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Virginia Wines: Ready to Take Off … But Where To?

A modern wine industry that started with a handful of estates in the late 1970s has exploded to nearly 200 wineries covering every corner of the state, including six AVAs. According to the Virginia Wine Board, the state ranks fifth in the country in wine grape production, and produces more than 500,000 cases of wine per year. Clearly Virginia is already a player in the East Coast wine community, but can it go further?
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Tasting America: New Jersey’s Bellview Winery

“The last thing people associate New Jersey with is fine wine, mostly because of negative pop culture images,” says Jim Quarella, owner and winemaker at Bellview Winery, less than an hour west of Atlantic City, adding “Most people think that New Jersey is all gangsters, trash, smells funny, etc. They've only ever experienced maybe Newark or the New Jersey Turnpike. They rarely view us as the Garden State and see how beautiful it is, down here in the rural areas.”
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2008 Bellview Winery Cabernet Franc

This warm-vintage Cabernet Franc brings all of the spice, earth and herbal notes franc fanatics crave—everything from black tea to bay leaf to dried oregano to black pepper—with ripe, medium-intensity tannins, well-incorporated oak and just a bit of acidity on the finish to improve the balance.
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2007 Bellview Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

Blended with 8% Syrah, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot (in addition to the Cabernet), this is fairly straightforward with currant and blackberry fruit and subtle earthy spice. The oak is a bit overt on the finish, which is also a bit short, but overall this is a solid Cab from a lesser-known region.
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Nine New York Wineries to Watch

In the May 2006 issue of Wine Spectator Mitch Frank penned “New York Rising”, a story identifying New York as “America’s next great wine region” adding that “New York was once known for industrial bulk wine production, but passionate vintners, most working from small wineries, have dramatically improved the quality of the state's wines.
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Lenn Thompson

Lenn Thompson is a Palate Press Contributing Editor and is the executive editor of The New York Cork Report. Formerly the editor of the Long Island Wine Gazette and a contributor to Edible Brooklyn...