Sunday, February 25, 2007

Finger Lakes News & Notes

- Buffalo NY Photographer John Pfahl makes "mountains out of molehills"

- Small business is new core of area economy

- Ventosa Vineyards owner's plan is becoming reality

- Partnerships help Finger Lakes tourism

- Wine tasting test shows wine glass makes a difference

- The Star-Gazette's Jeff Richards gives the scoop on newly released Finger Lakes Reds

- Finger Lakes whites recommended for fondue

- Biofuels plant may threaten Seneca White Deer

- Corning Museum of Glass to display Harvard Glass Flowers

- Summit takes place to improve life in Twin Tiers

- Finger Lakes area offers more "women-only" packages

- McGregor Vineyard's unique Black Russian Red to be celebrated

- York Staters ponders the origin of NY place names & the Original Finger Lakes Cuisine

- Lenn at LennDevours reviews Tierce Riesling

- Finger Lakes Wine Tribune reviews Finger Lakes wine

- iJamming's Finger Lake Wine Report - Part 5

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Finger Lakes Wineries New Wine Releases

- Finger Lakes wineries are starting to release the much anticipated 2006 whites and the long-awaited 2005 reds.

The following press release is from Dr. Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars:
Dr. Frank's NEW Releases are now Available!
Four new vintages are now available from Dr. Frank's Vinifera Wine
Cellars! We now have a full stock of Dry Riesling,
Rkatsiteli, Gewurztraminer and Cabernet Sauvignon! For more
information about these wines, and to order online, go to

Dr. Frank Dry Riesling 2006 - This Award Winning Dry Riesling,
presenting a green gold hue, displays the traditional
qualities of Dr. Frank's Riesling: crisp acidity, a pronounced
mineral character and layers of fruit aromas.
Descriptors include honeysuckle, apple, pear, quince and a lot of
minerality resulting from the clay terroir of the
vineyard. The ripeness of the grapes resulted in a great texture
with a lingering fruity aftertaste.

Dr. Frank Rkatsiteli 2006 - The Rkatsiteli shows its characteristic
fruity complexity resulting from early bottling.
Along with the intense fruit are the typical spicy notes as well as
pineapple and mango notes. The wine is presented in
a dry version with the crisp acidity, the residual sugar and the
tremendous fruit providing a very pleasant balance.
The Rkatsiteli remains one of Dr. Frank's greatest achievements in
the Finger Lakes.

Dr. Frank Gewurztraminer 2006 - The 2006 offering shows the
characteristic aromas of grapefruit, lime, lychee, banana
and the spiciness associated with the Gewurztraminer variety. The
slight residual sugar balances the phenolic elements
typical of Gewurztraminer with the complexity of mineral overtones
that presents the wine with a long, clean fresh
finish. This wine can be paired with spicy dishes with great

Dr. Frank Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 - The Cabernet Sauvignon reflects
the growing conditions of the exceptional 2005
vintage. The dark, deep black currant color is followed with a
nose of ripe plum, fig and smoked oak with a touch of
leathery notes. On the palate this full bodied wine is well
balanced with a good acidity and young tannins showing its
aging potential.

The following press release is from Glenora Wine Cellars:
Glenora Wine Cellars is excited to release two new wines from 2006, Finger Lakes Dry Riesling and Finger Lakes Riesling, both wines are exceptional!" These wines are produced from grapes grown during the long growing season of 2006. The season started off warm and dry, but cooled off toward the end of the season. These conditions tend to favor the development tropical and citrus fruit flavors in cool climate varieties like Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Cayuga White.
Winemaker Steve DiFrancesco says the Dry Riesling has flavors reminiscent of limes, with a crisp, firm acid and a lingering finish. It’s just off-dry at .95% Residual Sugar. The Riesling has flavors of tangerines with good body, a very pleasant semi-dry balance, with 3.1% Residual Sugar and a long, juicy finish.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Another award for Finger Lakes wine

- This news is in from Fox Run Vineyards:

Fox Run Vineyards Riesling Wins Gold in France

For Immediate Release
Contact: Susan Capozzi, (315) 536-4616

Penn Yan, NY – Fox Run Vineyards took home a Gold Medal at the Riesling Du Monde ( Riesling in the world) Wine Competition held in Strasbourg, France. Fox Run Vineyards 2005 Riesling won Gold in the ‘Generic’ category. The competition featured over 500 Rieslings from 12 countries that were submitted to the jury panel.

