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Wine East Opinion

 

Wine East Joins Wines & Vines

September 2008
 
by Linda Jones Mckee
 
 
On July 9, it was announced that Lancaster, Pa.-based Wine East magazine is joining forces with Wines & Vines, and that as of this issue (September 2008), Hudson Cattell and Linda Jones McKee will edit a special section in Wines & Vines every month. Readers of Wines & Vines who are not familiar with Wine East may be wondering who are Hudson and Linda, what is their background in wine, and what was that publication all about?

Hudson Cattell grew up in a publishing family in Lancaster, and he had a background in advertising and public relations. He and his first business partner in L&H Photojournalism, Lee Stauffer Miller, purchased the Southeast Grape Letter in 1976, after they had written a series of articles on Pennsylvania wine for the local Sunday newspaper. They renamed
the newsletter The Pennsylvania Grape Letter and Wine News. During the first five years of publishing the newsletter, Hudson interviewed many of the early pioneers in the eastern wine industry for a series of booklets on the background of eastern wines, and he has had a continuing interest in the history of eastern wine. Hudson was instrumental in setting up the Eastern Wine and Grape Archive at Cornell University, and when he isn't writing about or visiting eastern wineries, Hudson spends a lot of time with his four children and five grandchildren.

I came on board in 1980, after Lee moved to New York state, and took over her part of the business the following year. I had experience in public relations and just previously was editor of an antiques magazine. My wine experience was limited pretty much to Lancers and whatever French wine was on sale at the liquor store. It took several months of extensive reading and listening to Hudson's background information about the East to begin to catch up.

My palate in tasting wine began to develop and expand--especially after Archie Smith, then winemaker at his family's Meredyth Vineyards in Virginia, began to write a regular column for us. He would arrive at our office with a case or two of bottles from eastern wineries, and we would spend the day tasting and talking about those wines before he wrote his column. I now own a small winery, Tamanend Winery, with my fiancé, Richard Carey. We have three children and six grandsons whom we enjoy immensely.

Now, back to the magazine. The newsletter Hudson and Lee purchased had been given an impossibly long title suggesting it covered Pennsylvania only, which was too limiting. In May 1981, Hudson and I changed the name to Wine East and began to cover the rapidly expanding wine region east of the Rockies. For many years, we were the only wine magazine covering those parts of the country east of the Continental Divide.

We have tried to provide information about what kinds of grapes to grow in different locations, how to grow them, how to make the wine from those grapes using both traditional and high-tech methods, and how to market those wines. We have written about everything related to grapes and wine, from winter damage reports to grape prices. Our aim always was to provide useful information in a readable format that would help the industry move forward.

During the past 27 years, the industry in the East has grown dramatically. There are now wineries in all 50 states, and quality wines are being made from North Dakota to Texas and from Colorado to Maine. We look forward to this new adventure of being a part of Wines & Vines and hope to continue to provide coverage of a part of our country that is becoming more and more important in the national and international wine scene.
 
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