Full disclosure: Lenn and I were approached in the planning stages about how this project might work.We offered some basic feedback but removed ourselves from the process.
An ambitious new collaboration will launch in April, and it unites New York State's three largest wine producing regions. The Three Sisters Project will link "sister wineries" from Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and the Finger Lakes.
Each sister winery will sell one another's wine in the tasting room and will seek to educate customers about the unique qualities of the individual regions.
“Interest in local foods and wine have never been hotter. We think this is a great opportunity," said Carlo DeVito, co-owner of Hudson-Chatham Winery in the Hudson Valley. "This has been a great way to work with our sister wineries, share information, try new styles, introduce new wines into our tasting rooms, and get the word out on New York state wine.”
For the inaugural Three Sisters Project, there are two separate sets of sister wineries. Participating wineries include:
- Lieb Family Cellars and Macari Vineyards from Long Island
- Benmarl Winery and Hudson-Chatham Winery from the Hudson Valley
- Fox Run Vineyards and Anthony Road Wine Company from the Finger Lakes
The participating wineries are still finalizing the list of wines to be poured at each location.
“The major thing with New York wines is building awareness,” said Matthew Spaccarelli, owner of Benmarl Winery. “The quality and consistency is already in place. This program is a great way to showcase what the wineries throughout New York are producing.”
DeVito has said that if the project is successful, it's possible it will be repeated in the fall and in future years.
But what will it mean to be "successful"? If participating wineries can sell one another's wines with regularity while providing new information for consumers about other New York regions, that will qualify.
The theme fits the larger ethos that has become so pervasive in New York winemaking, which is the value of collaboration. In April we'll find out what kind of impact it can have on consumers.