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Smart encourages Eastern USA wine regions

Dr Richard Smart last week presented Field Days in Pennsylvania and Virginia, emerging wine regions on the East-Coast of the USA.

There were over 150 attendees at each occasion, which were organized by the local state industry associations and local University personnel.

Dr Smart encouraged the groups in commenting on the change on the wine quality and diversity over the last decade or so. Many of the vineyards were experimenting with different varieties, and both states had a range of climates due to elevation differences. In particular Dr Smart noted the excellence of Pinot Noir wine in Pennsylvania, and of Viognier and Petit Manseng in Virginia.

Both states have long-established grape growing traditions, with Thomas Jefferson, the third US President planting one of the early American vineyards at Monticello, Virginia. The vineyards inspected were very well tended, with the Veritas Vineyard of Virginia being one of the finest examples of Smart Dyson trellis he has seen anywhere.

Smart encouraged the attendees to look to increasing the size of vineyard holdings and to use contract winemaking to improve economies of scale. He said that the new regions had to establish an identity with consumers, and this would be a result of evaluation with new varieties.

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