I recently read the article below by Steven Kolpan on Hudson Valley Wine Estates in the Valley Table and there was something very troubling to me in the article. He writes about how a local Hudson Valley winery sent him a sample with a hand written note telling him it was “Estate Bottled”. That’s wonderful, BUT, the bottle label didn’t reflect that. The label did not read “Hudson River Region.” Why?
As a grape grower /wine producer, aren’t you proud of you location? Your vineyard? Your wine? You would think they would be and it would be reflected on the label. My next question is why would someone be embarrassed by their AVA. Are you embarrassed to invite someone over to visit?
We need to take pride in our region. The Hudson Valley is a very special place, with lots of viticultural history. I’m proud of it and every winery and vineyard owner should be too!
What’s next even surprised me more. When Steven asked this winemaker about the designation he replied “The Hudson Valley doesn’t have the best of reputations, and when I enter any of my wines in contests, they seem to do better with a New York State rather than Hudson Valley label.”
I run the Hudson Valley Wine Competition and I work the back room at the New York Wine & Food Classic. Let me tell you it doesn’t matter what is on the label because the judges don’t see the bottle. The judges don’t get told it’s a Long Island Chardonnay, a NYS Chardonnay, Finger Lakes Chardonnay or Hudson Valley Chardonnay, they get told their flight is Chardonnay. Thinking you do better because you label your wine differently is mind over matter.
As Wine Location Specialist, I can speak to why wines have name and place of orgins. You will never find a Hudson River Region Chardonnay tasting like a Burgundy Chardonnay. It’s that taste of the wine from that region that makes it special. The place, climate, soil that contribute to what people begin to expect from a regional wine. The Hudson Valley wineries have to embrace and be proud. Hudson Valley Vintners need to promote and protect the uniqueness of the wines and uniqueness of the region and educate the consumers. Don’t you want the consumer to walk into a wine store and ask for a Hudson Valley Region Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc. Look on a wine list at a restaurant and say to the server, “Don’t you have any Hudson River Region wines?”
Wineries take pride, you work hard at achieving the quality and product you bring to the tasting room. Stand proud!
The article Steven Kolpan wrote is below or you can read it in this months issue of The Valley Table.