudson Valley might as well be an island (check out the map on page 4, [http://nysl.nysed.gov/Archimages/83082.PDF] which illustrates the concentration of Hudson Valley orchard land on two narrow bands on either side of the river. What the map dosnt illustrate is the different crops, and their relation to the river. The farther away from it, it's all apples, but within a mile or two of the river, on the nice hills, are the cherries, the peaches and nectarines, and these are the only places where [I believe] quality vinifera can be grown in the Hudson Valley, although their are growers who stray from the rivers edge, and eithe grow hybrids or replant a quarter of the vineyards every spring).

The second is New York City, or more precicly those people from NYC who like to move into crappy little culldesacs on 3/4 of an acre with 50 other morons. In their desperate attempt to escape the hellish cityscape, they dismantle our countryside. They want the view of the meadow, but dont want to hear the tractor bailing the hay; they love the cows, until they smell manure; and they want their local produce, yet sign petitions for groups like "Ban Pesticides in Ulster County." Ive been trying to acquire some land just outside my village for over a year, in that time a whole 50-60 acres across the road was bulldozed and there are already several building up and framed. They people of NYC are eating us alive.

(I hope you notice the sweat irony of my points, both of our problems are also our only reasons for existance, the river/ocean being the only reason we can grow grapes, and the city tourists the only market to sell the resulting wine.)

... this link should work http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/scandoclinks/ocm70187810.htm
click "view document" and make sure the pop up blocker is off.

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