I recently sat down with Virginia winemakers Emily Pelton (Veritas Vineyards) and Scott Dwyer (Pollak) to talk about their innovative research exchange.
Their group started informally, with friendly sessions of winemakers gathering to share their trials and experiments. As the idea picked up steam, they formalized their process and got funding from the Monticello Wine Trail to found the Monticello Winemakers Research Exchange. This core group of Monticello AVA winemakers has now expanded to include all of Virginia, with new funding from the Virginia Wine Board.
Read all about it here, in my latest article for The C-Ville Weekly. You can also visit the Virginia Winemakers Research Exchange website at www.winemakersresearchexchange.com to see the results of their trials. They publish their results publicly so that everyone may benefit from their efforts.
What makes this endeavor so extraordinary? You'll often find trials such as these in an academic university setting, but rarely do you see a group of winemakers so motivated and dedicated to sharing their experimental results. Several wine regions have organizations among winemakers, but to see this level and scope of experimentation is quite unique. With the excitement and commitment that currently surrounds the VWRE's tasting sessions, and with online access to the results, an individual's experiment has the potential to enhance the wines across the state.