Wine Talk

Snooth User: Diego Andrés Díaz

The future of New Jersey wine, or what do you need to create a great wine region

Posted by Diego Andrés Díaz, Mar 14, 2013.

Today I find this article in New York Times ( about the efforts of a little group of Jersey winemakers to produce quality wines in this underrated region. they have a great climate, Bordeaux-like soils, and some of their wines have performed surprisingly well against Bordeaux top wines. 

But all of this is enough to make New Jersey the New Napa as the article suggest. What else is needed?


Reply by penguinoid, Mar 14, 2013.

From the article, it seems one thing they'd have to do is raise over-all quality. If only 20% of the wineries are creating great wines, this is going to hold them back. Public perception, unfortunately, counts for a lot too, and they'll have to work on that.

But it sounds like they have an interesting terroir, which is certainly a very good start to say the least!

I'm not very confident in the verdict of tasting panels, though (eg the 'Judgment of Princeton' they cite). Useful from a marketing perspective, perhaps, but I'm not sure exactly what they prove. There are lots of issues - eg, great wines which are divisive often end up getting scored poorly if some judges hate it and others love it. Also, young Bordeaux can be quite unapproachable if you're not used to it (I'm not, for what it's worth).

Even better - does it have to be the 'New Napa'? or the 'New Bordeaux'? A great wine region should stand on its own reputation, not try to imitate others.

Does sound very interesting, though, and I'd like to try some of their better wines.

Reply by duncan 906, Mar 15, 2013.

They are not exported to this side of the pond.The British wine buyer only ever sees wine from California

Reply by Diego Andrés Díaz, Mar 15, 2013.

I think Duncan 906 have highlighted an important point here. Outside The U.S., when you think of United States wine, most of the times you think of California wines. Until I read the nytimes article, I did not know that wines were produced in the East coast. Maybe the markets outside the U.S., where we don't know anything about them, and therefore they can build a reputation from zero, are a better alternative for wines plagued with bad fame in its own country.

Reply by penguinoid, Mar 16, 2013.

One of my local wine shops (in Adelaide) has a small selection of US wines. I think they have about ten different bottles -- a few from Bogle, a couple from Napa (including Stags Leap Vineyards Cab Sauv & Viognier), two Oregon Pinot Noirs, and one or two others. I keep meaning to try one of the Oregon pinots.

In general, though, it's rare to see *any* US wines, here, and when the're around they normally $50+, and twice the price you'd pay in the US. I tend to look out for them, though, as I've not tried many US wines.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Mar 17, 2013.

Cal wines get killed in Aus by taxes.  We used to have a chartered accountant who worked with many wineries who contributed here.  (StephenHarvey, where have you gone?)  Others have also noted in general that Australia taxes wine pretty heavily.  So the representation of wines from outside Australia is going to be pretty thin. 

I saw that article and will be posting a thread later on a broader topic related to that tasting.  Thanks for flagging it now. 

Reply by penguinoid, Mar 18, 2013.

True -- though in Adelaide I've generally found there's a good selection of wines from France, Spain and Italy. More expensive than they'd be in their home markets, but not always prohibitive (except for Burgundy and Bordeaux). Oddly, it's often easier to find French wines than wines from other states in Australia ...

Reply by madmanny, Mar 18, 2013.

I'm in New Jersey and they barely sell the stuff here.  Even restaurants with no liquor licenses who can sell NJ wine without a licence rarely offer it.  

Reply by penguinoid, Mar 20, 2013.

Sounds like some work is needed on marketing and distribution, then.

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