Ten Great Places to Drink Local Wines (from USAToday) and Five Good Reasons
From USA Today:
While Napa Valley gets the most attention, winemakers are busier than ever around the nation, says blogger Jeff Siegel, who founded DrinkLocalWine.com with Dave McIntyre, wine critic for The Washington Post. Siegel says the regional wine movement, which began in the late 1970s, has blossomed, thanks to better farming techniques and a growing interest in locally sourced products. Next week marks Regional Wine Week, and the two wine experts share with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY some of their favorite areas for visiting and tasting.
Hill Country, Texas – With more than 200 wineries, Texas has become a leading state for vintners. And the scenic area near Austin and San Antonio is the center of the action. Winemakers have learned that grapes from other warm-climate areas do well here, including Spanish Tempranillo, French Syrah and Italian Sangiovese, Siegel says. With all the attention, the town of Fredericksburg has become a mini-Napa with fine restaurants, shopping and bed-and-breakfasts. 866-621-9463; www.texaswinetrail.com/index.html
See nine more locales to drink local wine at:
Need some reasons to try local wine? Here are a few from Wendy Aeschlimann.
Why drink local wine? Many of the reasons for drinking local are the same as eating local:
1. Support your local winemaker. You experience the same sense of pride of place as when buying a local tomato or radish, knowing that it was grown by a nearby farmer.
2. Environmental considerations [reduced carbon footprint]. Less fossil fuels are consumed and carbon emitted in getting the wine to your door.
3. Branching out. Because the Midwest generally plants cold-hardy grapes [and Texas is branching out with warm weather varietals], you have the chance to try more unusual [hybrid] varieties, such as Norton, Traminette and Vidal, [and Tempranillo, Viognier and Roussanne]. Just like at the farmer’s market, where your curiosity is roused by new varieties of peppers, so can it be with wine.
4. Support your local economy. The Midwest [and Texas], like many areas of the country, is an economy in transition. By supporting your local farmers, you may be supporting a growth sector of our local economy.
5. Help influence the direction of local wine market. As with any business, wine-making is, at bottom, a money-making endeavor. As more wine-making consumers buy local wine, the money will be reinvested into the wineries, and they will only improve over time.
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Now’s the time to break out from the hold of California, France and the mega-wine marketing machine. Eat local, drink local, enjoy local. It’s literally in your backyard. Stop to swirl, sniff and sip the wines near you.