Fox Run Vineyards owner Scott Osborn states “Out of the 71 Gold medals awarded, only one was given to a winery from the United States . We are extremely honored to be the only American winery to win Gold and excited to represent New York State and the Finger Lakes Region.” Osborn added “Riesling has long been revered as the premier grape of the Finger Lakes and we are pleased that it is getting the recognition it deserves.”

The Riesling Du Monde was created in 1998 and Rieslings are submitted from wine producing regions throughout the world to an international jury of oenologists and professional tasters. The variety of places where the wine is produced illustrates the diversity, richness and originality of wines made from this grape.

Water into Wino said...
That's a juicy tidbit. I'd love to know who else in the USA entered.
9:07 PM
Finger Lakes Weekend Wino said...
WIW, It's hard to tell what other US Rieslings were entered from their website:
They only say there were 534 samples from over 300 winemakers from 12 countries. No other US winery is listed as winning a medal. There were a couple of Canadian medals. I count 81 Premier Gold & Gold Awards out of 534 entries. It's pretty impressive for Fox Run to medal with all those European wineries. I think it says a lot for Finger Lakes Riesling.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

New York Winners in Florida State Fair Wine Competition

- I'm passing on this report from Jim Trezise of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. Jim is literally everywhere; I'll bet he has an amazing amount of Frequent Flyer Miles. I will provide the link to all the medal winners as soon as the Florida State Fair posts it. Here is the link:

“BEST OF SHOW” is the top honor that wines may receive at competitions, and New York got two of the four at this week’s Florida State Fair International Wine & Juice Competition in Tampa, where 24 judges blind-tasted over 1,500 wines from around the world. For the fourth year in a row, Swedish Hill Winery Spumante Blush, a mouth-filling Catawba-based bubbly, won Best of Show Sparkling Wine, joined for Best of Show Dessert Wine by Casa Larga Vineyards 2005 Fiori della Stella Vidal Ice Wine, a luscious golden nectar which won our Governor’s Cup (Best of Show) two years ago along with many top awards across the country. These two Finger Lakes winners were joined by 139 other New York wines which shone brightly in the Sunshine State, with 6 Double Gold, 13 Gold, 38 Silver, and 82 Bronze medals. The other Double Gold medals went to Duck Walk Vineyards 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, Hunt Country Vineyards 2005 Late Harvest Vignoles (Best of Class, and the only other contender for Best of Show Dessert Wine), Lakewood Vineyards 2005 Chardonnay (rated the best Chardonnay in the entire competition, and made partially with New York oak), and Swedish Hill Country Concord (a consistent winner around the country). Gold medals went to Casa Larga Dolce Bianco, Castello di Borghese 2005 Chardonnay, Earle Estates Pear Mead, Goose Watch 2005 Lemberger, Goose Watch Bartlett Pear, Hunt Country 2005 Vidal Ice Wine, Keuka Spring Crooked Lake Red, Keuka Spring Celebrate, King Ferry 2006 Semi-Dry Riesling, Lucas 2005 Limited Reserve Cabernet Franc, Rooster Hill 2005 Semi-Dry Riesling, Six Mile Creek 2004 Cabernet Franc, Swedish Hill 2005 Late Harvest Vignoles, and Torrey Ridge Catawba. With all the “snowbirds” and New York transplants, Florida is a natural market for New York wines which we are going to concentrate on starting this fall, building on all the medals won. The Florida competition is one of the funnest that I judge, not just because it’s Florida in February, but especially because of the special people connected with it and the openness of the judges to all types of wines. The Best of Show Red Wine went to the 2004 Orfila Estate Syrah from California, and the Best of Show White Wine went (by a wide margin) to a nonvintage Schilling Bridge Edelweiss from…Nebraska! Edelweiss is a hardy, cold-climate, “ Minnesota ” variety which produces a delicate, floral, slightly sweet wine that can be spectacular like this one. A couple years ago, during the “Best of Show” round at the LA Wines of the World competition, when Edelweiss was presented a bunch of the judges started singing the song (from “The Sound of Music”} and swaying in their chairs. The Florida competition also has, appropriately, “Best of Show” honors for Florida wines, which were Dakotah Vineyards Carlos (a muscadine white which electrifies the palate), Florida Orange Groves Mango Mama (sparkling), Keel and Curley Semi-Dry Blueberry (red), and San Sebastian Cream Sherry (dessert). These wines are such fun and so good! A final footnote: As usual, New York Rieslings did well in this competition, but the Best of Class award went to Filsinger 2006 Riesling from the exciting Temecula region in hot southern California , an unlikely climate for a cool climate variety; but this was truly a beautiful wine. Also, Casa Larga’s ice wine had stiff competition from another Double Gold winner, Ferrante from Ohio , which also shows well in competitions around the country. It’s so exciting to find great wines coming from so many states. Wine—the all-American art form.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Finger Lakes News & Notes

- The Stamp Family honored at Viticulture 2007.

