Wine Press FINAL 10-14-10

January 12, 2013


             Keuka Spring Riesling rocks, lots of  other New York Gold, Inaugural wines, Governor's new initiatives, and lots more happening in New York wine country as 2013 gets off to a roaring start.



             Jim Trezise

Keuka Spring: Best White Wine!


           Keuka Spring Vineyards 2011 Riesling was rated the Best White Wine (from among about 2,000) at this week's San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest in the nation with over 5,500 total entries.

          This follows a similar feat a few years ago when a 2008 Keuka Spring Gewurztraminer took the same honor, as did Dr. Frank 2010 Gewurztraminer last year, clearly indicating that New York shines when it comes to "aromatic whites".  Keuka Spring also won a Gold medal for its 2011 Vignoles this year.

           Coyote Moon Vineyards in the Thousand Island also had a very strong showing, with two wines in the final "sweepstakes" round (2011 La Crescent and 2011 Fire Boat Red) along with a Double Gold for the 2011 Casa Papa Red.

           Belhurst Estate Winery earned Double Golds for the Sparkling Isabella and 2011 Semi-Dry Riesling, while 21 Brix winery in the Lake Erie region took a Double Gold for its 2011 Dry Riesling and a Gold for the 2011 Vidal Ice Wine.

           Other Gold medals were awarded to Brooklyn Winery 2011 Riesling; Goose Watch 2011 Cabernet Franc, 2011 Melody, and 2011 Traminette; Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards 2010 Gewurztraminer and 2011 Dry Riesling; Penguin Bay 2011 Riesling; Sparkling Pointe 2003 Brut Seduction; Swedish Hill Blanc de Blanc; Three Brothers 2011 Estate Riesling; Ventosa 2011 Riesling; Villa Bellangelo 2011 Gewurztraminer and 2011 Dry Riesling.

            The "Chronicle" competition is always the first of the new year, with many more to follow and many more New York winners among them.  For an updated listing, visit and go to New York Gold.

 Ultimate Power Lunch Features New York Wines


             After President Obama and Vice President Biden are sworn in for a second term of Monday, January 21, they will host the Inaugural Luncheon--the ultimate power lunch with about 250 top members of their Administration, leaders of Congress, Supreme Court justices, and others. 

            And they'll enjoy two great New York wines with their meal: Tierce 2010 Dry Riesling from the Finger Lakes, and Bedell 2009 Merlot from Long Island.

             New York's senior Senator, Charles Schumer, chairs the Rules Committee which is responsible for planning the inaugural festivities every four years.  A proud New Yorker very familiar with the quality of New York wines and foods, he wanted to share New York's bounty with his colleagues in official Washington.  In early September, New York Farm Day hosted by New York's junior Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, gave Senator Schumer and others an opportunity to sample some of the products that will now be part of this historic luncheon.

              The Tierce 2010 Dry Riesling is a unique collaborative creation among three vineyards, three wineries, and three winemakers, hence the name "Tierce", which means three.  Besides being a superb wine which California wine writer Dan Berger has described as "the best dry Riesling ever made in America", it is symbolic of the spontaneous cooperation among the wine community of the Finger Lakes. Each fall, winemakers Peter Bell of Fox Run, Johannes Reinhardt of Anthony Road, and Dave Whiting of Red Newt make their own separate batches of dry Riesling, and in the early spring spend a day tasting dozens of different blends until they agree on the best which becomes that year's Tierce. Since it was first produced in 2005, Tierce has won Gold medals, high scores, and other accolades around the world.

              The Bedell 2009 Merlot is the legacy of "The Master of Merlot" Kip Bedell, who founded the winery and remains deeply involved today as a consulting winemaker for owner Michael Lynne, working alongside veteran Long Island winemaker Richard Olsen-Harbich in the cellar.  Many years ago, the Wine Spectator described Kip as the Master of Merlot with a cover story, and Bedell's status as one of Long Island's premier wineries remains unchanged.  But under the ownership of Michael Lynne, a film producer and patron of the arts, a new emphasis on world-class graphic arts has enhanced both the winery tasting room and wine bottles so now there is great art both inside and outside each bottle of Bedell wine.

               Both the Tierce and Merlot have limited supply, but are available directly from the wineries until supplies run out.  We are also delighted that New York apples, honey, maple syrup, and other products will be part of the Inaugural Luncheon.

State of the State: New York Open for Business


                Governor Andrew Cuomo this week added some exciting new initiatives for the farm-based beverage industries (wine, beer, spirits, hard cider), along with other farm products, in his "State of the State" message laying out his vision and goals for 2013.

                A "Taste-NY" program of retail strores throughout the state, including at train stations and airports, will help create greater awareness and sales of New York products to New Yorkers as well as out of state visitors.

                The "Market NY" initiative with a focus on upstate tourism has the potential to bolster special events and visitation at New York wineries and other agri-tourism businesses.

                 His mention of the viticulture and wine technology program of Finger Lakes Community College also recognizes the importance of educating tomorrow's employees and leaders in our industry and others.

                 In late October, Governor Cuomo held a first-ever Wine, Beer & Spirits Summit which spawned several major initiatives that will help our industries grow and contribute even more to New York's economy.

                  New York is clearly "Open for Business" in 2013.


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