When I decided to write about Gary Vaynerchuk’s endorsement of the Guy Drew 207 Metate blend from Colorado, I asked his publicist for an interview about the author’s views of wines from The Other 46. Gary Vee is a busy guy, so I was invited to submit questions via e-mail.
Several days later, I received an audio file, in which someone read Vaynerchuk my questions and he answered, apparently while walking along a busy city street, presumably between appearances to promote his latest book, “The Thank You Economy.” So here, in unvarnished spontaneity and run-on sentences, is Gary Vee on regional wines:
Dave McIntyre: How did you develop your interest in wines from The Other 46?
Gary Vee: Basically, I’m always interested in pushing people’s palates. And I had a Michigan Riesling that really caught my attention, and it kind of excited me on the path of, “Wait a minute, aren’t there other things?” I started seeing what’s going on in Arizona, and even long back to when Gruet started making good wine from New Mexico, I’ve always had a hunch that there was more potential. Plus, doing reading I always knew that Colorado was the major wine region, not California back in the first boom back in the late 1800s. So that always intrigued me. (Colorado’s modern wine industry will be hosting the DrinkLocalWine.com 2012 conference next April in Denver.)
DM: In Episode 26 of the Daily Grape in Denver when you reviewed the Guy Drew Metate, you nearly promoted Virginia into the top ranks, referring once to “The Other 45.” What is your current assessment of Virginia’s wines?
GV: I think cabernet franc from Virginia, if done right, and built up demand, which would allow them to lower cost, can be and eventually will be a very viable category of selling wine in the US.
DM: As you travel for your book tour, any new discoveries from The Other 46?
GV: (Long Pause. Somewhere in the background, a traffic light changes color.) Ah yeah, I was fairly impressed with some of the wines from Texas. I’ve been familiar with Becker in the past, but this last time, it kind of caught my attention a little bit more. So I take them from a C+ player to a B- player. (Gary Vee reviewed some Texas wines in Episode 47 of the Daily Grape.)
DM: How do you respond to people who say it’s impossible to make a good wine in X state?
GV: That’s the easiest argument of all time. I can show people articles written about New Zealand and Argentina and California for that matter, As recently as the 1960s, people thought that California was not a viable place to produce good wine.
DM: How do you answer people who say, yeah, they make good wine here, but I can get so much more value from California for the same price?
GV: I think those people are smart, except California shouldn’t be the place they say. They should say southwest France or Italy or other parts of the world. That is the biggest argument and the biggest problem that The Other 46 have. I agree 100 percent that value is not in play just yet.
DM: What regions in The Other 46 excite you? Any favorite regions or wineries?
GV: I’m a big fan of Callaghan Vineyards in Arizona. And I would say that I believe quite a bit in the Finger Lakes in New York, and I also think that...Chaddsford is a winery to pay attention to in Pennsylvania.