Wine Press FINAL 10-14-10

August 24, 2013


             Governor presents "Winery of the Year" award, the New York State Fair is in full swing, New York Farm Day is shaping up, and more New York Gold.  


             Jim Trezise

McCall Wines: Winery of the Year


              On Saturday evening at the festive "Harvest East End" event, Governor Andrew Cuomo personally presented our "Winery of the Year" award to Russell McCall, owner of McCall Wines in Cutchogue on the North Fork of Long Island.  Serendipitously, this year's event was held at McCall Ranch and Vineyard, the ideal place to present the award on a perfect evening in Long Island wine country where 1,500 consumers reveled in the awesome wines and foods.

               "Winery of the Year" is one of two top awards at our annual New York Wine & Food Classic competition, recognizing consistent quality across the board.  McCall entered seven wines, and all of them received medals: Double Gold and Best New York Pinot Noir for the 2010 Pinot Noir Reserve, Corchang Estate; another Double Gold for 2007 Ben's Bordeaux Blend; Golds for 2011 Cabernet Franc and 2008 Merlot Reserve, Corchang Estate; and Silver Medals for 2008 Merlot, Corchang Estate, 2010 Chardonnay Reserve, and 2012 Marjorie Rose, Corchang Estate.  This is a major accomplishment, and I was delighted to take part in the recognition ceremony as well.

                 Many other Long Island wines also did extremely well in this year's Classic, capturing a total of 165 medals including nine "Best New York" honors for Unoaked Chardonnay, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Vinifera Wine Blend, Merlot, Dry Riesling, Late Harvest Wine, and Sparkling.  This confirms that the Long Island wine industry has truly "come of age" in terms of producing top-quality wines.  Full results are available at under Awards and Accolades.

                 The gala event also honored Long Island pioneers Louisa Hargrave, who with her former husband planted the first vineyard in 1973; and John Ross, who opened Ross's North Fork restaurant that same year and led the way to celebrating Long Island's local bounty from land and sea.

                 The event, with Wine Enthusiast as the presenting sponsor, included 42 Long Island wineries and 32 prominent chefs. 

                 Congratulations to our colleagues on Long Island for a great 40th anniversary celebration.  Cheers!



 "Taste NY" at the Great New York State Fair


          The "Taste NY" promotion has moved from the recent PGA Golf Championship in Rochester to the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, which opened on Thursday and runs through Labor Day.

           New York grown and produced food and beverage products are being sampled and sold under the Taste NY banner all across the Fair and at a special Taste NY Marketplace under a 40' x 70' tent, which will feature many different types of products as well as a series of seminars.  In addition, a Taste NY Trail will guide visitors to some of New York agriculture's largest and most important industries represented at the Fair.

           In addition to the annual New York Wine Garden where many wineries sample and sell their product to fairgoers, this year a "Taste NY Wine and Cheese Competition" will be held to determine the best pairings of the top wines from the New York State Fair Commercial Wine Competition as well as a separate Dairy Products Competition.  A panel of four judges (including yours truly) will evaluate the pairings of top award-winning wines of six different types (sparkling, white, rose, red, dessert and fruit) with six award-winning cheeses (medium cheddar, sharp cheddar, provolone, goat/sheet, flvored, and open class).  It's a great way to highlight the quality and compabilility of two major New York agricultural sectors: dairy, and grapes.

             Daily seminars on wine and cheese, presented by wineries and cheesemakers attending the fair, will educate consumers on how to find what they like best.

             In addition, I am happy to report that the State Fair has hired a new company to manage the Fair's Empire Room, with much more of a focus on New York products than in the past, which was shameful.  The Empire Room, open from 9 am to midnight each day, includes a full-service bar that is focusing primarily on New York wines, beers and spirits, and includes a raw bar for Long Island oysters and clams (my favorite items at Farm Day). 

              One of the commitments Governor Cuomo made at the Wine, Beer & Spirits Summit last October was that more State-sponsored venues like the State Fair, Saratoga Racetrack and other facilities would offer a greater selection of New York products.  Promise delivered.

             For more about the Fair, visit; and for more about the Taste NY program,

 New York Farm Day is September 17


              It's by far the most popular reception on Capitol Hill, as evidenced by emails we are getting from senior Congressional staffers begging to get in. It's New York Farm Day, hosted by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on September 17, and it's shaping up to be bigger and better than ever.

               We've been organizing it since 2002, when former Senator Hillary Clinton hosted it for several years, and it's basically "Taste NY" about a decade ahead of time.  We include all kinds of beverages (wine, beer, spirits, cider, apple juice, grape juice, milk) and foods (apples, vegetables, maple, honey, cheeses, yogurt, meats) from all corners of the State, along with several restaurants offering tasty creations of all-New York ingredients.  Many of the popular "regulars" will return, but we also have some exciting newcomers to be announced in a couple weeks.

                We typically welcome about 600 influential public officials--Senators, members of Congress and the Administration--as well as senior staffers, media, and trade.  They all receive a complementary New York Farm Day wine glass, and this year will also receive a special Farm Day flash drive loaded with information about New York agriculture which they'll have at their fingertips when they need it to help shape policy.

                  When Senator Gillibrand was first appointed, she specifically asked to be on the Agriculture Committee, where she has been a great advocate of New York agriculture for years.  Recently she came to the Finger Lakes to meet with a diverse delegation of farmers and industry representatives in order to get our input on priorities in Washington.  And during the day before the Farm Day reception, she'll convene two meetings of a broader audience on key topics.

                   Bon Appetit!              

Dr. Frank, 21 Brix and Lakewood Capture Lots of Gold (or Better)                                                            

      Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars from the Finger Lakes and 21 Brix  Winery from the Lake Erie region scored lots of major awards at the recent Amenti del Vino wine competition sponsored by Les Amis du Vin (Friends of Wine).

      Each won a Best of Category award: Best White for the 2012 Dr. Frank Riesling Reserve, and Best Dessert for 21 Brix Vidal Ice Wine.  21 Brix also got a Double Gold for its 2012 Gewurztraminer, and Gold medals for Ella's White, Ellatawba, Thirsty Elephant, and Raspberry.  Chateau Frank won Golds for its Celebre, 2008 Blanc de Blancs and 2007 Blanc de Noirs, with Golds for Dr. Frank 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling, 2012 Gewurztraminer, and 2010 Chardonnay.  And Lakewood Vineyards copped Golds for its 2012 Riesling and 2012 Vignoles.

       Interestingly, Dr. Frank is one of the oldest wineries, 21 Brix one of the youngest, and Lakewood in between--so great wines are coming from wineries of all ages.                        

  "By making this wine vine known to the pubic, I have rendered my country as great a service as if I had enabled it to pay back the national debt."
                                                                       --Thomas Jefferson
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