This is DrinkLocalWine.com's third annual Regional Wine Week, in which we highlight regional wine throughout the United States. Who would have thought, when Dave McIntyre and I came up with the idea 3 1/2 years ago, that it would have led to DLW, wine week, and our annual conferences?
The funny thing, as passionate as I am about local wine? I'm still surprised that so many other people care as much as they do about regional wine. During my time at the State Fair of Texas over the past couple of weeks, the crowds were good, lively and asked intelligent questions. And we got the usual questions from people about how to start a winery or a vineyard.
What is even more encouraging is that the next generation of wine professionals is so enthusiastic about regional wine. Just two examples from the Fair: Hunter Hammett, the 30-something sommelier at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, told how he served Texas viognier to a group of French guests -- and how much they enjoyed the wine. Devon Broglie, the equally youngish wine buyer for Whole Foods in Texas and the Southwest, said that regional wine sales have flourished at Whole Foods during recession, despite the slowdown in the rest of the wine business.
There is more demand and more interest in regional wine than ever before. This week on the blog, I'll highlight regional wine -- the good and the bad, because nothing gets better unless you understand what the obstacles are.