Finger Lakes Vintners Form European Partnership

Plus Chile declares state of emergency following devastating cold snap.


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Later this month, three Finger Lakes vintners—Scott Osborn of Fox Run Vineyards, John Martini of Anthony Road Wine Company and Chris Missick of Villa Bellangelo—will launch New York Wines SaRL, a Finger Lakes-European importing company, during international wine exposition Megavino 2013. Based in Luxembourg, the venture’s goal is to import and distribute Finger Lakes wine in the European market. The group will initially focus on Belgium and Luxembourg, with plans to expand next year.

According to Reuters, Chile has declared a state of emergency after a late frost caused an estimated $1 billion worth of damage to the country’s grape and fruit crops. The frosts hit Chile’s central wine and fruit producing regions, prompting the national agricultural society to deem the cold snap the worst in 84 years. Prominent producers like Concha y Toro and Valle San Pedro are among those affected. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines were the hardest hit, according to reports. Additionally, fruit trade association Fedefruta estimates the frost damaged between 35 percent and 61 percent of stone fruit crops, 57 percent of almonds, 48 percent of kiwi crops and 20 percent of table grapes.

The Third Annual Greenwich Wine + Food Festival was held on October 3–5 on Long Island Sound, hosting national and local chefs including Graham Elliot, Duff Goldman, Joe Bastianich and Sara Moulton. The event featured demonstrations by chefs, sommeliers and mixologists alike, while two spaces—the Burgers, Beers and Bluegrass and Serendipity tents—housed the second annual Burger Battle and performances by band Dispatch and country star Pat Green, respectively. Over 90 wine and food vendors over 6.3 acres were slinging out pours and bites for attendees. All proceeds from the festival’s Kick-Off Party, live and silent auctions and direct donations benefit Paul Newman’s The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, an organization that helps children and their families coping with cancer, sickle cell anemia and other serious illnesses.

On Thursday, October 3, Vintage Wine Estates announced its purchase of Sonoma’s Viansa Winery and Marketplace. Sotheby’s International Reality listed the 168-acre property—including 15 acres of vineyard and wetlands—for $15 million, while its inventory, equipment and other aspects of the business were listed for an additional $10 million, totaling $25 million. Vintage Wine Estates, owned by Pat Roney and Leslie Rudd, did not disclose the purchase price. Viansa is the company’s second North Coast acquisition in two months, following the purchase of Clos Pegase Winery in August.

Guillaume Deglise, general manager of Laurent-Perrier Switzerland since 2009, will take over as chief executive of Vinexpo and Vinexpo Overseas. He will succeed Robert Beynat, who will become special advisor to Pierre Gourguet, president of Vinexpo Directorate and chairman of the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

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