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November 18, 2010


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The measured, thoughtful, and insightful answers to the questions above show why Ms. Pope is one of the finest and most respected sommeliers we have here in NY. Her words are high praise indeed for the industry.

Yes, Ms. Pope is a consummate wine professional and an excellent wine promoter.

Having said that, there are two or three problems with her answers that ought to be addressed:

World class certainly is a strong term, but why does it get thrown around with respect to emerging regions in other countries and withheld when it comes to newly discovered regions within the USA?

New York's commercial wine grape growing history is as old--if not older--than California's; it depends on what you call wine grapes: are they the ones you like or the ones that are grown to produce wine?

Reducing yield may have a place in the search, but it is not an absolute answer to viticultural questions of quality or ripeness.

Perhaps to improved the overall New York wine business, Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences could refocus its viticulture and enology program to clone Ms. Pope, so replicants could be placed in the top 100 Manhattan restaurants.

Seriously, Ms. Pope expresses exactly what so many desire from the wine directors of New York City’s top restaurants, a willingness to understand the wines of New York, a willingness to serve appropriate NY wines to their customers and most importantly that they provide constructive criticism to the New York winemakers and winery proprietors.

Lenn, thank you for this series of interviews and this one with Ms. Pope in particular.

We have had the privilege of knowing and working with Juliette since she first took over as wine director at Gramercy Tavern back in 2004. Her thoughtful insight, probing questions and exacting palate have always guided and inspired us to seek more out of the wines we grow. There are very few like her in this industry.

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