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December 13, 2011

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Another review that supports my contention that Long Island really oughta be (predominantly) a white wine region. Good thing no one listens to me.

Peter,

Your comment is outrageous and totally mis-informed. Were you trying to make some kind of public joke? If you were not joking, and you meant to be inflammatory toward your colleagues downstate, then you need a serious education about Long Island viticulture. Why don’t you come visit sometime, so you can actually taste our world-class red wines and talk to the quality leaders who are moving our industry forward.

Trent Preszler
CEO
Bedell Cellars

Peter: That is an interesting comment and -- given its content -- a bit short. I'd be curious to hear what more you have to say on the topic.

Basing what a region should be doing or what it "oughta be" based on a handful of top sauvignon blancs (it's still a bit player here, really) is a bit like me saying that the Finger Lakes should be a Blaufrankisch region based on some nice ones I've had lately.

I'd love to hear more from you though... even if I don't think I agree.

Kudos to Ed on a job well done. I look forward to enjoying his latest creation.

Peter,

Perhaps you’ve selectively missed the red wine reviews! But you’re absolutely right – no one does listen to you.

Needless to say, I profoundly disagree with your nescient opinion. For over 35 years, the North Fork has been producing more or less equal quantities of red and white wines that are distinctively reflective of our terroir. We take particular pride in our red wines – I believe they are some of the most elegant and unique in the entire country. If you have the time to actually visit the North Fork I would be happy to show you around and help you to better understand our region. It’s always best to educate yourself in these matters before putting your foot in your mouth.

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid, the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
-Benjamin Franklin

Easy, folks. I am not saying that reds do not do well in LI. If you feel I said that, I apologize. I know LI wines very well, having consulted there and visited many times. It does seem to me that the quality-to-price thing does not work in favor of reds, and I'm not the first to say so.

And in any case, I made it clear that this is my contention, not a fact. I love LI wines, but am more often wowed by the whites. Same with Finger Lakes.

Peter,

Thanks for your non-apology apology. I’m well aware of your feelings regarding Long Island – you’ve made them clear on more than one occasion. I’m not really sure why you feel it’s necessary to critique your neighbors, as I should think you have enough challenges of your own to keep you busy. But since you wish to spout off on your colleagues’ work in a public forum, you do open yourself up for commentary.

The majority of the wine intelligentsia in New York City, who shape and define taste and trends in our industry, disagree with your contentions. I’m surprised that you decided to dig up the decrepit red/white wine and price/quality conventions, which have been debunked many times in many arenas, especially where it counts the most: among our many dedicated customers in the marketplace. That old dog don’t hunt anymore.

Let us imagine the following scenario. A wine professional from a region outside the Finger Lakes writes on a blog, "I just read another rather glowing review of a Finger Lakes Cabernet franc [Pinot noir, Lemberger], and it reinforced my conviction that there ought to be more red grapes in the Finger Lakes. It's just one person's opinion, but I think there's a little too much emphasis on Riesling up there."

Right away two or three Finger Lakes winemakers submit a vitriolic rebuttal, calling the writer an ignoramus and worse, and suggesting that he has made a quasi career of publicly denigrating Finger Lakes Riesling,the scoundrel.

Even though the writer's opinion is several orders of magnitude more absurd than the one that was originally expressed here by me, I can tell you with certainty that when industry professionals here read something along those lines (and it does happen), our vitriol is not stirred, and at best we just roll our eyes and snicker. We might even think, "Maybe he's got a point..."


In his comment Mr. Bell writes: "Good thing no one listens to me."
And so it should be according to his wishes. We should not be alarmed by such posts.

What matters is what Rich stated and that is what the market is telling us. Thankfully the wine quality of white and red wines on Long Island has continued to trend up to the point where several wineries run out of wines before they can replenish with the next harvest. That is so for both red and white wines. Our continued emphasis and dedication to wine quality is the only topic worth discussing.

And if Mr. Bell likes our white wines he should buy as many as he can for they can be very good too. And if he does not care for our red wines, no problem, as many others do.

There is a danger that some winemakers, including some on LI, may like too much what they produce and since red wine is not seen as their strength, that inadvertently they minimizes the genre for self interest. But of course they will deny that.

Cheers,

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