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home > food & wine dictionary > New York

Food and Wine Dictionary


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 New York 

New York State is the United States' second largest wine-producing state after California. A majority of the state's vineyards, however, are planted with native VITIS LABRUSCA or HYBRID vines and few of the VITIS VINIFERA species. Because of this, New York hasn't been considered a producer of high-quality wines until recently. Vitis vinifera grapes like CABERNET SAUVIGNON, CHARDONNAY, PINOT NOIR, and RIESLING account for less than 6 percent of New York's vineyard acreage. Native American grapes like CATAWBA, CONCORD, Delaware, and NIAGARA comprise 80 percent of the vineyard acreage. HYBRIDS like AURORA, BACO NOIR, CHELOIS, DE CHAUNAC, and SEYVAL BLANC account for the remaining vineyard acreage. New York's most important growing region is the FINGER LAKES AVA and its subzone Cayuga Lake AVA. Other regions include the Hudson River Valley Region AVA, Lake Erie AVA, and LONG ISLAND, with its VITICULTURAL AREAS of North Fork of Long Island and The Hamptons. The Hamptons leads the way in new vitis vinifera planting. Much of New York's production goes into GENERIC WINES labeled BURGUNDY, CHABLIS, RHINE WINE or SAUTERNE or into SPARKLING WINES. Wines with an AVA designation on the label must contain a minimum of 85 percent of that viticultural area's wine. Wines labeled "New York State" must contain a minimum of 75 percent of the state's wine. Those labeled with a vitis labrusca grape must contain 51 percent of that grape in the wine's makeup. Other VARIETAL WINES must contain 75 percent of a particular grape. New York wineries (other than those mentioned in the Long Island and Finger Lake listings) include Benmarl Wine Company, Clinton Vineyards, Cascade Mountain, Eaton, Royal Kedem, Walker Valley, and Woodbury.

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Material adapted from the The New Food Lover's Companion

© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on
THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.


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