Monday, September 28, 2015

Finger Lakes Wine News 9/28/15

FINGER LAKES WINE (and beer) NEWS 9/28/15

- Finger Lakes wineries adopt solar energy

- Washington Post Writer Dave McIntyre praises the variety and experimentation of Finger Lakes wineries and features Red Tail Ridge's Sparkling Teroldego and Billsboro's skin-fermented Chardonnay

- More Craft Breweries opening in the Finger Lakes

- Finger Lakes wine served for Pope visit

- A list of Fall events in Finger Lakes wine country

- NY Wine and Culinary Center October events

- Huffington Post writer Malerie Yolen-Cohen wrote a very nice piece on 12 Hot Spots in the Finger Lakes, including Watkins Glen State Park pictured above

Monday, September 21, 2015

Two Finger Lakes Wineries Named in Wine & Spirits Magazine's Top 100 Wineries of 2015

Two Finger Lakes Wineries Named in Wine & Spirits Magazine's Top 100 Wineries of 2015

Wine & Spirits Magazine has just announced its Top 100 Wineries of 2015 and we are proud to say that 2 Finger Lakes wineries are included in the list, Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard and Sheldrake Point.

Owner and winemaker Fred Merwarth, whom Hermann Wiemer transferred ownership of the winery to in 2003, has certainly kept the tradition of high-quality wines intact. In the October 2015 issue of Wine & Spirits, five of Wiemer's wines scored 91 points or higher, helping to cement their spot in the Top 100 this year, with their 2011 Cuvee Brut scoring a stellar 94 points. Congratulations to Fred, Maressa, Oskar and the entire Hermann Wiemer team!

The Sheldrake Point team of Tauck/Madill/Breeden/Weiman add another accolade to their belts, with a 95 point rating in Wine & Spirits magazine this year for their 2014 Wild Ferment Ice Wine Riesling solidifying their spot in the Top 100 this year. Congratulations to the Sheldrake Point team.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Recent Finger Lakes Wine Scores from Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Recent Finger Lakes Wine Scores from Wine Enthusiast. Go to for more details (Subscription required for some content):

90 points, Lamoreaux Landing 2013 Unoaked Chardonnay, $15

90 points, Shaw 2013 Reserve Unoaked Cabernet Franc, $25

90 points, Lucas 2012 Limited Reserve Cabernet Franc, $20

90 points, Lucas 2010 Limited Reserve Cabernet Franc, $20

89 points, Sheldrake Point 2014 Pinot Gris, $16

89 points, Ventosa 2011 Cabernet Franc, $26

88 points, Lucas 2013 Cabernet Franc, $15

87 points, Atwater NV Bubble Pinot Noir Rose, $16

87 points, Atwater 2014 Dry Rose of Merlot, $25

87 points, Fox Run 2014 Rose of Pinot Noir, $15

87 points, Sheldrake Point 2014 Dry Rose, $14

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Finger Lakes Wine News 9/2/15

- Patrick Comiskey of Wine and Spirits Magazine writes about "Finger Lakes Riesling Thoroughbreds" and features Hermann Wiemers' Fred Merwarth

- Other states want to be the next "Finger Lakes". Articles from Minnesota and Texas.

- Burglars target Finger Lakes wineries

- NYWGF unveils new interactive Finger Lakes wineries website

- Wine bloggers post about their experiences at the Finger Lakes Wine Bloggers Conference: Winedom, Dallas Wine Chick, Wine for Normal People, Corks and Cuvee.  I'll highlight more thoughts on the conference in future posts.

- Damiani Wine Cellars on the east side of Seneca Lake sent out their Pre-Harvest thoughts today:

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