Norton, the Missouri State Grape, received a little national attention this morning. NBC's Today Show had a segment on "The Best Wine in America," which promoted the idea of drinking locally, just as consumers increasingly want to eat locally. Host Matt Lauer introduced the segment by reminding viewers that they do not need to travel to Europe to enjoy great local wines and that all 50 American states now have wineries. Winemaker and restaurateur Joe Bastianich was Lauer's guest and he featured a number of regional wines from around the country. Among them was a Missouri Norton from Augusta Winery.
Lauer prefaced the Norton by suggesting that some people might not be familar with Missouri wines, but his co-host Natalie Morales jumped to our defense, saying that she had been to our vineyards and declared them "fantastic." Bastianich continued singing Missouri's praises, explaining that the Norton variety is one of the few wines truly native to America and mentioned Missouri's role in saving the French wine industry in the late 1800s. Perhaps it's a coincindence but several Today Show regulars came on camera from the wings and took up wine glasses as the Norton was being poured. We like to think that's because the best of the best was at hand.
Take a look at the segment. The Missouri part begins at about 2:30 in the clip.
To learn more about the Norton, visit http://www.nortonsays.com/.