Missouri winemaker: Some local grape varieties make great wines
Published: Monday, February 07, 2011_________________________________________________________________________
By PAUL VIGNA, The Patriot-News
Among the interviews that Chaddford's Eric Miller does with a number of national and international wine colleagues is one with winemaker/general manager Jon Held of Stone Hill Winery, in Hermann, Mo. Take a look at the website, including a picture of the caves where they store their wine. Amazing.
The interview appears in Miller's entertaining and educational "The Vintner's Apprentice," which is hitting bookstores and online shops this month. That's part of what makes the book so good. It's not only Miller pouring his heart and soul and wisdom about winemaking out, but he also talks to a number of others who has as much passion about the business and plenty of knowledge to share. And there's loads of winery eye candy, with vibrantly colored photos from all over the world.
Miller asked Held, whose winery annually produces 260,000 gallons of wine, the significance of the grape variety to those who buy his wines. His answer, well, epitomized one of the conversations I've heard fairly frequently in this region.
"With regards to our regional market," Held responded, "the grape variety is not significant if we're talking in terms of the generally accepted global varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling. We have built a very solid regional business on the internationally unknown varieties: Concord, Catawba, Norton, Vignoles, Vidal, Traminette, Chambourcin and a few lesser-know grapes.
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