Monthly Archives: December 2008

Money makers

sscn04681Made a quick visit to Roanoke Vineyards Monday, and for sale in the tasting room were wreaths made from the discarded canes from different varieties. You could get a cab franc/merlot blend wreath for $5, or go for the straight cab franc. The woman in the tasting room said they were selling briskly, and the running joke was it was the most money they’ve yet made off their vines. Cute.


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Filed under The Local Cellars

More budget woes

Gov. David Paterson’s budget for the 2009 fiscal year not only calls for selling wine in grocery stores, it is also proposes to cut all state  funding — $2.8 million worth — for the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, as reported by Rochester’s The Democrat and Chronicle. In addition, his budget calls for upping the state excise tax on wine from 18.9 cents to 51 cents.

This would shut the NYWGF down, as president Jim Trezise states in the article.

[Image via] Continue reading


Filed under In the news

Wölffer expanding south, and …

According to a post on (subscription site) on James Molesworth’s blog, “A Stirring of the Lees,” Christian Wölffer is expanding his holdings to include vineyard land in Argentina. The goal is to make more money. Molesworth writes:

Wölffer, whose eponymous Long Island winery produces around 16,500 cases annually, makes no bones about his frustration with that region’s wine industry.
“You can’t make money here doing quality,” he said bluntly. “You can only make money here if you do volumes.”

This is certainly contrary to Mr. Wölffer’s past actions including selling his Premier Cru at $100, the first, and only, Long Island wine to enter the “one buck” territory occupied by California cult cabs. The first vintage of this wine, a 2000, was released in 2003 with a press release:



NEW YORK, May 13, 2003—Luminaries of the wine world gathered recently at Daniel restaurant in New York City to taste the much-anticipated first vintage of Premier Cru, an ultra-premium Merlot from Wölffer Estate Vineyards & Stables, located on Long Island’s South Fork in the heart of the Hamptons. A rare gem, only 200 six-bottle cases of Premier Cru 2000 were produced and to date, only 30 cases remain unsold, 20 of which will be kept in Wölffer’s Library for aging to showcase the wine’s longevity.

The Spectator gave that wine an 88.  Molesworth’s post after the jump.

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Filed under The Local Cellars

Pruning under way

sscn0465A vineyard is  a year round occupation. Most vineyards here on the North Fork have already started pruning their vines. At right is my Billie sniffing her way through some of the discarded canes.

This vineyard uses double Guyot pruning, where the lateral canes are new every year and only the trunk gets thicker.

Other vineyards use spur pruning where the lateral canes are kept year to year, and cut back to a specific number of buds. This particular type of spur pruning is know as cordon de royat. Continue reading

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Filed under Vintage Watch

Wine in supermarkets

Dr. Vino has already brought this up on his blog: Gov. David Paterson has included in his budget, which will then have to be approved by lawmakers, the revenue-enhancing idea allowing wine to be sold in supermarkets. In fact, this is something included in nearly every governor’s budget every year. Lawyers on behalf of Costco and Whole Foods, etc. then write letters in support of the change and then it never happens.

[Image via wineterroirs] Continue reading


Filed under In the news

IWC website

The International Wine Center has been posting profiles of its recent diploma grads for two weeks on their website. And now it’s my turn. The lovely Stephanie McDade, communications specialist for IWC, sent me an e-mail to direct me to the site, which also has the group picture from the dinner. In the center is Mary Ewing-Mulligan, president of IWC and Ian Harris, chief executive of the WSET.

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Same wine, same week

sscn0463A nice coincidence happened last week when Michele Flournoy from the wine importer Domenico Valentino walked into the restaurant. The company is related to Vino wine shop on 27th Street and the restaurant across the street, Il Trulli.

What was that again? I just had dinner at Il Trulli on Monday night for the diploma dinner when we had an Erbaluce, the same one Michele was unpacking from her bag. And it was good. Continue reading

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