The wines of Virginia at the ’09 LIWF w/video

I know it may seem like I’ve been banging on about English wine, English vodka, the English, etc., but I am living here, in England. I have however, not forgotten about my country…”My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty…”…ahem, um…now where was I? Oh, yeah…anyway, we all know about California wine, the wines of Oregon and Washington and New York’s cool climate offerings but what about Virginia’s wines? Yup, you heard me right, the wines of Virginia. The Jamestown settlers were the first to try and cultivate wines but without much success. Even T.J. (Thomas Jefferson, our third president) back in the day, brought over cuttings from France to his estate in Monticello in the hopes of producing fine wine but to no avail despite his efforts over 30 years. Until recently grapegrowing and wine making in Virginia were pretty much a quixotic affair. I remember going to a vineyard about 8 years ago and it was an “interesting” experience. Since then however, Virginia wineries have made improvements in leaps and bounds and now are known for producing aromatic, creamy viogniers and fragrant, full cabernet francs. There are now over 140 vineyards in Virginia and only California, New York, Oregon and Washington have more wineries. If you want to know more of the history, click here. I met the folks from New Horizons Wines, Christopher Parker and his colleague Judy at the ’09 London International Wine Fair. I had a chance to try the Veritas Viognier ’07 and have a chat with Judy… Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Le Beast at LeWeb’08

I read recently in Off License News that American wines have now bested the French in terms of sales here in the UK. Sales have gone from 5% to 17% in the last ten years while in the same time period French wine sales have fallen from 35% to 17% . Good and bad news. The good news is we’re No. 2, behind Australia. The bad news is that the wines that are leading the way are the entry level (read Blossom Hill and others of  their ilk) wines. Not the best we have to offer but hey, ever heard of “trading up”? Maybe now that UK consumers are becoming familiar with American wines, they might want to take the next step up. So are the French just going to rest on their laurels? Apparently, yes.  The French state secretary for the internet, Eric Besson was challenged by “Le Beast” recently about what he was going to do about wine advertising on the internet. I know, Le Beast sounds like a bad French knock off of a Hollywood blockbuster but Le Beast is real (well, he’s a furry puppet) and terroirizing (sorry, I couldn’t resist) the French bureaucrats who won’t let French winemakers or wineries advertise on the internet. In effect, they are not allowed to sell alcohol on the internet or have winery websites.  Le Beast is the mascot/ambassador for the winegrowers of the Languedoc-Roussillon region who are fighting to change French internet alcohol laws and raise awareness of the region.    When the furry muckraker demanded to know why French winemakers were not allowed to advertise on the internet  at the recent LeWeb ’08 conference held in Paris, Monsieur Besson replied that they did not have to advertise because, and I’m not making this up, “they (the wines) are so good, they don’t need to be advertised.” Like they say, with friends like that, who needs enemies? Here’s hoping Le Beast gets through to those lunkheads in Paris. Check him out jousting with Secretary Besson here Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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