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Field Notes~Forget Everything You Think About New York State Wine~Vinexpo's Symposium, Focused on Climate Change, Made a Big Impression~Four Beach Destinations Perfect for Wine Lovers~State-By-State U.S. Consumer Interest In Alcohol E-Commerce

Field Notes

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Greetings again from Brooklyn,
Though, the last week found me in Paris, Bordeaux, and London presenting New York wines to the European trade and beyond. The anchor event was VinExpo -- the quintessential global wine trade show, this time popping up in Bordeaux -- with a quick stop in Paris for a meeting with our agriculture liaison at the American Embassy, finally ending up in London for some intensely curated NY wine events in partnership with our on-the-ground marketing agency there, Westbury Communications.
Our Export Program makes it possible to present and promote wines from across our state in locations throughout the world. This year we’ve been to Canada, Germany, mainland China, France, England, and we’ll head to Hong Kong in June for one last hurrah before moving into the next phase of Export. These activities are what help us to make connections with importers and influencers for wineries hoping to enter foreign markets for the first time, and for those with products already available abroad.
Joining me for this Export run, was sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier (MS, MOF, Best Sommelier In France) who is also a partner in the Finger Lakes sparkling wine brand chëpìka. After a quick day at VinExpo talking New York wines to the trade (in English and French!), the two of us bittersweetly left the group to head to London to join forces with with Rick Rainy, of Forge Cellars in the Finger Lakes; Dan Belmont, a New York sommelier living in London and a proper expert on NY wines; and Dr. Jamie Goode, writer and viticulture specialist, for two days of trade tastings and master classes on NY wine. Topics ranged from geology and history while touching on new and exciting wines made from grapes like Albarino, Cayuga White, and Traminette.
Dan Belmont and Dr. Jamie Goode leading a Master Class in London.
The master classes in London held strong, each at about 40 attendees; Dan and Jamie taking geology with Rick jumping in for support; myself and Pascaline tackling history and grape lineage. The walk-around tasting presented multiple labels from 15 producers, some already with representation in the UK. The turnout was ideal, with many A-list London importers, buyers, and writers in attendance, and Dan and Jamie have really proved themselves as strong NY Wine ambassadors for us in London -- the two of them will each judge in the NY Wine Classic Competition this summer. 
It is the successful recruitment of trade to these petite events that contribute to the discourse as to if the smaller, more intimate gatherings will take favor from the larger trade-show model moving forward, but more on that and VinExpo from my colleague Valerie in next week’s Field Notes. But, perhaps some encouragement is in this from writer and -- if there ever was one -- wine legend, Steven Spurrier, who chose to attend our London tasting:
“A revelatory tasting. The freshness and individuality of these wines is striking. I am having such a great time tasting them. They are vineyard wines and that is what makes them so good, they aren’t made solely with commercial motives in mind. That Keuka Spring Lemberger – what a joy! It is so fresh and elegant.”   
Pascaline Lepeltier and Steven Spurrier in London.
Paul Brady, New York Wines Brand Ambassador
New York Wine & Grape Foundation