The American Association of Wine Economists is mashing its grapes-and-graphs research onto Princeton University’s campus from June 7 to 10, where more than 100 presenters from around the world are scheduled to speak about the effects of everything from regulations to labels to bloggers on the wine industry.
The president of the AAWE is Princeton professor Orley C. Ashenfelter, director of the industrial relations section of the program for law and public affairs. Ashenfelter said the group was started in 2006 in order to produce an academic journal free of commercial publishing pressures. Since then, the publication — and the group — have taken off, with some of the upcoming presenters producing industry-influencing papers.
Ashenfelter said the AAWE journal provides “something for everyone,” including grape growers. The group will host New Jersey winemakers on the evening before the conference for industry-focused presentations, as well as a tasting of several New Jersey vintages.
There is also the potential for a “Judgment of Paris”-style blind tasting event, putting New Jersey wines cork-to-cork against some of France’s best wines. Ashenfelter said some of the top Garden State vintages should be able to hold their ground, just like the California wines did in 1979.
Gary Pavlis, an agricultural agent with the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, in the Mays Landing section of Hamilton, has chaired the New Jersey Wine Competition for 20 years, and said one of France’s most famous grapes has taken a strong foothold in the Garden State.
“The finals this year for the competition, almost all of the final wines were Bordeaux varieties, or Bordeaux blends,” Pavlis said, including Governor’s Cup winner, The Big “O,” from Unionville Vineyards, in Ringoes.
This is the sixth annual conference for the economists, with the seventh taking place in South Africa.