Assembly can help winemakers expand

Often a challenging and even intimidating part of dining out is reading a restaurant’s wine list. Selecting the right wine to accompany a great meal should be, and for the most part is, one of life’s pleasures. We are fortunate to have some excellent wine experts at our local restaurants and in the beverage industry in the state. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



FOOD SERVICES

Assembly can help winemakers expand

PBN FILE PHOTO/DAVID LEVESQUE
TASTE OF SUCCESS: Maureen Leyden, who owns Leyden Tree Farm with her husband, Jack, prepares wine bottles for tastings at their West Greenwich store earlier this year.
Photo
1
2
Posted 10/29/12

Often a challenging and even intimidating part of dining out is reading a restaurant’s wine list. Selecting the right wine to accompany a great meal should be, and for the most part is, one of life’s pleasures. We are fortunate to have some excellent wine experts at our local restaurants and in the beverage industry in the state.

A tricky area even for the most skilled wine and food pairing expert is local wine. Rhode Island is home to Newport Vineyards, Greenvale Vineyards, Diamond Hill Vineyards, Shelalara Vineyards and Winery, Langworthy Farm Winery and Leyden Farm Winery – yes, owned by Big John Leyden, the Christmas Tree grower. And the industry locally owes much to Sakonnet Vineyards, which was at the forefront of the Rhode Island wine trail back in the 1970’s. As was widely reported this summer, the iconic winery was sold to Alex and Ani, who have plans to incorporate the Little Compton-produced wines into its Teas and Javas coffee-house concept.

The local wine industry has had challenges of its own to overcome, starting with the perception that wine from Rhode Island is subpar. While the growing season is considerably shorter in New England than it is in the Napa Valley or Tuscany, science and skill have been on the local winemaker’s side. Rhode Island happens to be located in the same latitude as the winemaking regions of Italy and France. Our climate is very similar, if hampered somewhat by that shorter growing season. This limits the ability of a winemaker on Aquidneck Island for example, to grow such grapes as Cabernet Sauvignon.

Local winemakers have learned to adapt, so instead of Cabernet Sauvignon, the Rhode Island winemaker will grow and produce Cabernet Franc, a delicious red wine that is often used as a blending grape in some world-renowned red wines from Red Bordeaux to California Cabernet. As Maeve Pesquera, wine director of Flemings Prime Steakhouse, said, “Knowing what each varietal does best – and what it can bring to the blend – takes experience.”

It also takes some genetic tinkering with the grape. Scientists specializing in oenology at Cornell University have developed hardier hybrid grapes such as Traminette, a white-wine grape similar to one of its parents, Gewürztraminer. St. Croix is a red grape developed at the University of Minnesota that produces medium to full-bodied, dry, deep red wines. Winemakers in the region have had success with these grapes and others that stand up to our cold snaps and yield flavorful, balanced, food-friendly wines.

Next Page
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Save the Date - Thursday, May 29th - for the Business Women Awards Luncheon at the Providence Marriott. Winners to be announced May 2nd.
  • Manufacturing Awards
    Only a few seats remain for PBN's Manufacturing Awards Dinner and Ceremony, Thur ...
  • 40 Under Forty
    It's the 10th Anniversary of 40 Under Forty, and PBN is planning a special event ...
  • Healthiest Employers
    Enrollment now open for the 2014 Healthiest Employers Program. Please take a mom ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News