Posts Written OnApril 2012

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company Beers Now Available in 6-Packs

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Captain Lawrence Brewing Company has been working through some growing pains over the last couple of years.  They’ve just gotten so damn popular they couldn’t keep up with demand (pretty much a problem any business wants to find themselves in), going so far as to pull out of the New Jersey market to keep their supply to the Empire State flowing. Striking it rich with popularity in the New York City beer scene means you better be ready; ready for the thirsty mobs who’ll pound through whatever barrel of beer you put in front of them and ready for the…

Talking Appassimento with Freedom Run Winery’s Cellarmaster Kurt Guba

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Kurt Guba is someone I’ve worked with since I moved to the Niagara region in 2007. He’s a certified sommelier, a professor at the local community college and a cellarmaster at Freedom Run Winery in Lockport, NY. He was a huge motivating force behind that winery’s new 2010 Appassimento Meritage, which has been released in limited quantities. I recently sat down with him to get his take on the wine and how it came to be. What lead to the decision to make the appassimento in 2010? Appassimento style wines are something that I really enjoy but it was also…

North Country Viticulture Education

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Two educational events of interest to North Country viticulturists and winemakers, are being held this week, and come shortly after a series of dormant pruning workshops held in the Lake Champlain Region. A day-long vineyard and winery planning workshop will be held on Wednesday May 4 in Herkimer County. On Tuesday May 8, the next installment of the Northern Grapes Project webinar series will be accessible to anyone who registers. Details for both events can be found below. Over the past couple of weekends, volunteer pruning and informal training was completed at the Cornell Baker Farm Trial Vineyard in Willsboro,…

Massachusetts-Based Shelton Brothers Slams a Door on New York Breweries

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Venerable import and distribution company Shelton Brothers, of  of Belchertown, Massachusetts, has been invaluable to beer lovers across the United States. They have been visionary in their quest to bring us the finest beers from Belgium since way before Belgian was cool. If you’ve enjoyed a Cantillon, Dieu du Ciel or Mikkeler and you don’t have a passport, you have the Sheltons to thank. Now, Shelton Brothers can claim yet another accolade: stalwart defenders of the New York State Constitution. We New York residents are thankful that, in 2006, upon being refused State Liquor Authority approval to distribute six English…

New Winery is a Regional Bellwether: Third Finger Lakes Producer Plans to Make Only Riesling and Pinot

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If two times is a coincidence, then perhaps three times is a trend, and in the Finger Lakes, a trend seems to be emerging: A third wine producer has decided to focus on riesling, pinot noir, and nothing else. There is no denying riesling’s regional strength, but the search for a regional stalwart red wine has led winemakers down many paths, not all of them successful. Pinot noir would be the most challenging of paths, a cliffside stroll as opposed to the more leisurely journey to quaffable reds such as cabernet franc or blaufrankisch. That’s not to say that any…

Op-Ed: Some Thoughts on Local Terroir (by Jim Silver, GM, Peconic Bay Winery)

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As the head of a winery, I am very frequently asked about terroir.  Does the concept really exist?  Is it real? Of course it is, I answer, but it’s difficult to understand.  But, it has actually helped me to define myself while I strive to better my knowledge of wines.  Finding terroir in wine is an existential and personal study, and very rewarding. For me, it sharpens the mind — here your senses are tested along with your memory, as you try to find nuances in a wine, and categorize them.  While you sniff and swirl the glass, you are…

Anthony Nappa Wines 2010 “Bordo” Cabernet Franc

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I first tasted this wine last summer at The Winemaker Studio during a rare childless wine country jaunt with my wife and friends. As winemaker Anthony Nappa poured it and I first put my nose in the glass, I knew this was a wine I would fall for. And I did. Hard. Anthony Nappa Wines 2010 “Bordo” Cabernet Franc ($20) was the first wine I picked for the first shipment of the Empire State Cellars Wine Club. Truth be told, the chance to have it again was the initial inspiration behind our recent dinner with Nappa and his wines.  I’ve…

This Thursday: “Partners in Living Local” Winemaker’s Dinner at The American Hotel

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John Leo, winemaker for Clovis Point, has created a wine dinner series “Partners in Living Local” — all hosted at the American Hotel in Sag Harbor and all celebrating one type of partnership or another in wine country. From the series announcement:   [quote] The American Hotel in Sag Harbor presents local collaborative wine projects in a series of four course dinners celebrating some new landmarks on the East End wine scene. When you live in a place of timeless treasures it’s sometimes easy to overlook the subtle changes growing out of the familiar scenery. It is with this expectation we invite…

Clovis Point 2007 Vintner’s Selection Merlot

Clovis Point is a North Fork producer that is quickly pushing itself onto the region’s short list of premium producers. The white wine portfolio is limited, but if you’re talking merlot and other red wines, Clovis Point is already on my must-visit list when people email me asking where they should taste. This wine, their Clovis Point 2007 Vinter’s Selection Merlot ($35) is a blend of 86% merlot, 6.5% cabernet sauvignon, 4% cabernet franc, 2.5% syrah and 1% petit verdot, is one that should put the winery on the map in a more substantial way. Complex and still young, the…