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October 07, 2009


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At TasteCamp, I found Paumanok and Channing Daughters to be some of the most innovative operations we visited, enologically and viticulturally (respectively). I want to be around when there is a blind test done to see which closure does better on which varieties. My guess is that a triangle test (2 of one treatment, 1 of another) would elucidate a sensory difference between the closures. I would love to know what a blind test would show preference-wise, and how that result would change over time.

There hasn't been too much sensory data about aging with screwcap vs. cork closures. It's an exciting time to be a closure enthusiast!

Finally, this is what im talking about. It makes me want to puke when someone tells me they are planting Chardonnay or Merlot (BARF). No dissing it (well actually I am dissing chard, boring stuff), or Merlot or Cab, but it like so mayo and whitebread, its completely unadventurous from a growing perspective. Ive said it before, but I dont know how NY expects to stand out making Merlot or Cab Franc. Even if we do it well, so does just about everybody else. Even Pinot is getting so overplanted its begining to mean nothing. It's a shame that grape farmers are the only farmers in the world who refuse to see the merit of hybrid varieties ... Long live the JonaMac.

Rowland -

Let me play both sides. First, it's easy to understand why Long Island plants a lot of merlot and the Finger Lakes plants a lot of cab franc. I don't understand pinot noir -- unless the grower is uber-committed. But there's nothing wrong with highlighting a strength.

Like you, though, I dig the exploration. I think there's a real future for NY blaufrankisch. What else would you like to see -- or have you seen -- that excites you?

as someone who is in the process of selecting varieties to plant, I understand why people plant what they do, because its a scary process, once you make a decision you have to stick with it for decades, its your entire future. people plant merlot and cab because it grows well, there is a market for it, and investors and customers are familiar with it. I have been seriously considering planting both Tocai and Petit Verdot, and here in the Hudson Valley, basically everything is an experiment. I would like to see how Stoutridge's wines come out over the next few years; their vineyards of Teroldego, Sangiovese, and Refosco should be bearing fully this year. Millbrook has been sucessfully growing and making Tocai for a while now. Glorie and Pazdar both grow Lemberger (people up here seem to have decided Blaufrankish is too hi brow a name) but im not sure if they make single varietals or blend it. Ive enjoyed Millbrook and Oak Summit's Pinot Noirs, but I cant say how great they are compaired to anything else. I guess Id like to see more Norther Italian, Austrian, and Eastern European varieties planted. Id like to see Cornell take a more active role, instead of having their experimental vineyards dedicated to making new crosses, they should be trying every single varietal they can get their hands on. Id like to see every grower dedicate an acre to single row varietal experimentation.

Great to see that Chris keeps experimenting!

Oddly enough Ive been reading about about the CIA and Afganistan, and the author makes dozens of passing references to vineyards and winemaking. Any idea what kind of grape variety they are growing in that part of the world? Id like to try it whatever it is.

Wild guess: Sereksiya and Saperavi, or any other Georgian grapes. This is based on nothing but a guess that any grapes there might have come from Soviets.

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