Episode 408 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Fred Merwarth, who is both the winemaker and vineyard manager at the Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard in the Finger Lakes area of New York State.
Fred Merwarth is an anomaly among winemakers, because he also runs a vine nursery. Fred has a direct interest in understanding clonal differences amongst vine material and how they play out in wines, because that is what his nursery clientele wants to know when making a purchase from him. He also has a sense of where the industry is heading, long before it gets there, because he can see the wine trends of tomorrow in the orders for vines from different American growing areas today. Curious where Virginia might be headed with its red wines? Fred has a pretty good idea of what vintners there are planting. And Fred has his own experience in the Finger Lakes to go on as well, which has been a constant fine tuning process of matching vines to place. That old Clone 4 Chardonnay isn’t working out? Time to replant. Merlot in his part of the Finger Lakes? Fred doesn’t think so. And don’t even try to get him started on Viognier. But if you are curious what Fred thinks might be the future for vines in America and in the Finger Lakes, give a listen to this interview.
I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @leviopenswine