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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Interest or Commitment

There is one commonality, a single thread that makes something ordinary extraordinary – commitment. With Valentine’s Day and that season of love in the air, that word ‘commitment’ should not be taken lightly. As an anonymous wise soul once said, “There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”

So let’s get serious. Let’s talk about an interesting topic swirling in and around some of our Massachusetts farmlands. That topic is wine. Just for the records, wine is the highest value added product in the agricultural industry. Another factoid – we have several vintners and vineyards producing some phenomenal locally produced wines.

So where am I going with this interest or commitment thing? Stick with me. At the annual Farm Wineries and Growers Association meeting, a major topic discussed was the recently passed legislation allowing Massachusetts farmers/wineries to sell their locally produced wines at the regions’ numerous farmers markets. Think about what this means for you, the Farmers market junkie that likes buying locally grown veggies and fruits. Now you can buy direct from the guy or gal vintner a bottle or two of outstanding wines. Yes, you may try some that still need work but even in Napa and France, vintners must work out the bugs.

Some of the wines sampled at this year’s meeting were rated in the top 10 percentile at the recent Boston Wine Expo. In plain and simple terms – Massachusetts’ locally produced wines ran up against some of the stiffest competition and products produced throughout the world. This is a budding industry in Massachusetts that we can only hope the general public embraces and pledges their support at the local farmers markets.

It’s up to you, those that are committed to locally-produced agricultural products to keep in contact with your local state rep and legislators ensuring that this new opportunity for Massachusetts wineries and vintners does not diminish from the Farmers market scene. Without this legislation staying in place, this important agricultural industry can be seriously hindered. This landmark legislation could be easily overturned if we do not pay attention and stay committed to this local industry.

To sum it up, this legislation is an important tool for exposing the general public to a particular wine without visiting the vineyard. If you decide you like the wine, that visit hopefully becomes inevitable. The Farmers market coverage is invaluable for these locally hidden gems to receive due recognition within the market place. Why let an outstanding Zin that is locally produced get overshadowed by an overrated, overpriced name brand?
Are you interested? Then stay committed to these local vineyards. Don’t forget to visit the Massachusetts Wine and Cheese trail. It’s a great winter road trip.

P.S. For anyone subscribing via email that prefers to reply direct, I’ll keep an email address in the blog You can always post on our fan page or follow me on twitter
Top Photo - locally grown Chardonnay Photo by Greg Bilowz
Bottom Image - From the Massachusetts Winery Website

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)