Cheers! From Melissa’s Desk

Week of 9/22/08

  • Solid scores for the 2007 vintage of Finger Lakes wines continue with The Wine Advocate’s David Schildknecht rating four of the region’s wines from 86 to 88 on the 100 point scale.

Herman J Wiemer
Riesling 2007 Finger Lakes Late Harvest
score: 88 / $25

Lamoreaux
Landing 2007 Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc T 23
score: 88 / $18

Herman J
Wiemer Johannisberg 2007 Finger Lakes Riesling Dry
score: 87 / $19

Anthony Road
Riesling 2007 Finger Lakes Semi Dry
score: 86 / $15

I agree with Lenn Thompson at LENNDEVOURS blog on his view that NY wines certainly have the potential to break through and more consistently receive 90+ ratings. For the Finger Lakes region, I like the strategies that favor the wineries continuing to submit their best, most elegant wines for review to key wine publications. I feel that winemakers and winery owners should continue to collaborate and work toward elevating the image and reputation of the region by being extra attentive to how it is represented to consumers, trade and the media. In other words, continue to look beyond their own front doors and toward the big picture. Wouldn’t it be amazing to create an intimate, elegant consumer and trade/media wine and food showcase in a setting that truly “showcases” the beauty of the Finger Lakes? Perhaps it makes sense to appoint a winemaker or winery owner as the go-to spokesperson, someone who will be media trained so that she or he is comfortable and engaging on camera. (Our very own Robert Mondavi) This spokesperson could be called upon to proactively continue to educate consumers/trade/media on the region and its wines beyond what associations including Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing, Inc., Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, New York Wine & Grape Foundation, the Wine Trails, and other agencies are already knocking themselves out to do. I see this person as a thought leader in the industry who is not afraid to continue to push the envelope, embrace technology and look toward the strategies that elevated the reputation of the West Coast wine industry in order to create our own plan to change any misconceptions that our wine region is second-rate.
  • In these uncertain and scary economic times, is there a market for “cheap chic” wines? This article on the popularity of value store brands such as those carried by Target, who is now finding success in repositioning itself as the merchandiser of affordable chic goods, brought to mind a possible marketing strategy for wineries: producing a line of wallet-friendly but still elegant, quality wines. It may be as simple as taking your table blends or meritage and recreating and redesigning their labels and names while keeping bottle prices affordable. Some beautiful examples of label designs can be found here. Click through and get the creative juices flowing!
Thank you for continuing to check out this column and cheers until next week!


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