Monday, February 2, 2015

Rant: More Local Wineries

Local wine continues to grow and grow, a positive sign that Americans are embracing more local wineries. Delicious wine is being produced all across the country, as well as in Canada and Mexico. I've long been advocating for local wine and I'm glad to see the latest statistics, showing significant growth. Let us hope that trend continues.

Wines & Vines recently posted an article citing the new statistics on winery growth across North America. In 2014, almost 600 new wineries opened in North America, with 525 in the U.S., a much higher growth rate than in 2013. The total number of wineries in North America is now 8,990, with 8,287 in the U.S. and the rest in Canada and Mexico. California remains the largest home for wineries, with 3,913 wineries, almost 50% of all wineries. There are now 15 U.S. states and Canadian provinces which have 100+ wineries, including states like Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina.

You should be exploring the wineries located in your own state, and I bet you'll be surprised by the quality your find. There are over 30 wineries in Massachusetts, from Travessia Urban Winery to Westport Rivers Winery, and you'll find even more wineries in the rest of New England. With the new Direct Wine Shipment law in Massachusetts, you will also be able to order wines from other states, to try more of the intriguing wines being made across our great country. Over at the Welllesley Wine Press, Robert Dwyer has provided an excellent list of the U.S. wineries which can currently ship to Massachusetts.

Though the list is dominated by California wineries, there is some interesting diversity as well. Some of the other wineries are from states including New York, Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia, Oregon and Washington. Curiously, one of the license holders appears to be Nimrod Wines, which imports Hungarian wines, so I'm not sure how they qualified for a license. There are some excellent wineries on the list, and more wineries will be added in the future. I'm especially excited to see Abacela Veinyards on the list, an Oregon winery I've visited that uses numerous Spanish grapes, such as Tempranillo, I've already made my plea to MA wine lovers about what they can do to support the new shipment law. They need to contact their favorite wineries and ask them to get a license to ship to Massachusetts.

Wine lovers have much to be happy about, and let's hope it continues.

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