Governor Cuomo Signs New Laws Benefiting NY State Wine Industry

Plus other news and notes from the world of wine, beer and spirits.

Vineyard in New York's Hudson Valley

New York’s Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently signed four laws expanding and creating the state’s wine trails. Under the legislation, the Hudson Valley’s Shawangunk East Wine Trail will expand to include the region’s new wineries, while the Niagara Escarpment, Niagara and the Chautauqua designations have been renamed the Niagara Wine Trail Ridge, Niagara Wine Trail Lake and the Lake Erie Wine Trail, respectively. The fourth law establishes the Adirondack Coast Trail, which connects seven wineries in the state’s North Country region.

Bob Lindquist sold a majority share of his Santa Barbara Qupé Winery to investor Charles Banks and his company, Terroir Selections. The purchase price was not disclosed, but Lindquist will stay on as winemaker and partner. “The business and marketing is hard, but Charles is great at that. So this comes as a great relief to me,” he told Wine Enthusiast. Read the full story >>>

The Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas announced structural changes to its Master Sommelier Diploma Examination and the Advanced Sommelier Course and Advanced Sommelier Examination, beginning in 2014. Two theory-only examinations will be held concurrently in San Francisco and Dallas, and the exam must be passed by candidates who are interested in sitting for the Tasting and Practical exams. Additionally, the Advanced Sommelier Course will be held separately from the Advanced Sommelier Exam, to allow candidates to focus on the course without the pressure of an examination immediately following.

Vignobles André Lurton has announced it has hired Michel Rolland, a renowned winemaking consultant. Rolland will work on the red wines from Château Couhins-Lurton and La Louvière in Pessac-Léognan, but will also consult on the wines from Pessac’s Château de Rochemorin and Château de Cruzeau, as well as Château Bonnet in Entre-deux-mers. Denis Dubourdieu, another famed name in winemaking, works on the Lurton’s white wines.

Absolut has revealed the latest in its city-inspired vodka series, an olive- and rosemary-flavored vodka dubbed Absolut Chicago. Designed in collaboration with the city’s Threadless organization—a community of more than 200,000 graphic designers and illustrators—the Second City-themed vodka is part of a limited-edition series that includes tributes to New Orleans, Brooklyn, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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