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April 20, 2007


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I've never seen a bottle of Western New York wine for sale in Central New York, although I have tasted samples at the New York State Fair and at various trade and business shows that have made their way to this area.

My impressions were very similar: not great. But, I did come across a winery or two that advocated their turn to serious wienmaking. I simply have no idea what the future potential of the region is. I do know that they grow at ton of grapes out there intended for jellies and juices, so who knows?

You are definitely very opinionated and slanted to the long island wines. I'd take you more seriously, but wines available in western New York and Pennsylvania rival those of LI and appeal to a more rounded crowd. Try getting off the Island once in a while and truly EXPERIENCE wine tasting and enjoyment.

I'm not sure why you feel that I'm "slanted" to Long Island wines because I enjoy wines from throughout the state of New York as well as Spain, Italy, Germany, France and even some regions of California. Sure, I live on Long Island and have ready access to the wines and wineries, but I'm far from a Long Island snob. I've found many Finger Lakes rieslings that are better (and better values) than any here on Long Island. I've also had some nice wines from the Hudson Valley.

To this point, however, I've not had anything from Western New York that made me say "Hey, they are doing great things there." But, I've not had that many yet. Maybe you can recommend some wineries and wines I should check out?

As for Pennsylvania..as a native of western PA, I've long sought wines from my home state that are noteworthy. I've had some nice wines from Chaddsford, but not much else. Again, if you have some recommendations, please pass them along.

I've made a point over the past three years of tasting wines from many states and many off-the-beaten path regions...read through my archives and I think you'll see that.

Happened to read this article and on behalf of the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail, I would like to apologize for their seeming lack of response to your inquiries.

In their defense, many of these wineries are small and even the larger wineries have the perspective that it is a better bet to sell their wines on a regional basis (Buffalo/Cleveland/Rochester/Syracuse). Shipping wines to New York City on top of the marketing challenges is, well, a challenge!

The Trail, now with 20 wineries including Vetter's, are located in New York and Pennsylvania in the largest North American grape growing region outside of California. We will admit that it is mostly concord vineyards, but we'll take the beautiful vistas of vineyards and Lake Erie and make great wine with the 10% of vineyards which are vinifera and French-hybrids.

If you'd like to give the area's wines another chance, please let us know what information you'd like to have.


Jennifer Johnson
President, Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail

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