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Looking Back on 2014…

T. Edward Wines, Passport Terroir, 20th Anniversary Tasting, The Public Theatre

2014 was an amazing year for all of us here at TEW. And for this, we offer great thanks to our families and friends, to our winegrowers and buyers, and to everyone who supports us and them. Looking back on the year, our 20th as a company, we’ve a lot to reflect on. Cheers to a beautiful year! We look forward to spending 2015 with you!

On May 6th, we celebrated our 20th Anniversary with Passport Terroir, a tasting at the Public Theater, Joe’s Pub and the Library, featuring 160 of our growers. It was an epic event with over 800 of our nearest and dearest in attendance!

Following Passport Terroir, we held a charity tasting at Carroll Place on Bleecker Street that was open to the public to raise funds for Contractors for Kids.

New Producers

T. Edward Wines, Organic wine importer/distributor, Porter BassIn 2014, we welcomed a number of new producers to our book, including:

Porter Bass (pictured above): “Growing up with a house in the middle of a vineyard, I have lots of fond memories running around the vineyard, tasting the fruit, watching my parents make homemade wine,” said Luke Bass, who now lives with his family in the midst of these same vines at the Porter Bass Estate…

Bodegas Re: “While looking at the fireplace, having a Cuban cigar with a glass of RE Velado,” wrote Pablo Morande of Bodegas RE, “it’s a good opportunity to introduce myself and my family.” Not that Pablo Morande needs any introduction…

Hudson Vineyards: Hudson’s vineyard designated Chardonnay was planted in 1982 to old-vine Wente clone Chardonnay, said Lee Hudson, “In 1930, two Chardonnay clones came into California. By 1960, there were only 200 acres of Chardonnay, all small clusters [with dramatically low yields]. We went back to these original vineyards and to the two originals. We did virus testing, cut buds and grafted onto 25 vines.” …

HofstaetterIn 1941 when Martin’s [Foradori] paternal grandfather purchased the property from the Barth von Barthenau family, he found Pinot planted to the ‘Vigna S. Urbano’ parcel, which is the best and oldest with current plantings from 1942. In fact, it was Ludwig Barth von Barthenau who planted the first Pinot to his property 160 years ago. “Mazon is the number one area for Pinot Noir in northern Italy…[and] the best wines are always from the oldest vines,” said Martin…

New Craft Spirits

T. Edward Wines & Spirits, Michelberger Booze, Micro-Distillery, BerlinA number of micro-distilleries joined us as well, including the likes of:

Michelberger Booze (pictured above): When Tom Michelberger and Nadine May (of Berlin’s Michelberger Hotel) first entered the Preussishe Spirituosen Manufaktur (PSM), they felt transported to Berlin in the 1920’s. Here they found Dr. Ulf Stahl (aka “The Professor”) of the Department of Applied Biotechnology and Molecular Microbiology at the Technical University of Berlin, and Gerald Schroff, Stahl’s business partner. “We walked in and could feel the energy,” said Nadine. “[There were] boxes of herbs and bottles with old labels that were handwritten and a blackboard where the Professor writes formulas.”…

Far North Spirits: From Northwestern Minnesota, Michael Swanson and Cheri Reese of Far North Spirits sent us these stunning images and report from their 2014 rye harvest. Working field-to-glass, the couple distills from start to finish, with every step of production done by hand…

Craft Distillers: Established in 2003 by Ansley Coale– long a pioneer and champion of micro-distilleries– Craft Distillers now includes a number of distilleries that operate alongside Germain-Robin, which was co-founded with Hubert Germain-Robin in 1982 as the first micro-distillery to open in the U.S. since Prohibition…

#Ex-Pat

T. Edward Wines, Organic wine importer, Harvest Report 2014, Patrick Burke at Didier DelagrangeIn August 2014, our French Portfolio Manager, Patrick Burke, uprooted his family and moved to Lyon. From the grounds of our producers in France, #Ex-Pat  sent us a number of reports from the field.

Harvesting Burgundy with Patrick Burke (pictured above) Last week I was in Burgundy for a couple of days of picking and tasting with Didier Delagrange, Roger Belland and Jean-Michel Gaunoux…

Grower Bordeaux: There is, I think, a very valuable association to be made between the growers in Champagne and the dwindling number of small family estates of the Medoc…If one looks to the modern Medoc landscape they will see a seriously speculative wine scene dominated by historic Chateaux owned by multinational mega-companies that are getting bigger at the expense of the small family owned estates…

Cycling

T. Edward Wines, Organic Wine Importer, Piedmont, Vineyards at Mauro VeglioAnd of course we rode bikes! There was a trip to Piedmont, and the Gran Fondo New York.

