Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Where are “Our” Wine Boosters?

We’ve been writing about local wines since 2008 and over those years we have observed the value of an engaged, motivated and winery supported blogging community for the local wine industry.  One needs look no further than the Virginia wine community of bloggers to get an idea about how our Midwest wine industry could benefit.  Here are just a few of the Virginia wine boosters:

Virginia Pour House: http://virginiapourhouse.com/

As of January, 2014 Virginia had 223 wineries (source: Wines & Vines) and the 2012 Economic Impact the wine industry had on their state was about $775 million dollars.  Currently the state of Virginia is number #5 for number of wineries.  That’s a big deal and a lot of that is in rural communities.

The Midwest wine region certainly can support an enthusiastic array of wine writers, photographers and boosters to help show the world that our wines are worthy of attention!

WINE WRITERS UNITE!  We encourage writers, lovers of local wines, photographers to start a wine blog, populate it regularly with content, and share it with us and your friends.  Together we can make a huge difference for our state/region, the industry and to good wine drinking.

Help us find other Midwest wine bloggers and writers by dropping a note here or on our Two Wine Brothers Facebook page.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

I Say "Make More Bubbly!"

Jeff, Kirk and Brad - Producers for the film:
Wine Diamonds: Uncorking America's Heartland
This past Thursday we were putting the finishing touches on the fundraising "pitch piece" we'll be using in the near future for our movie, Wine Diamonds: Uncorking America's Heartland.  We filmed a few segments in the winery at Kirkwood Community College before heading over to the Hotel at Kirkwood, a working/teaching hotel and conference center where we'd finish filming our pitch.

We knew Kirkwood's own wine/viticulture program lead and head
Lucas McIntire, Winemaker
winemaker (Lucas McIntire) would be there pouring samples of his wines and giving the first taste of this brand new sparkler.  Lucas is the kind of winemaker you think of when you think of those great winemakers: full of passion for the industry, knowledgeable, creative and his love of wines is contagious!   

The line to taste his wines seemed to recycle very frequently and he could be heard across the room enthusiastically describing each one to his adoring fans. His wines are extraordinary!

After shooting our pitch we met up with Lucas and our friend Lauren (who owns the Secret Cellar) and we shot some additional footage for our "on-the-road" segments.  

Frontenac Gris - note the amber color of this "white" wine.
Toward the end of our filming we were invited back to his wine cellar where we sampled his wines and was completely amazed by this Frontenac Gris wine.  He grows several dozen varieties of cold-hardy grapes and Frontenac Gris, when fermented by the uninitiated can come off as tart, or bland and unappealing, but not this one.  Lucas described how he had to patiently wait while this gris (grey) grape slowly ripened, waiting, testing, and waiting until an amber elixir of the most elegant nature emerged.  This wine is big, juicy, mouth-filling, fruity, dry and absolutely delicious.  Honestly, this is one of the very best white wines I've had in the Midwest ...hell, anywhere!  Just amazing!

The crazy thing is...while this spectacular wine was captivating it's
Available in Eastern Iowa Only!
sister, a sparkling wine, made in the traditional method (Methode Chamenoise),
 from Adelmiina (a grape you've probably never heard of before), LaCrescent and Okanagon Riesling grapes was jaw droppingly exquisite.  On this night Lucas debuted his 2013 release of his sparkling wine.  In the glass this lively bubbly was gorgeous, trillions of bubbles (just an estimate), a sexy straw color, and a dazzling array of aromas - citrus: lemon and lime, apple blossom, and fresh bread; and to top it off, the flavors popped with bright acidity and a scrumptious citrus, apple, and toasty yeast essence that whispered how well it'd be with food.

The sad news for those not living in eastern Iowa is that you're missing out on some of of the most exciting wines coming on the scene.  

Lucas' sparkler is among the best I've had.  This is a winemaker to follow...and if you have the opportunity to buy his wines, particularly this beautiful bubbly, get it today!

If other Midwest winemakers could emulate what Lucas McIntire (Kirkood Community College) and John Burns (Barrelhead Winery) are doing with traditional method sparkling wines then we'd soon gain national prominence.  

I say...make more bubbly!!