- Happy New Year to all of You fellow Finger Lakes Wine Drinkers. 2009 looks like it's already shaping up to be a very interesting year in Finger Lakes (FL)wine. The awaited '07 Reds should start being released and word is that the '08 Whites should be very exciting also. On the down side, though, the economic downturn has already impacted the Finger Lakes and the entire New York wine industry with funding for the New York Wine & Grape Foundation very much in question. Most Finger Lakes wineries seem to have weathered the slowing economy fairly well in 2008, but 2009 could turn out to be very challenging, as consumers cut out luxury spending (although for me and many others that I know, Finger Lakes wine is a necessity).
In 2008, Finger Lakes wines accelerated their award-winning ways, winning Best of Show at some of the top International Wine Competitions and I expect that trend to continue. The main issue that continues to restrict Finger Lakes wines from becoming worldwide players is limited production and I do not foresee any FL wineries ramping up production enough to impact on a global scale in 2009.
Here are a few predictions for 2009: 1) A major slowdown in new wineries opening in the Finger Lakes as the economy and winery saturation make it harder for new wineries to be successful. 2) There will be some wineries closing due to fiscal problems and possibly some consolidation of winery operations in the Finger Lakes 3) New unique port-style wines will become popular, especially with younger wine drinkers and more FL wineries will be crafting traditional-style ports and "ports" from non-traditional grapes. 4) With several new distilleries opening in the Finger Lakes, hand-crafted small-batch artisanal distilled spirits such as flavored vodkas will win major awards for FL distilleries. 5) The "global warming" effect will continue to have a positive effect for FL wines, especially reds, although a major winter freeze may cause problems within the next few months. 6) Finger Lakes reds from the '07 vintage will impress major wine critics and win some major awards. 7) Inevitably, with costs and taxes rising and inflation and high fuel prices returning later in the year, FL wine prices will continue to creep up, but there will still be bargains.
I will do my best to keep you informed with news and reviews again this year. I will be posting my Favorite Finger Lakes Wines of 2008 soon and, also coming soon, will be my 2008 Finger Lakes Winery of the Year post. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for making this blog better and I thank all of you who stopped by in 2008 and I wish you all a Great 2009!!!
If you can weather the cold, there are some great events coming up this month in the Finger Lakes:
Pasta and Wine Weekend
Seneca Lake Wine Trail
Back by popular demand, participating wineries will be serving pasta-themed dishes paired with wine. Friday 1:00 PM–5:00 PM, Saturday & Sunday 10:00 AM-5:00 PM
2300°: Fire & Ice
Date: 1/15/2009 5:30 PM-7:30 PM
The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY
Glass really heats up at 2300° and so do things at The Corning Museum of Glass. Live music, great food and drink and, of course, incredible glassmaking round out a lively evening!
Seneca Lake Wine Trail, This non-ticketed event is a year-end clearance sale, with many wineries providing discounts on a variety of retail items, including wine.
8th Annual Wine On Ice 2009
First Arena, Elmira, NY
Take part in a wonderful way for the Finger Lakes area to take the edge off the chilly evenings. Sample some of the area's premier wines.