Wine Press FINAL 10-14-10

December 1, 2012


             Fox Run scores big, lots of New York Gold, super seminars, grape growing resource, and the perfect gift for the holidays.



             Jim Trezise

Great Scores and New York Gold


           Fox Run Vineyards 2010 Dry Riesling scored a major coup as part of a huge centerfold photo in the Wine Spectator and a high ranking among the magazine's top 100 Outstanding Values of 2012.  The wine scored 90 and is priced at $16.  Also in the current edition, the Forge 2011 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling received 91, with 90-point ratings for Keuka Lake Vineyards 2011 Dry Riesling Evergreen Lek Vineyard and Keuka Lake Vineyards 2011  Finger Lakes Dry Riesling Falling Man Vineyard.


            Meanwhile, in the December edition of Wine & Spirits, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards 2010 Finger Lakes Homestead Reserve Riesling received 93 points, and Belhurst Finger Lakes Naturel sparkling wine a 90 and a Best Buy designation at $20.


            At the Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition run by our friend (and Classic judge) Doug Frost, New York wines won three prestigious Jefferson Cup awards as well as three Nominees (equal to a Double Gold), along with 30 Awards of Excellence (Gold).  Jefferson Cup awards went to Inspire Moore Winery & Vineyard 2011 Harmony, Swedish Hill Winery 2011 Marechal Foch, and Sheldrake Point Vineyards 2010 Riesling Ice Wine.  The Nominees included Goose Watch Winery 2011 Diamond and 2011 Viognier, and Inspire Moore 2010 Synchronicity.

             The Awards of Excellence were given to Anthony Road 2010 Semi-Dry Riesling; Chateau Frank 2006 Blanc de Noirs; Chateau LaFayette Reneau 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2011 Pinot Noir Blanc; Dr. Frank 2011 Gruner Veltliner; Fox Run 2011 Riesling Reserve; Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Bramble Berry, Cabin Fever, Red Cat, and 2010 Gewurztraminer; Hunt Cuntry Dolce de Moscato and 2011 Late Harvest Moscato; Inspire Moore 2011 Passion, 2011 Truth Reserve, and 2010 Wisdom; Knapp 2011 Chardonnay Barrel Reserve, 2011 Riesling, 2011 Seyval Blanc, 2011 Vignoles; Lakewood 2011 Chardonnay; Lamoreaux Landing 2010 76 West, 2011 Gruner Veltliner, 2011 Dry Riesling, 2011 Red Oak Vineyard Riesling; Rooster Hill 2010 Lemberger, 2010 Dry Riesling, and 2011 Dry Riesling; Sheldrake Point 201 Riesling, 2011 Dry Riesling; Swedish Hill 2011 Cayuga White.


             At the American Wine Society competition in Oregon where New York wineries won 122 total medals, Swedish Hill Blanc de Blanc took Best Sparkling Wine, and Coyote Moon River Run won Best Rose Wine.  Double Gold medals went to Three Brothers 2011 Estate Reserve Gruner Veltliner, and Swedish Hill 2011 Vidal Blanc.

             Gold medals were awarded to Belhurst National Sparkling and Isabella Sparkling; Black Willow Odin's Nectar; Lime Berry 2011 Lough-Blanc de Noirs; Beak & Skiff Vodka; Coyote Moon 2011 Naked Chardonnay and River Run; Dr. Frank 2011 Riesling Reserve; Glenora 2011 Gewurztraminer; Goose Watch 2011 Traminette, 2011 Villard Blanc, and 2011 Melody; Swedish Hill Viking White, 2011 Marechal Foch, and Blanc de Blanc.


 The "Other" Climate for Grapes and Wine


             In the grape and wine industry, we're always talking about the climate--winter, spring, summer, fall--because you need a good climate to grow good grapes that made good wines.  Just as important but often forgotten, you need a good business climate to grow our industry.


           Governor Andrew Cuomo's recent Wine, Spirits and Beer (and Cider) Summit clearly signaled a major change in New York's business climate which we warmly welcome.  Even since then, just this week, another clear sign emerged as I received a letter from the New York State Department of Transportation confirming new regulations for wine trail highway signage. 

           This has been a longstanding and normally frustrating issue, with absurd regulations enforced by unmovable bureaucrats.  No longer. At a meeting a few months ago which I was dreading, I was stunned by a totally new ambiance of reason, responsiveness, and partnership.  And consistent with the Governor's campaign of "New York Open for Business", the new guidelines will encourage new investment, new jobs, new taxes and more tourists to the benefit of New York State.  As usual, New York Farm Bureau was a valuable partner in all this, and I encourage every New York grape grower and winery to join that great organization.


