in the Finger Lakes
College Viticulture and Wine Center
This website is what happens when a semi-retired winery owner, winemaker, musician, writer and wine lover becomes obsessed with the Finger Lakes and its wines and wineries. Come along as I make my way through over 100 Finger Lakes wineries and hundreds of Finger Lakes wine tastings. We invite all of you Weekend Winos out there to tag along for News, Reviews, Songs and Discussion about the Finger Lakes. We hope you enjoy the ramblings and we welcome all comments.
A Glimpse into the 2015 Vintage
& Upcoming Harvest
Bins are clean, Muck Boots are laid out, trailers have been hitched to their tractor counterparts, and most importantly, grapes are soaking up their final days and weeks in their natural habitat before being whisked away to their fermented future.
On Tuesday night at 8:37PM, winemaker, Phil Arras sent out a text message to our harvest crew with the simple note, "Harvest starts Saturday! Get pumped! I ordered a keg!" We know what you're thinking, you drink beer during harvest!? Why not wine? At Damiani Wine Cellars we have a tradition of sampling through various locally-crafted brews after those long days (and nights) on the press deck and in the vineyard. We're interested in supporting our fellow breweries and enjoying the bounty of the region in our glasses! The more important piece of information from that message is that harvest is coming in just 3 short days.
Pinot Meunier will kick-off harvest this coming Saturday, being the first load of grapes we bring into the winery as well as the first component to our sparkling wine program. Following closely will be Pinot Noir on Wednesday or Thursday of next week, accompanied by Chardonnay shortly thereafter. Grapes used for sparkling wine production are typically harvested early in the season (around the first week or two of September) in order to capture natural, vibrant acidity in the grapes.
Remember the vineyard that we planted a few miles north in Valois in 2013? We are thrilled to bring in our first crop from this site during harvest this year! A small block of Chardonnay is planted on the lowest end (closest to the lake) of this steep vineyard site, all of which will be hand-harvested and undergo a natural fermentation (using native rather than commercial yeasts) at the winery.
It would be unfair to comment much on the 2015 vintage since the most important weeks of the season are still ahead of us. Phil Davis, co-owner and grape-grower, maintains that the last 6-7 weeks of the vintage are crucial in the development of grapes, and how they respond to the given weather will speak truthfully about the outcome of the growing season. Overall we have seen clean and healthy fruit with low yields and great flavor profiles. A combination of winter damage and April's late frost resulted in a slightly lower Riesling crop than we had expected, but thankfully the remaining fruit is showing great promise. Davis cited his rigorous leaf-pulling program as the chief reason for healthy and expressive Pinot Noir fruit so far this year.
You can follow Damiani's Harvest on their FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/DamianiWine