Riding the Rolling Hills of Piedmont (pictured above): A few days following the Gran Fondo New York, we left for Piedmont to cycle our way around Barolo. Stationed at Mauro Veglio, we visited with Gianfranco Alessandria, Piero Busso, Bricco del Sole and Ca ‘Rossa. “Their sense of camaraderie is greater than in any other wine region I’d ever been to,” said PC. “And their pride has nothing to do with business. It’s so important that they share with you their family, their work, how they’re preparing future generations and the history behind the property and region.”…

Team TEW Rides the Gran Fondo New York 2014:The weather was perfect for yesterday’s Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York! And this year, we had 16 TEW members, friends and family riding both the 50 and 100 mile courses. Some of us had done the GFNY a few years in a row, while others had never ridden it before. Congrats to everyone who lined up on the George Washington Bridge at 6:45 AM yesterday, that alone is an amazing feat…

MS Ride: A great number of us came out on October 5th to participate in the Bike MS New York City.

Hincapie Gran Fondo: In addition to sponsoring the Gran Fondo New York, we also sponsored the Hincapie Gran Fondo in South Carolina, which PC rode with his son.

Crush Challenge: Because we love a great cause, we also paid to sponsor the Crush Challenge in Napa, where the title sponsor was ZD Wines. Tom and PC also went out to Napa to ride and support the event.

Wine Travels

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Gianfranco Alessandria, San GiovaniThere were a few trips, including Barolo Camp, a French Report from Goatboy Selections, and some time with our friends in Portland, Maine.

Barolo Camp at Gianfranco Alessandria (pictured above): As we stepped inside the winery, Vittoria began pumping-over the one-week-old tank of Dolcetto, and floods of plummy purple juice came rushing out and into a large container. She grabbed a glass and offered me a taste of this year’s harvest in its infancy. Bright and cheery. Juicy, lively, and provocative. A Dolcetto that offers more than cranberries and sunshine. The wine’s structure was already evident, and I knew this was going to be a beautiful vintage…

Langhe Camp at Cascina Ca ‘Rossa:  When we think of Piemonte, we think of Barolo, and maybe Barbaresco. Roero isn’t the first region to come to mind. I don’t know what I expected, but I was shocked to see how steep the vineyards were, and how stunning the views, even on an overcast day. I knew the Roero soils had more sand in them, but there was obviously more to it than that as some thick, wet soil mixture clung to my boots like glue. I knew Ca Rossa was family run and certified organic, but what that really meant to the vineyard and wines I was about to find out…

Barolo Camp at Piero Busso: As we walked Borgese-Albesani vineyard – my favorite because of its family history – Piero told us that Guido Busso had planted the vineyard in 1945 before establishing the winery in 1953. Tragically his life was cut short when he was 32 and Piero only four-years-old. This vineyard still represents Guido’s vision, which became a reality first with Piero, and now Pieroguido as the third generation…

The South of France with Goatboy Selections: The south of France is magic in August. It’s easy to see why hordes of semi-hard working Parisians flock here every summer. The sun, sea, food and wine. We had a list of vignerons we have been wanting to visit and we also needed to pay our respects to our current friends. We hit the Fete du Vin et Valvigneres where we tasted with Sylvain Bock and Gerald Oustric of Le Mazel then partied at the gorgeous domaine of Andrea Calek…

TEW Tour of Portland: As the older sister of its west coast namesake, Portland, Maine is no Portlandia, but an old-school New England town that has a nation of eaters all a flutter and plate chasing. With an urban appetite and a farmer’s flair, Portland’s dining scene has come of age and is ready for courting…

NYC Restaurants & Bars

T. Edward Wines & Spirits, Organic wine importer, New York wine importer/distributor, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward Wines, Nitecap, Natasha David We paid a few visits to some of NYC’s new and celebrated neighborhood establishments:

Dancing to the Moon at Nitecap (pictured above): “I didn’t want anything to be an afterthought,” said Natasha David. “If I’m agonizing over 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon of lemon in a cocktail, I can agonize over the wine list.” And this is one of the many things that elevates Nitecap steps above your average cocktail destination…

Donostia–A Slice of Basque Country in the East Village: “The Basque have been coming out of the woodwork,” said Jorge de Yarza, who along with his partner Marissa Miller is the proprietor at Donostia, a slice of Basque Country in the East Village. “We never knew so many Basque were in New York!”…

In the Kitchen with Thomas Chen at Tuome: Opened just three short months ago, the quick ascension of Tuome to gastronomic fame has taken many by surprise, but not Thomas Chen, Tuome’s proprietor and chef whose calm exterior gives way to complexity in the kitchen. Two weeks ago, Tuome received two stars from Pete Wells, who wrote, “a striking number of dishes at Tuome are memorable for the right reasons.”…

Crafting the List

T. Edward Wines, New York Organic wine importer/distributor, Molly Cohen, Rainbow Room, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward WinesWith so many amazing personalities behind each wine list, we got to know better a few of our somms and buyers, from Vinateria in Harlem to The Standard.

