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Not The Usual Suspects

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

The inclusion of a wine from Missouri in last month’s Thanksgiving blog post seemed to surprise a lot of people, so I thought it might be fun to explore some other regions that might not yet be on your wine radar. Of course, this country’s vast west coast vineyard plantings are our primary source of high-quality wines at every price level, but historically, wines have been produced for centuries throughout the US and Canada. These days, most American wines produced outside of California, Oregon and Washington often are consumed locally or regionally rather than being marketed nationally. That’s too bad, because the quality of many of these wines merits serious consideration for a coveted spot in your wine fridge. I recently read Jessica Dupuy’s wonderful book “The Wines of Southwest U.S.A.” and was reminded of some excellent wines I’ve tasted over the last few years from Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. Wine production in these areas has existed for centuries - historically by Franciscan monks for sacramental purposes. It has only been in the last few decades that quality table wines have been produced, and over time they have only gotten better. I’m particularly impressed with wines I’ve tasted from the Texas High Plains AVA, West Elks Valley AVA in Colorado and Yavapai County and Willcox in Arizona. These exciting regions are not limited to the southwest. Up in my neck of the woods in New England, I’ve tasted distinctive wines from Vermont and even a delicious sparkling fruit wine made from Maine blueberries just down the road from my house. Yes, really. Clearly, climatic challenges are occurring in heretofore harsh climates that normally preclude wine production. But years of experimentation, calibration, innovation and ingenuity are yielding really exciting results. None of these regions will rival the west coast in terms of prestige, but they do what they do quite well and are worth your time and money. Watch this space.


Texas:

MacPherson Cellars Marsanne 2016

Lost Draw Cellars Roussanne Moonlight Vineyard 2018


Arizona:

Caduceus Cellars VSC Mourvèdre 2017

Chateau Tumbleweed ‘The Bigness’ Sierra Bonita Vineyard Willcox 2019


Colorado:

Azura Cellars Pinot Noir West Elks Valley 2016


New Mexico:

Noisy Water Winery Aglianico 2018


Vermont:

La Garagista Damejeanne 2018


Maine:

Bluet Methode Champenoise Wild Blueberry Sparkling Wine


If interested in any of these wines, contact Mariano @ mariano@vinesociety.com and he will try to source them if available. Cheers!


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