- A recipe to go with your Riesling

- Viticulture 2007 educates the wine industry

- Finger Lakes wineries shipping more wine out of state

- You have to read it to believe it

- No "swan song" for Trumpeter Swans

- Higher gas prices brings cash to Southern Tier folks

- Finger Lakes photographer's work show at Cayuga Museum

- California wineries are trying to get back on the Riesling bandwagon

- Here is Wine Enthusiast Magazine's 2006 Grape Harvest Region Summaries. They got different news than I did. I heard the harvest in The Finger Lakes was pretty good. Wine Enthusiast says:
New York - After two rugged winters that sliced yields by as much as 50% in the Finger Lakes, New York vintners were hoping for better in ’06. ‘Twas not to be. Rain in summer and fall—and birds and deer “feasting on us,” laments Charles Massoud of Paumonok Vineyards on Long Island—reduced yields by a third. Producers in both regions say Chardonnay and Riesling, harvested between the rains, will be good to excellent. The Finger Lakes escaped frost until the end of harvest in late October. —Mort Hochstein

- Champy takes beautiful photographs of the Finger Lakes area

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Finger Lakes News & Notes

- If you are looking for information about a particular Finger Lakes winery, has informational summaries of each winery. Just go to and choose the "Find A Winery" tab on the right side of the page and then click on the winery that you are interested in. Also, Sheila Livadas' Featured Winery Article is located on the right side of the page. Check out her current article on Montezuma Winery.

- The 2007 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Awards have been announced and here are The Finger Lakes Award Winners:

As I mentioned in a recent post, I am always impressed with Mark Wagner's wines at Lamoreaux Landing. They define elegance and balance and always seem to have many layers of flavor. And the wine judges of the S.F. Competition felt the same, awarding Best of Class to Lamoreaux Landing's 2005 Chardonnay & 2005 Reserve Chardonnay. I know I have a couple of bottles in my cellar that I will savor. I've long said that I believe that Finger Lakes Chardonnay can match up with any other region & Lamoreaux Landing beat out a bunch of the California mega wineries. Congratulations to Mark and the staff at Lamoreaux Landing. Well Deserved!!!
-Best of Class Chardonnay - Up to $13.99
Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars
2005 Chardonnay
Lamoreaux Landing Finger Lakes, New York $12.99
- Chardonnay - $20.00 to $29.99
Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 2005 Chardonnay Reserve

- Lucas Vineyards earned Silver medals for their 2005 Dry Riesling $12.99 and
2005 Semi Dry Riesling$12.99 and for their 2005 Cayuga White and Miss Behavin. Congrats!!!

- And Prejean Winery earned Bronze medals for their 2005 Riesling $11.99 and 2005 Dry Riesling $11.99. And I'll put a vote in for their superb Gewurtzraminer!!!

Finger Lakes Valentines Events

- "Be Mine" Red Wine Sale Feb 10 - Feb 11 12:00 Noon - 5:00 PM at Goose Watch Winery

- Be Mine With Wine Feb 10 - Feb 11 on the Keuka Lake Wine Trail
Spend the weekend tasting the best romantic foods Keuka Lake has to offer. Each winery will offer a tantalizing recipe paired with a different and unique wine. Plan for a great getaway weekend.
$20 per person in advance$25 per person at the door
10AM to 5PM Saturday; Noon to 5PM Sunday

- Chocolate & Wine on Seneca Lake Feb 10 - Feb 11 on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail

- Chocolate, Wine and Roses Feb 10 - Feb 11 at Americana Vineyards
A free rose for the ladies with a purchase. Experience wines paired with chocolate desserts.

- Fire and Ice Festival Feb 11 Noon - 5:00 PM
at Casa Larga Vineyards
On Sunday, February 11th from Noon until 5pm, Casa Larga will host its annual Fire and Ice Festival. This festival is the highlight of Fiori Month, the month-long celebration of Casa Larga’s highly acclaimed Fiori Vidal and Fiori Cabernet Franc Ice Wines.
The Fire and Ice Festival gives the public a chance to learn about ice wine production and to taste the wines that are created through the unique process. Ice wine tastings will be available at the outdoor ice bar, including tastings of the award-winning Fiori Vidal Ice Wine, and the newly released Fiori Cabernet Franc Ice Wine. The day will also include wine seminars hosted by Casa Larga’s in-house wine educator, and food demonstrations by Simply Crepes restaurant. Starbucks will be on-site providing coffee beverages and coffee tasting education to guests throughout the day.
Festival guests will receive a keepsake wine glass and a goodie bag with special offers from Casa Larga’s partners, including Starbucks, Canalside Florals, Thrillz Spa and Salon, and Vanilla Swirl Cookie Company. Tickets can be purchased on the day of the event - $10 for Wine Lover’s Club Members, and $12 for non-members.
The festival will be held at Casa Larga Vineyards, 2287 Turk Hill Road in Fairport – just up the hill from EastView Mall! For more information on Fiori Month events or ice wine, contact Casa Larga’s Wine Shop at (585) 223-4210 or visit

