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Ed Draves
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Carlo, As a retailer, I'd like to address your point about stocking "fine" local wines with 'sweet pink" local wines. I've found that many of my customers are very loyal to specific wineries. It would not be uncommon to find a Niagara and a Pinot Noir from the same winery in a persons cart. It works well for the consumer and they are my ultimate "boss". We also have an Italian section, German, S. America etc. We do stock select local wines with fine domestic wines of the same variety but they sell best from our exclusive NY section.
I still quote Mike Von Heckler's explanation of the Escarpment to my customers and students. Mike could talk Escarpment for hours and keep an audience riveted. I'll miss Warm Lake.
oops hit post too soon- but perhaps the NYCR writers would benefit from trying some wines blind, discovering a few that they felt were superior and doing further research and tasting on those standouts. The IEWC and G.C. are perfect venues for that.
As Wine Judge, I must agree with some of your points. Fatigue is a serious problem (one that many have criticized Parker for after he mentioned multiple wine marathons). I would like to mention that it is through these competitions that I was able to bring Red Newt Riesling and Ravines to my customers, I've used 2 X G.C. winner Chateau Lafayette Reneau as a springboard to other Seneca Lake wines and got to really come to know more than a few wine makers. I recognise these are unique circumstances that only pertain to the handful of retailers who qualify to be in these events.
Why doesn't it suprise me to see a California wine guy comming out for this?
Hudson Valley Wine Goddess, The wine shops (and a lot of small wineries) did not sit around and " rant at the unfairness of the situation", we went to Albany and let our reps know what this legislation would mean to our businesses and to the economy. We were proactive, we worked together and we got the job done. Now it is time to continue to work together to further grow the local wine industry.
Dave- thanks for the response- I now think I may have taken things a bit personal when it wasn't attended. Brandon- thanks for the compliment, having lunched with you at Red Newt and knowing the wine list of your place, that is a very high honor. The arguments have all been made and now is the time to come together. We have all networked, made friends, know eachother, discussed etc. lets take our newfound relationships and devise ways to sell more local!
Dave Foley, It galls me that someone who would rather have the "convenience" of Yellow Tail or Mondavi Woodbridge at a grocery store or gas station rather than driving 5 minutes to speak to a wine specialist with a great selection (including local)is saying I " may actually have to try harder to be good and stay in business". You can ask anyone, I'm far from lazy & I'm good at what I do. Thanks buddy, have a nice day'
Without rehashing too much: Because closing businesses (for example a lot of wine shops are located in plazas anchored by grocery stores- what would logically happen come lease renewal time?). Wine stores have business models based on current laws and rules, the argument that quality, hard working store owners would survive is flawed- (as an analogy)imagine if you passed a budgetary item not allowing a winery to make 'party wines" take away their cash cow 'Blue Newts", "Red Cats" etc. (as taking yellow tail, Mondavi, etc. from the wine stores would do). Would a downturn in their business be a reflection on their ability to make and market quality high end wines? Would it make them lazy and uncaring? Would you offer them the ability to make snack foods? Simple fact that the loss of excise tax on liquor from less liquor sales due to less visits to liquor stores was not addressed. I've intentionally left the highly contested reasons off my list.
Without getting into the arguments that we have all been makingfor thelast few months, I'm very happy that NY decided to leave the current system in place. I think it was the right choice. It is time to support local. As a retailer, I do plenty of business with local wines, it is how I make my living and my passion. The wineries that were for this felt that NY wines were under represented in the current stores- the wineries that were against it felt that the gas stations and grocery stores would ignore them entirely. Lets work together to show the wine buying public that NY wine is the sensible choice. If we do that, we do not have to market to the 70% of the people that cannot/ do not buy alcohol. We need to get the word out to buy NY wines made with NY grapes. As someone who has visted over 100 wineries (including most of the vocal parties on both sides of this issue) I can attest to the quality of NY wine.
As a retailer who specializes in local wine, I could not agree with the article more. We have many customers that have strong personal relationships with winery personnel. These relationships are born and fostered in the tasting rooms. I have encountered many a customer who will not settle for a “similar” wine from a different winery, they will leave my store and drive somewhere else for the wine their friend at “so and so winery” poured for them on a visit. Passionate tasting staff wit proper training is one of the best investments a winery can make!
Great Report, I love the Johnson Estate Vidal, both desert and "table" versions.
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Feb 18, 2010