Here’s a news flash: not all American wine comes from California, Oregon and Washington. Really.
That’s the message that Dave McIntyre, wine columnist for The Washington Post, and Jeff Siegel, a Texas wine writer known as The Wine Curmudgeon, wanted to state loud and clear, when they initiated Regional Wine Week, in the fall of 2008. This collective blogging adventure brought together some 40 writers for its first edition, with contributions from all over The United States and Canada. Organizers are hoping that the second edition, scheduled for October 11-17, will bring together over 50 writers to discuss everything from Long Island merlot to Arizona Viognier, and much more.
McIntyre explains that he and Jeff Siegel, “were grousing about how the major wine publications seem to define “American wine” as only California, Oregon and Washington, despite the growth in size and quality of the wine industry throughout the country. So we decided to recruit bloggers to write about “wine from around here, wherever here is” at the same time, and link to other participating blogs.”
To give this initiative a home, McIntyre and Siegel developed the DrinkLocalWine.com Web site, which serves as a portal to the various contributions, and now offers a blog with regular news updates on various wine-producing regions. The initiative also led to a first regional wine conference, which attracted some 70 participants to Dallas, Texas last August. A second conference is in the works or 2010, with a possible East Coast destination.
All bloggers who cover their local wines can contribute to Regional Wine Week, and can find contact information here. At a time of growing locavore interest, it seems like something everyone can get into.