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The Press Deck - 9/18/2019 | Field Notes: Library Wines Worth Exploring

Field Notes...

From Paul Brady, Brand Ambassador 

This year I’ve been lucky enough to work with many of our member wineries on organizing tastings of their older vintages. Showing these older vintages, or “library wines,” as they’re often called, might just be the most effective of marketing tools at your disposal to then sell more of your current vintage wines. This is worth exploring.     

I consider a “library wine” to be one with a minimum of around 10 or more years of bottle age. Critic Mark Squires, in his lengthy review of Finger Lakes wines for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate from this past June, wrote: “Simply put, the ability to age is crucial to great wines.” Squires goes on, “If the wine can’t age a reasonable time and develop, by my definition it can be a good wine, but never a great one.”  

A fine, well-aged wine that is in its maturity is like catnip to the trade. When given an opportunity to architect a library tasting for buyers or writers, a simple way to present would be to show a current vintage wine alongside its library counterpart. During a trade lunch at chef Tom Colicchio’s Craft earlier this year, as a part of our NY Drinks NY program, our Long Island wineries as well as Millbrook from the Hudson Valley, presented library reds, the youngest being from 2010, the oldest going back to 1995. The results were stunning and merited content from some of New York’s top sommeliers, as well as this story by writer Courtney Schiessl in Forbes.

During our recent trade visit this past weekend to Long Island wine country, we were again able to taste library wines from almost all participating wineries, including a 1995 chardonnay from Paumanok Vineyards -- certainly a beautiful wine and definitely the oldest white wine I’ve yet to taste from Long Island.  

And last month we were able to help organize a vertical of traditional method sparkling wines from Glenora Wine Cellars and Dr. Konstantin Frank, the youngest being from 1998, the oldest going back as far as 1986. Again -- stunning. Those at the tasting were blown away by the freshness and complexities; ripe fruit and herbal flavors; textures and unique aging attributes that the majority of these wines had developed. Element Winery owner and restaurateur Christopher Bates was even able to share leftover examples from ‘89, ‘91, and ‘92 that night at a dinner in Toronto with all the Canadian Master Sommeliers.

I don’t need to say any more about that tasting since an article is scheduled to appear at later this season on just that. Instead, I’ll leave you with words from Kyle Pallischeck, Marketing & Sales Manager for Sheldrake Point Winery, on their experience recently exposing one of their library wines to the world-famous sommelier and riesling expert, Paul Grieco of Terroir Wine Bar: 

“A couple of years ago we finally started tasting through our library with bottles dating all the way back to our first vintage in 1997. Finding that the wines had stood the test of time was not only beneficial as a winemaking reference but now we have the additional opportunity to share these wines with the public and show what we've known all along: that Finger Lakes wines can and will age gracefully. This includes having the champions of Riesling -- Terroir Tribeca, in NYC -- now listing our 2009 Reserve Riesling and showing wine geeks everywhere the power and value in what our winery and our region can produce.” 


Paul Brady, Brand Ambassador
New York Wine & Grape Foundation

Industry News...

Boldly, NY: An Edgy New Slogan for New York State Wines

A wine region with an attitude? How New York is that? Starting this fall, New York’s 450-plus wineries will be promoted in a new campaign whose slogan is “Boldly, NY.” That tagline replaces “Uncork New York!,” which has been in use since 1997. Read more.

Will Our Rieslings Survive?

wine bottles There is no mistaking that our planet is warming at an alarming rate. But while global warming generates a lot of headlines, its manifestations are more complex and nuanced. It affects different parts of the world, country and region differently; in fine wine producing regions, where the finicky vinifera grape varieties are grown, its impact could be especially grave. Read more.

Finger Lakes Wines and Grapes: Harvest Will Be Here Soon

field It starts out as farming, attending to the vineyards, using sustainable practices to grow high-quality grapes that go into the wineries, and then all the work that goes into producing world-class wines can be attributed to the winemakers and staff that convert grape juice into wine! With 100-plus wineries in the Finger Lakes region, we are the largest wine making area in New York state. The best part is that this is all happening right here in our own backyard! Read more.