Running with Molly Cohen at the Rainbow Room (pictured above): Six weeks before this year’s New York City Marathon, Molly Cohen began working as the Rainbow Room’s Director of Beverage and SixtyFive Lounge, which opened October 5th. “It was difficult to train Monday through Friday. I was up at six and home by midnight,” said Molly. “The last six weeks [of training] dwindled to a moderate run on Saturday and a long run on Sunday.” Yet she finished in 3:40. “For the last six miles,” she added, “I couldn’t maintain my pace.”…

Vinateria, A Courageous Wine List in Harlem: “People are used to wine lists in Harlem that lack innovation,” said Gabriela Davogustto. “They don’t bring the bottle and let you taste it and discuss it with you. I feel that people are amazingly receptive to it [here] maybe because they’re tired of places that don’t put much adventure or love into their wine lists. The whole experience should be friendly and not to intimidate. Bring the bottle. Talk to them. This has to be a presentation. Respect the customer.”…

Wines by Lady Winemakers at Alder: When Siobhan Lowe began managing the 40-bottle wine list at Wylie Dufresne’s Alder the emphasis was then on an affordable but interesting wines. “Then one day,” said Siobhan, “Kevin, our bar manager, said he’d been to Dover and they had a similar list–heavy on Old World with a sporadic [selection of] New World producers. It’s not a competition, so I thought…that’s cool…a lot of restaurants are looking for small producers. But then I started thinking about how I could bring focus to the list…

Visiting Winemakers

T. Edward Wines, New York wine importer/distributor, Andrea Franchetti, Passopisciaro, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward WinesA lot of great growers passed through town this year, so this is only a partial list of the events held in conjunction with their visits!

Tasting through the Vintages with Andrea Franchetti (pictured above): Last Friday, we hosted a once-in-a-lifetime event with Andrea Franchetti, featuring for the first time ever in the U.S. every single made vintage of Passopisciaro “Franchetti”, from 2005 to 2013. Held at Locanda Verde, the event began with a walk around tasting of the five Passopisciaro Contrada (C, S, R, G and P) wines, and was followed by a sit-down luncheon, where Franchetti talked us through the wines…

#SinskeyNYC @IlBuco_AV: We bring you great joy from today’s luncheon at Il Buco Alimentari with Maria Sinskey. Descending from the heavens of Napa Valley, Maria hosted us for a fabulous luncheon at Il Buco, where she introduced the latest releases from Robert Sinskey, including Vin Gris 2013, Pinot Blanc 2012, Abraxas 2012, Pinot Noir 2011, POV 2010 and Marcien 2008. Sneak peek…they’re all pretty amazing…

From Barolo to Cinqueterre, Elio Altare & the Revolution: “I had a dream that I could help save the region,” said Elio Altare of Cinqueterre in Liguria. “The region was completely abandoned, the same as my region in Langhe. If we had good success in Langhe, it’s possible to make success in Cinqueterre.”

TEW Events

T. Edward Wines & Spirits, Brooklyn Bowl, Karen Ulrich for T. Edward WinesWait, there’s more! We went bowling in the name of Craft Spirits, and talked Rioja with André Tamers of De Maison Selections.

A Night at Brooklyn Bowl!:Big thanks to everyone who came out for a fabulous evening at Brooklyn Bowl this week! There were plenty of Dark Horse cocktails, “spirited” goodie bags prepared by our Spirit Strategist, Scott Rosenbaum, Blue Ribbon fried chicken, gutter balls and strikes. The evening lingered a little longer than planned…not that any one minded! Cheers!

The Uncorking of Spring Rosé Tasting:Roused from a long winter slumber by the early bursts of sun, the crowd fill the room by 11, and kept on coming at the speed of 33 RPM. And as if 32 bottles of rosé weren’t enough to inspire, we added a few numbers from two new Austrian producers–Mantlerhof and Fischer– alongside select offerings from Vins de Vienne, who were represented by Marie Melodie, who happened to be visiting. In addition to everyone’s favorites, including Clos Cibonne, Domaine la Suffrene, Chateau Coussin, Pigoudet and Ameztoi Rubentis, we welcomed a number of new wines which kept the palates juicy and wanting: Altenburger RoSée Connection, Riedlin Spätburgunder Rosé, Matthiasson Rosé, Forlorn Hope Kumo to Ame Rosé and Bebame…

An Identity Crisis, Rioja with André Tamers: “Our idea of wine in Spain is just Rioja,” began Andre Tamers of De Maison Selections to a group who’d gathered at Toro‘s Backbar Room to taste with Tamers. “Dusty, earthy, classic, old school Rioja…I’m gonna take that and throw it all out the window…”

HAPPY NEW YEAR! WE LOOK FORWARD TO AN AMAZING 2015 WITH YOU!

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