The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2013

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Page 146 of 152

Dixie t Bottling SOUTHERN WINERIES OVERCOME DIFFICULTIES TO PRODUCE WORLDCLASS WINES by Roxanne Langer here is a new war going on in the South and it's got nothing to do with taxes, slavery or tobacco and everything to do with vineyardists and winemakers fighting a climate that has humidity, heat and rain— lots of rain, sometimes tons of rain right before harvest—to make not just palatable but world-class wine. Vines have been planted and wine made in the South for centuries, but with the difficulty of the various climates, the lack of regional research from local universities, a location in the Bible Belt and non-supportive laws as a result of Prohibition, Southern wine has had its issues. But change has come. The South is actually winning this war. Wineries are opening up at record speed. Kentucky, always considered to be a non-wine drinking bourbon state, now has 60+ wineries; universities and state agriculture departments throughout the South are hiring viticulturists and fermentation scientists, laws are being changed and consumers are showing their appreciation by inundating local wineries to taste and purchase. PHOTO COURTESY OF BILTMORE ESTATE This shot of vineyards at Biltmore Estate shows the humidity issues that Southern wineries must deal with. 146  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2013 TP1113_109-156.indd 146 10/24/13 9:18 AM

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