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Tips for Visiting Finger Lakes Wine Country

Here are some tips if you are planning a trip to the Finger Lakes wineries:

1. Try to plan at least one weekday into your trip. The wineries can be crowded on the weekends, especially during the fall foliage and holiday season from October to December. However, if you visit the wineries on a week day, the wineries are a lot less crowded.

2. Plan which wineries or which lakes that you want to visit. There are more than 80 wineries on Cayuga, Seneca, and Keuka Lakes. There are around 50 on Seneca, and perhaps 15-20 each on Keuka and Cayuga. It is impossible to visit them all on just a weekend. In my experience, a reasonable goal is 5 or 6 wineries maximum per day. If you know what your taste in wine is, I would suggest researching the wineries and the wines they offer by going to their websites. The Finger Lakes Wine Country website has a good winery directory with website links. This way, you can eliminate the wineries that do not have wines that appeal to you and get more information on the wineries that interest you. Or you can email me with your wine taste preferences and I can suggest wineries that I feel would match your palate. To email me, just fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

3. Once you have narrowed down your winery visit list, plan your route. The Uncork New York website has some good maps of the wineries on each lake. The roads in the area are very good, but if you have never driven in this area before, you will definitely want a good map because it is a rural area and it is easy to take a wrong turn. But the area is very safe and the people are very friendly and will point you in the right direction if you ask. The lakes are within a 20-30 minute drive of each other, so if you want to choose a few wineries on one lake and a few on another, it is reasonably easy to do. Keep in mind that most of the wineries are open from approximately 11am to 5pm, so schedule your time accordingly. As far as driving yourself as you taste wines, please use good judgement. Most of the wineries offer 5 to 8 tastings resulting in perhaps a half glass of wine being consumed at each stop. Take water with you to hydrate and take a meal break at some point and don't overindulge and you should be fine. The police in the area do not target winery visitors, but if you are driving erratically, you will be stopped. If you want someone else to do the driving so that you can taste wine safely and enjoy the trip without the hassles of driving, try my friends at Finger Lakes Wine Adventures for a Fun & Educational Wine Tasting Tour of The Finger Lakes-

4. Allot at least 30 minutes at each winery for tastings; more than that if the winery has a museum, or gift shops, or additional features to see. Some are still free, but most of the wineries now charge one or two dollars for 5 to 8 tastings; sometimes an additional dollar or two to taste their premium wines, so bring along some cash for tasting fees. Still, even with the fees, you are getting about a half a glass of wine for about a buck. And bring your credit card to buy the wine that you like, as well as all those neat gifts that the wineries have for sale.

5. Please be polite and respectful to your fellow wine tasters, especially when the wineries are crowded. The wineries are used to serving large crowds and they will serve you as quickly as possible. A little bit of patience goes a long way. Besides, what could be better- you are in a winery, tasting wine with other wine lovers. And wine people are some of the friendliest people around. You are sure to make some friends as you see the same people traveling from winery to winery on your wine tasting day.

6. Dress for the weather. The Finger Lakes can be very cool in spring and fall, very hot in mid-summer, and downright brutal in winter. There is almost always a breeze blowing off the lakes, which can make it feel even cooler, so it is wise to take a jacket with you in spring and fall. You will be standing a lot at wine tasting bars & walking a lot from the car to the wineries so wear comfortable shoes.

7. Ask questions about the wines that are being served. The winery staffs are very knowledgable and ready to answer any questions. Take good notes about the wines, so that you can remember what you like and don't like. A lot of people like to taste on one day and then go back around and buy based on their tasting notes on another day. Bring your camera. The wineries and tasting rooms are beautiful and the views around the lakes are spectacular.

8. Take a look through the Archives here at Finger Lakes Weekend Wino. There are posts on things to do and see in the Finger Lakes. Have Fun on your trip to The Finger Lakes and maybe I'll see you on the Wine Trail. If you have any questions, please email me at the email address at the top of the page.