New York Wine & GrapeNews



The Press Deck - 6/27/18 ~ Welcome Paul Brady, New York Wine Brand Ambassador

Valerie Ross

Category: Industry

Dear Friends,

Overheard at recent staff meetings, it seems the New York Wine & Grape Foundation team has adopted the mantra "Can't Stop Won't Stop." It would be a challenge to put into words all of the wonderful things happening within the organization right now. From welcoming new board members, to New York Wine Classic preparations, to upcoming Vineyard Visits for NY Drinks NY, not to mention planning for the wine classes at the Great New York State Fair, we are working hard to make sure that New York wines are being presented in the right places to the right people. 

Our positive momentum continues, as I am pleased to announce that Paul Brady, Sommelier, will be joining the Foundation team as our very first New York Wine Brand Ambassador. Paul will be responsible for expanding the brand presence of New York Wines in the Metro New York market and assisting the Foundation in expanding the impact of the New York Drinks New York (“NYDNY”) program. He will join us on July 8th for the kick-off of the Finger Lakes Vineyard Visit as part of the 8th year of NYDNY. More info about Paul and his role with Foundation is detailed further here.

This week’s Field Notes also includes reflections from Dan Mitchell, Sales Manager at Fox Run Vineyards, who initiated our participation in the VieVinum Conference in Vienna. Dan met Austrian winemaker Robert Goldenits at VinExpo New York, who informed Dan about a special Blaufränkisch tasting being conducted in conjunction with the conference. We were able to leverage funds from our Export Program to support New York wines participation in the tasting. Read more from Dan below.

The opportunity to go to Vienna for VieVinum and represent New York wines at the United by Blaufränkisch tasting was an idea that intrigued me from the start. My initial conversations with the Austrian winemakers that I met at VinExpo New York showed me that they were unaware of the New York wine industry. However, they were very eager to learn more and absolutely intrigued by the number of Lemberger/Blaufränkisch wines that we produce. Coincidentally, I am always eager to try grape variety examples from as many wine regions as possible, so travelling to Austria which has so many climate and soil parallels to New York made sense.

VieVinum is a very large and expansive event held every other year in Vienna. With 600 plus tables of wine, it was bigger than I had expected with more producers than any wine event at the Javits that I had ever attended. Before our United by Blaufränkisch tasting, Phil (Damiani Winemaker), Sam and I made our way around the expo to as many tables as we could, asking questions along the way. I was delighted to find that much like several Finger Lakes producers, they were very open and forthright with their practices in both the winery and the vineyard. Information flowed across the table in both directions. We quickly identified the similarities and differences that each region faced in bringing our fruit to ripeness, and the challenges of course.

At the Blaufrankisch tasting, we were the immediate draw. We had three pourers for two tables and we were in constant motion for the first hour and a half. Fellow winemakers and press crowded our table for their first opportunity to sample New York wines and the response was overwhelmingly positive. European winemakers were complimenting across the board, especially favoring the newest vintages and lowest alcohol contents. We were even able to speak with the directors of Austria Wine, Wein Burgenland, and the Hungarian Wine Institute about or participation in future events that will keep the conversations and information sharing flowing. The only down side of a short and very busy tasting is that we got almost no time to try other producers in the room. I will say the Slovenian example I had was one of the best examples of the grape I have ever tasted. Outstanding!

The organizers of United by Blaufränkisch were thrilled to have us and we ended up being the only US wines represented at the event. With any luck in the future, we can get growers and more winemakers to attend these trips. I am always looking for opportunities to showcase Finger Lakes wines besides our world class Rieslings and I think that Lemberger/Blaufränkisch has tremendous potential for us. I look forward to future events.

CLICK HERE for the Full Edition of the Press Deck