The Cork Report Headlines from lesser-known wine regions.
Todd is a north country native, and lifelong inhabitant of the northeast. Growing up in the Mohawk river and Lake Champlain Valleys, then attending Binghamton University, youthful adventures to ‘the city’ were more likely to target Montreal, than Manhattan. He made a lateral move to Vermont in 1991 for graduate school, and while he still lives in the Green Mountains, he is frequently found within the Blue Line of the Adirondack Park, or floating on the big lake in between. As a third-generation Polish-Italian American, with family lore of Prohibition era winemaking on both sides, the probability of predisposed wine interest was high. A 1976 family trip through the Finger Lakes left a young Todd wondering why there weren’t vineyards back home on Lake Champlain, and in the Hudson Valley. He trained his palate on the rise of the microbrew wave, and by rummaging wine racks in old country stores, searching out forgotten bottles. Numerous relationships with folks in the wine and restaurant trades, provide an ongoing education about food and wine culture in the north country, which he shares through the Vermont Wine Media project. For ten years, Todd has kept his ear to the ground for any signs of wine growing in the far north. He is a volunteer and test winemaker at the Cornell Baker Farm, a cold-hardy hybrid trial vineyard, in Willsboro, NY, where his extended family resides. He home vinifies grapes harvested from the trial, as well as fruit acquired anywhere from Vermont to Chile. Author of 'Wines of Vermont: A History of Pioneer Fermentation', he lives and gardens with his wife, canine, feline, and donkey friends, at an old farmstead in Stockbridge, VT.