              On the Federal level, many wine industry issues are on hold pending the drama of the fiscal cliff negotiations, but one new thing is that wineries must now register with the Food and Drug Administration.  While this is an unnecessary nuissance, it could have been far worse if WineAmerica and other groups had not worked to minimize the potential damage of the original proposal which would have transferred much regulatory oversight from the Tax and Trade Bureau (which understands our industry) to FDA (which doesn't have a clue).  In the new year, we need to again descend on Washington to protect and enhance our interests.  Every winery should be a member of WineAmerica.


              FIVS is probably the most important organization you've never heard of, and for good reason.  This global organization of trade associations and companies from over 25 wine-producing countries simply does a superb job on international issues without a lot of fanfare.

              The FIVS acronym derived from the former name (Federation Internationale des Vins et Spiritueux), and it focuses on an international level on key issues such as sustainable winegrowing practices, trade practices, World Health Organization regulations, excise and other tax policies, restrictions on price promotions and advertising, and much else.  FIVS is basically the watchdog for our industry, and is respected and accepted as a nongovernmental observer at many governmental bodies.

               A great way to learn about these issues first-hand is to attend the FIVS New York Meeting on December 9-11, which is open to anyone interested, along with FIVS members.  The conference will address key issues, provide great networking opportunities, and give everyone a chance to sample some great New York wines which we are providing.

                For more information and registration, visit



 Winegrowing: The Juggling Act

                   Price, Quality, & Economics: The Triple Bottom Line is one of many fascinating seminars at our Viticulture 2013 conference in February in Rochester.  The interplay of the boarder economy, consumer trends, and production options creates an atmosphere for complex decision-making.  Quality is vital, pricing is tricky, and you have to balance the two to stay in this highly competitive business.

                  The Great Recession helped consumers discover that there are lots of good wines for less than they used to pay, so they expect quality and value in every bottle.  For small wineries in particular, that can lead to tough choices in the vineyard, the cellar, and the market.  Exploring the many levels of this issue will be Stefano Poni of Italy, Trent Preszler of Bedell Cellars on Long Island, and from Cornell University Justine Vanden Heuvel and Jim Meyers.  Hans Walter-Peterson of Cornell Cooperative Extension will moderate the session.

                  This is just one of dozens of super seminars during the three days of Viticulture 2013, and the full registration (including most meals) is only $295 before January 15. Rooms at the Hyatt (single or double) are only $109.  For more information, visit


                    An old/new resource is now widely available, thanks to modern technology.  More than two decades ago, in 1990, the New York Wine & Grape Foundation funded research and the publication of "Growing Vitis Vinifera Grapes in New York State" by the late Dr. Robert Pool and many colleagues.  The book is a good guide to grapes that are, and are not, recommended for cultivation in New York, and now it's on line at two Cornell sites:

A "Tapas and Sherry" Feast 
            Searching for a precious gift for Hanukkah or Christmas?  Search no more: The New York Times Book of Wine is perfect.
            The tome is edited by former New York Times editor and wine writer Howard G. Goldberg, whose Introduction perfectly describes the book: "Think of this anthology of New York Times wine articles as a feast of tapas and sherries: small, savory bites and short sips...Two or three 'plates' washed down by a few 'ounces' can satisfyingly fill a half-hour breather; return for a bedtime 'snack'."
            This is a treasure trove of analysis, opinion, recommendations, personalities, and humor from many Times wine writers and contributors through the years: Frank Prial, Terry Robards, Howard Goldberg, Florence Fabricant, Eric Asimov, R.W. Apple, and many more.  The subjects are fascinating and the writing lively.
             What's also great about this book is that you can skip around to different topics or writers, and a typical column might require a just few minutes if that's all you have, or if you're in the mood and have the time you can thoroughly indulge for hours.  The book is published by Sterling Epicure, and its publication was overseen by our colleague Carlo DeVito of Hudson-Chatham Winery in the Hudson Valley.
              You simply can't go wrong with this book. Savor it during the holidays.
Article Headline


"A typical  wine writer was once described as someone with a typewriter who was looking for his name in print, a free lunch, and a way to write off his wine cellar.  It's a dated view.  Wine writers now use computers."

                                                            -- Frank Prial, 1998

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