Saturday, February 14, 2009

Price dropped on Seven Valleys winery

Several photos of the property, courtesy of Prudential Bob Yost Homesale Services.
There's still at least one winery for sale in the region. Carolyn Schoettler, of Prudential Bob Yost Homesale Services in Shrewsbury, Pa, said the price on Seven Valleys Winery has been dropped to $2.3 million. When we had talked last fall, the asking price was $3 million.

Schoettler said she soon will post it back up on, a listing of wineries internationally that are for sale, all the while having at least one interested party. "They are currently trying to find some investors to back them up for the down payment," she wrote in an e-mail. "I will be placing the vineyard back on sometime next week. Currently I receive about 2-3 calls per week, inquiring about the property. Most clients are interested in a smaller piece of land or the price is slightly higher than what they can afford. Now, with the owners currently offering partial owner financing and the reduction of $700,000, we have started to see some more interest."

You can find more information on the property at this listing. Grapes were first planted at Seven Valleys in 1976 and the winery opened in 1990. A member of the UncorkYork trail, it will continue to be part of the Tour de Tanks that starts Feb. 28 and continues every weekend in March. It currently produces 15 wines.

Director laments lack of wines in NY eateries

This, from Jim Trezise, director of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, in this week's e-letter. It's a complaint I hear from a number of winery proprietors in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Instead they'll carry a list that include a mix primarily from Europe and the West Coast. Not that they aren't feeling th economic pinch out there. Daniel Donohue, of TEIRA Wines in Sonoma County, Calif., worte in an e-mail that "everyone has inventory piled high in the warehouses because of the meltdown and a much slower holiday season. It’s not pretty. Everyone is working harder and selling less – and on the road doing so!"

Anyway, here's Trezise's rant:

WHY DON’T NEW YORK RESTAURANTS FEATURE MORE NEW YORK WINES? Frankly, it’s pitiful, as I witnessed in a fine seafood restaurant this week in our state capitol of Albany. The menu is great, as is the wine list, with one exception: there is NOT ONE New York wine on it, despite the compatibility of many of our wines with the menu. So after ordering a glass of superb Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling from Washington, I asked to speak to the manager and gave her my business card. I asked: Is it a matter of quality? No, she said, New York wines these days are great, and have improved tremendously. Price? No, many are within the price range we serve. Promotion? No, we always participate in your “New York Wine Month” promotion, and we don’t know of promotions by other states or countries that drive customers to our door like that. (Note: I ate at this same restaurant in October, and they did in fact feature New York wines at that time.) Recommendations? No, the New York State Restaurant Association strongly encourages our participation in the promotion, and to feature New York wines beyond that. Wine Magazine Ratings? No, in a restaurant setting they don’t matter. So what drives your decision to buy, and to have ZERO New York wines on an extensive wine list in our state capitol? Wholesalers, she said. They’re the ones who come in with the specials and offer to print up our lists. It makes my life easier. So there your have it—New York businesses and New York jobs losing out because it makes someone’s life easier. I told her we (NYWGF) work with several good and supportive wholesalers—Elmira, Empire North, Opici, and Southern—who do a great job recruiting retailers and restaurants for New York Wine Month, and asked if she would consider adding New York wines if they called on her. She said yes. Meanwhile, every time I’m in Albany (which right now is more than I want), I’ll to go that restaurant and ask for the wine list before they seat me. If there are no New York wines, I’ll go someplace else and let the manager know why. I’m a big proponent of consumer choice—letting people have the option of wines from around the world—but I’m also a big proponent of the New York economy, and this situation is outrageous. Unfortunately, it’s also the rule rather than the exception: New Yorkers hurting other New Yorkers just at a time when we need to help each other.

Philly restaurant plans Rioja dinner

Once in awhile I'll deviate from the regional wine and wineries theme to tout an event that's wine-related in the region. That's the case here, where I can give a shout-out to one of my favorite Philly restaurants and one of my favorite wines. Period.

Chef Jose Garces’ acclaimed wine bar and restaurant, Tinto (114 S. 20th Street, 215-665-9150), will offer guests a thrilling journey through the extraordinary wines of Spain’s famous Rioja region, paired with Chef Garces’ authentic Basque tapas. This special dinner will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. The Rioja dinner is four courses including dessert and wine pairings, and will cost $130 per person, excluding tax and gratuity.

“Spain is producing some of the world’s finest wines, and of course, they are a perfect complement to the foods of the region,” says Chef Garces. “Our special Rioja dinner is a fun, festive way to explore some of these amazing wines and experience them with the cuisine of their homeland.”

Chef de Cuisine David Conn created a delectable menu that will include: House-cured Jamon de Pato, duck prosciutto with membrillo; White Asparagus Gratin with aged manchego cheese, Iberian ham and sage sabayon; Steelhead Trout a la Plantxa with romesco verde and cippolini; and Patatas Riojana, Rioja-style fingerling potatoes with caramelized shallot, chorizo and guindilla chile.

Since opening in March 2007, Tinto had received rave reviews from local and national media, including Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, The Wall Street Journal and Shape magazine. They were also named to Conde Nast Traveler’s annual “Top Tables” in 2008, and received a prestigious three-bell review from the Philadelphia Inquirer. The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch, brunch and dinner. For more information, or to make a reservation, please call (215) 665-9150 or click on this link.