Saturday, July 9, 2011

WBC11 Preview: The Other 46 Tasting

One of the sessions at the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference that we are really looking forward to is the The Other 46 tasting Friday night. Yes, no California, Oregon, Washington, or New York wines allowed. Instead, expect wines from Loudoun County Virginia (courtesy of Breaux Vineyards and Tarara Winery); Maryland, Missouri, Texas, Indiana, and Ohio. For a refresher course on why grape growing is so difficult in the East Coast and Midwest, check out A History of Wine in America, Volume 1: From the Beginnings to Prohibition. This book also describes the painful ordeal Thomas Jefferson and Philip Mazzei experienced when attempting to sustain grapes in Albemarle County. Good background for the conference in general and the Monticello dinner.

Back to The Other 46 tasting, what wines should you expect? There better be some Viognier from Loudoun County because Texas Viognier will be in the house. Vintage Texas is also expected to pour some Blanc Du Bois, Tempranillo, and Roussanne. From Breaux and Tarara, we also hope to be tasting some Merlot and Long Bomb respectively. The Indiana Wine Grape Council will be pouring plenty of Traminette (that state's signature grape) whereas the Missouri Wine and Grape Board: I would guess Vignoles and Norton. This would be an interesting time to compare Midwestern Norton and native Virginia Norton. Jenni, where are you? Now, Ohio has moved beyond Catawba, but it would be very interesting to sample some sparkling Catawba. Or perhaps some Lemberger or Riesling. We shall see what Southern Wine Trails decides to pour. That leaves Maryland, and the Maryland Wineries Association is still determining which wines to showcase. There's no doubt that its time to unveil the Free State as the next producer of quality vinifera wines - just sample those from Black Ankle Vineyards, or Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard, or some Sangiovese from Fiore Winery. Virginia's northern neighbor is moving closer to the Commonwealth.

For now, that's the latest. Can't believe North Carolina or Pennsylvania or even Michigan or Colorado wines will not be presented. That's a real shame. For any impromptu tastings, we are coming prepared with a few wines from our assorted collection of Other 46 wines. Looking forward to a fun and rewarding weekend. Thanks #wbc11.
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