Mark Lipton wrote:
What follows is a rough draft of recommendations for the Finger Lakes
region of NY State. I would appreciate any additional information about
recommended wineries (or other wineries to recommend) as well as the
usual comments, criticisms and corrections.
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The Finger Lakes region of upstate New York is a cool weather growing
region that has been producing "serious" wines for about 30 years now.
Production there centers on the cooler climate vinifera grapes
(Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc) as well as
labrusca (native) and vinifera-labrusca hybrids. The latter grapes are
more suited to the cold winters of upstate NY, but are not to everyones'
tastes. Production centers around two lakes, Seneca and Cayuga, both of
which are near to Ithaca, NY.
Castle Gritsch - Terrific view, decent wines
Sheldrake Point (W Cayuga) - Pinot Noir, Riesling and Cabernet Franc
Hosmer (W Cayuga) - Pinot Noir, Riesling and Cabernet Franc
Standing Stone (E Seneca) - Excellent white wines
Wagner (E Seneca) - Good Riesling and Gewurztraminer, excellent beer
Dr. Konstantin Frank - A regional pioneer, good Riesling
Ravines - Good Riesling
Heron Hill - Good Riesling
Hermann J. Wiemar (W Seneca) -
Lamoreaux Landing - nice wines, interesting building (gorgeous tasting
A****er (E Seneca) -
Hazlitt 1852 (E Seneca) -
Red Newt - Nice bistro for lunch
Wagner Vineyards - Nice restaurant for lunch
Golden Knight Inn and Suites - Book far in advance
Castle Gritsch - B&B with nice view
I am not suggesting any changes. I just thought some might like a bit
of the Finger Lakes wine history, now that the subject has been brought
The Finger Lakes region wines were more important than California wines
at one time in the Eastern half of the US. Some of the wineries were
very well known well back into the 1800s. Although many of the wines
made from native grapes were "foxy", there was much experimentation
with hybrids, and a few hybrids made more conventional tasting wines.
The region was especially well known for "Champagne". Some of these
sparkling wines were fairly conventional tasting, but many tended to be
a bit sweet. Also, back then, there was a stigma toward wines made in
the US, especially on the East coast. Many would buy only imported
wines which often were French are German. However many of the imports
were of the most common sort and really not much better than many
domestic mass produced wines. WWII greatly changed this. With imports
from Europe cut off, wine distributors in the Eastern US had to find
local wines. Many California wines, including the likes of BV Private
Reserve became easy to obtain in many East coast wine shops, and some
drinkers of only imported wines found them to their liking. Since the
California wines, in the higher grades, were more like European wines
than the Finger Lakes wines, California wine sales displaced some of
the Finger Lake sales. However, after the war, Dr. Frank and others
showed how to grow Riesling and other European grapes in the region.
This has resulted in a greatly improved reputation for some of the
Finger Lakes wines. Also some other areas of New York are making decent
wines now, so I hear, but I have not had enough contact with these to
have any opinion.