• Wine Regions

    Yes Virginia, wine does exist on the East Coast

    I recently had the opportunity to go to Charlotteville, Virginia for a conference on wine blogging. The vineyards of Virginia opened their arms wide, making us feel welcomed. University of Virginia alumnae Gwendolyn Osborn from wine.com started the event by giving a tour of her alma mater. Although Virginia is the fifth largest producer of wine (behind California, Washington, New York and Oregon), I had never tasted a Virginia wine prior to making this trip. This region considers Viognier and Cabernet franc to be their signature grapes, although many varietals are grown here. During my time in Charlottesville, I was able to visit two different vineyards with fellow food and wine lovers Richard and…

  • Wine Regions

    Wines of Oregon on #winechat

    On September 14th, the Oregon Wine Board joined #winechat. The questions were fast and furious as everyone downed their Pinots! Most people think of Pinot Noir with good reason – it’s the top planted variety with 12,406 acres planted in 2010. Here are the next top varieties planted by acreage: Pinot gris: 2,747 Chardonnay, 950 Riesling, 798 Cabernet Sauvignon, 639 Fun facts about  Oregon wine: 38% of Oregon’s vineyards are certified sustainable, organic, or biodynamic The industry grew 93% from 2005 to 2010! More than 13,500 people are employed in Oregon’s $2.7 billion wine industry. Pinot Noir was first planted in Oregon in 1966 by David Lett. Today Willamette Valley…

  • Wine Regions

    Wines of Argentina at the JFK Library

    I had the recent privilege of attending the “Meet the Experts Roadshow” with the folks from the Wines of Argentina. Hosted by Nora Z Favelukes, this event allowed participants to try different wines from Argentina  and to learn about the region. Exports to the US have increased 1000% over the past 10 years! According to Sandy Block, MW, during the recession, Argentina was the only region to have both increased sales and average sale price per bottle. Argentina is the world’s 5th largest wine producer. The 74,000 acres of Malbec planted in Argentina are planted up and down the country, ranging from latitude 21 in the North down to 43 in Patagonia. The…

  • Wine Regions

    South Africa wines – what’s really going on there?

    The Human Rights Watch (HRW) sent ripples through the South African wine industry with its harshly titled report “Ripe with Abuse: Human Rights Conditions in South Africa’s Fruit and Wine Industries” which was released in August. It’s a pretty thick document which paints a grim picture of the conditions of farm workers in the Western Cape province of South Africa including the popular wine making areas of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. The report indicates that “Millions of consumers around the world enjoy the fruit and wine that come from South Africa’s farms. But the workers who help produce these goods are among the most vulnerable people in South Africa.” I have…