Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
 

Wine East Opinion

 

Looking Backward, Looking Forward

September 2008
 
by Hudson Cattell
 
 
Jackson-Triggs Vintners
 
Jackson-Triggs Vintners, Ontario
 
Back in 1976, when I first started writing about the grape and wine industry in the East, there were 125 wineries in eastern North America. Today that number is close to 2,000. At that time, people were fond of saying that the industry "is in its infancy." It would be several years before I first heard someone say that the East could produce "world-class wines." Today, wines from many eastern wineries are winning top awards in national and international competitions. What happened in little more than a quarter of a century?

One clue comes from Philip Wagner, proprietor of Boordy Vineyards in Riderwood, Md., who in 1978 told the annual meeting of the American Society of Enologists:

"In Maryland, I might say, conditions are ideal for experimental work with grapes. We are in the direct path of the Caribbean hurricanes, which usually drop 3 or 4 inches of rain on us the day before starting harvest. We are on the eastern, not the western, edge of the continental mass, meaning that we get all extremes of continental weather, which can favor us with from -l4? to 76?F in the same January. We alternate flood and drought, enjoy high humidity.

"Most of the diseases thrive here. We have no need to saturate a greenhouse with Peronospora, as they do at Geilweilerhof to check mildew resistance, because the atmosphere is already saturated with it. We are perfectly equipped at no expense to test disease resistance, frost resistance, winter hardiness, hail resistance, phylloxera of course, bird damage, the effect of high winds, ripe rot and splitting.…No experimenter could ask for more. Anything that survives in Maryland is worth a trial anywhere this side of the Arctic Circle."

For more than 300 years, vinifera could not be grown successfully in the East because of the presence of phylloxera in eastern soils. The use of grafting techniques, and the development of modern pesticides and insecticides made it possible to grow vinifera vines in the East. The arrival of the French hybrids after World War II, and the hybridizing of new grape varieties at research stations also played a major role in the development of the eastern grape and wine industry. Together with the native American grape varieties and a wide variety of fruits, it has been said that no other grapegrowing region in the world has as great a variety of materials from which to make wine as does the East.

The difficult climates of the East still exist. Learning how to avoid stress in the vineyards, the continuing development of new sprays, the introduction of new techniques such as irrigation, and the increasingly widespread advice of researchers and extension agents are making viticulture in the East more and more successful.

Since 2000 there has been explosive growth in the industry, not only in terms of the rapidly increasing number of vineyards and wineries, but in the visible superstructure of the industry: large and impressive looking wineries in Ontario, Long Island, North Carolina and elsewhere. Ice wines from Ontario and Rieslings from New York state are receiving worldwide recognition. Double gold medals and best of show awards recently have gone to Vignoles, a French hybrid, and Diamond, a native American variety, as well as vinifera wines.

For Linda and myself, who started Wine East more than 27 years ago, it has been fascinating and rewarding to cover the eastern industry through these challenging and often triumphant years. We are privileged to be able to bring news of the ever-evolving industry in the East to a wider audience through the pages of Wines & Vines.
 
SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
 
SEE OTHER EDITIONS OF THIS COLUMN ï¿½ CURRENT COLUMN ARTICLES »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
March 2015 $622 million
7%
$7,995 million
5%
March 2014 $582 million $7,588 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
March 2015 $252 million
19%
$1,863 million
14%
March 2014 $213 million $1,634 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
March 2015 356
22%
243
16%
March 2014 292 210
     
 
MORE » Released on 04.15.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • April 25-26
     
    Vineyard to Vintner in Stags Leap
     
  • April 25-27
     
    World Wine Meetings America
     
  • April 26
     
    TAPAS Grand Tasting
     
  • April 26
     
    Vintners Hall of Fame
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Bedroom Communities Seek Vineyard AVA »
 
Why not just bottle under a vineyard designation? The bond will have a city or...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Is Organic Grape Growing Possible in the East? »
 
FWIW, We make a few wines from a certified Organic vineyard growing cabernet franc, merlot,...
Reader: southoldfc
 
Article: Specialty Tanks Encourage Oak Extraction »
 
According to the manufacturer, the logs are made through compression and not with a binding...
Reader: Andrew Adams
 
Article: Specialty Tanks Encourage Oak Extraction »
 
What is the bonding agent of the Pressed Oak Logs?
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Is Organic Grape Growing Possible in the East? »
 
Some Long Island, NY, vineyard farmers are already using nearly organic methods. They have worked...
Reader: envcat
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Northwest Regional Man...
 Seattle, WA
Sales and Marketing
 Tasting Room Sales
 Forestville, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Sales & Hospitality
 Napa (Silverado Trail), CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Manager And Full/Part-...
 Boston, MA
Sales and Marketing
 National Sales Manager
 St Helena, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Tasting Room Manager (...
 Sebastopol, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Tasting Room Manager
 Los Gatos, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Tasting Room Cashier/G...
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Tasting Room Associate
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Dtc Sales/Marketing Co...
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2015 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.