Thursday, February 9, 2012

Blackstock. Native Owned, Native Grown.

The above title is the new slogan for Blackstock Vineyards and Winery of Dahlonega, Georgia. David Harris owner, winemaker, and front man for Blackstock was just here promoting his product and dropping off literature with a message: estate production is key to meaningful wine. David says for the consumer, the word "produced" on the back label of a bottle, is key to what is in the bottle. Blackstock, which only bottles wine from its own estate production, represents a category that declares "place" to be primary over and against the mass marketing of wines under different corporate labels reducing the product in the bottle to the equivalent of a condiment, that is, anything from anywhere. Imagine Chianti being a generic product. Champagne?

Conversely, how good might Yellow Tail be if it were solely drawn from vineyards in Hunter Valley or Margaret River, Australia or what if Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio or Liberty School Cabernet were estate production? All of which, of course, would be supervised and controlled by local management guaranteeing the product reflected the terroir where it developed. Like Blackstock's Lumpkin/White county viticultural area all of the above "what ifs" would blossom into a better product because of their place of origin. But the mass market would have to be fed with other generic production to fill the chain store shelves. And so it goes.

Tonight at the store we are tasting wines from Catalan, France; tomorrow night, Mendocino, California. God's peace.

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