More headlines...

Japan Reduces Wine and Beef Tariffs

Weekend in the Finger Lakes: Wineries, Restaurants on Seneca Lake

Member Corner...

TIPS for On Premise Program

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM EDT Join our certified trainer, Julie Purpura Hosbach, for the TIPS On Premise program, which is an approximately 5-hour program designed for servers at restaurants, bars, hotels, in-store tastings, or other establishments where alcohol is consumed on the premises. Employees learn strategies that ensure responsible alcohol service, promote professionalism, and enhance customer service skills. After successfully passing the exam, participants are nationally certified for three years. Register here.

Food Export Northeast: Funding to Promote Your Wines Overseas [Webinar]

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 2:00 AM - 3:00 PM EDT Launching your product internationally and building your brand overseas requires marketing and promotional support just like in the US. Join our webinar to learn how you can receive 50% reimbursement on a variety of international marketing activities. Free and Open to All.

Milea Estate Vineyards Tasting Room Opening

Thursday, October 3, 2019 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM EDT The stunningly designed Tasting Room at Milea Estate Vineyards will be debuting its new location with music and Hudson River Valley views. Come celebrate the newest vineyard in Dutchess County and taste all the new releases. Visit Facebook, Instagram and Milea’s website for more information.

Small Business Health Care Tax Credits: How Can I Benefit? [Webinar]

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT Are you currently offering coverage to your employees and frustrated by annual premium increases? If you are a small employer, there is a tax credit that can put money in your pocket. Join us for a webinar with Joe Cavallaro, Century Enrollment & Benefit Services, LLC and Liz Miranda, Gray Locey, CPA, as they discuss tax credits. If you would like to learn more, please attend our upcoming webinar. Register here.

The New York Wine Tourism Marketing Toolkit

In an effort to act as the leader in branding New York wines, and the winery experience, the New York Wine & Grape Foundation and our wine trail partners recognized that a refreshed approach to marketing practices should be explored in order to ensure continued growth and competitiveness. To that end, NYWGF contracted with Campbell Ewald to research “best-in-class” examples of wine tourism, execute consumer research to develop wine tourism visitor profiles, and develop a toolkit of marketing strategies.

The New York Wine Tourism Marketing Toolkit was created to provide practical marketing advice on how to increase visitation to tasting rooms and elevate visitors’ experience, thus making New York State a world premier wine tourism destination. Access toolkit here.

New York Wine Classic Pairings Dinner

wine bottle illustration

Don't miss our New York Wine Classic "Best of Class" Winners paired with a delicious five course dinner at The Marshal in Manhattan on October 23rd, at 6:30PM. 

Almost 900 wines were entered into the 34th Annual New York Wine Classic on August 6-7th, 2019. The five Best of Class winners, including Governor's Cup and Winery of the Year, are:

Cost: $110 per person. Members Save $15.00 per ticket. Email Julie Hosbach, Education & Member Services Manager, for the coupon code to enter when you order tickets online.

*Additional pairing dinners will be held in Utica and Albany in November.

Buy Your Tickets!

Congratulations to the 2019 Hudson Valley Wine & Spirits Competition Winners!

Congratulations to all of our member wineries that took home awards at the 2019 Hudson Valley Wine & Spirits Competition.

  • Winery of the Year: Hudson-Chatham Winery and Fjord Winery Tie!
  • Best in Show: 2015 Glorie Farm Winery New York Cabernet Franc
  • Best Sparkling: 2017 Benmarl Winery Blanc de Noir
  • Best in Category - White Wine: 2017 Millbrook Vineyards & Winery Castle Hill Chardonnay
  • Best in Category - Red Wine: 2015 Glorie Farm Winery New York Cabernet Franc
  • Best Fruit Wine: Baldwin Vineyards Raspberry Wine
  • Best Dessert Wine: Clinton Vineyards Cassis
Full list of winners here.