Friday, January 20, 2012

Virginia wineries, doing what we do best - absolute advantage can be better than comparative advantage

Barboursville Vineyards won best in class for their 2008 Cabernet Franc Reserve at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, which is apparently the largest competition for American wines. Barboursville also won best Cab Franc and best Viognier at a San Diego competition.

This is nice to see because Cabernet Franc and Viognier are recognized as being excellent grapes to grow in Virginia. That's all well and good, but sometimes I think we as Virginia wine enthusiasts wonder if that's just a relative claim. These grapes grow strongest here, but are we still trounced by California in all cases? In other words - as economists would say - do we have a comparative or an absolute advantage?

These prizes are at least one piece of evidence in favor of "absolute advantage", which is nice.

Kate and I have visisted Barboursville Vineyards once. It's a little outside of Charlottesville. We went there after visiting the newly refurbished Montpelier - home of James Madison. I don't remember being particularly impressed by the winery, although the wines were nice enough. The problem was, it was a mob scene. Lots of people, so not as pleasant of a tasting environment.

I do, however, highly recommend Montpelier if you are ever in that part of the state.

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