Posts Written OnMay 2012

Scenes from TasteCamp 2012 Virginia

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TasteCamp 2012 is now in the rear-view mirror. So as I ponder the stories told and the wines tasted, I wanted to share some of the highlights from the weekend event with a handful of pictures. I’d like to thank all of the wineries that poured for us and all of the winemakers and winery owners who took the time to share their corners of Virginia wine country with the group.

Ravines Wine Cellars Acquires White Springs Winery Vineyards, Production Facility in Significant Expansion

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Ravines Wine Cellars has closed on a deal to acquire the White Springs production facility, along with 42 acres of vineyards at the Geneva site. The deal includes an additional 19 acres not under vine. Owner Morten Hallgren explained that the deal is an acquisition of selective assets, not a merging of the two brands. White Springs owner Carl Fribolin will keep the White Springs Winery brand, along with the White Springs tasting room located on State Route 14. Ravines will custom-make wine for White Springs, which Hallgren had already been doing. Ravines will construct a tasting room within the existing…

Tap New York: Experiencing New York Beer at its Best

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Long Island’s Spider Bite Brewing won the TAP New York 2012 F.X. Matt Memorial Cup! Photo Credit: Niko Krommydas Teeming masses of increasingly inebriated folks who don’t know or care what’s being poured. 45-minute lines. Tired, stressed brewery staff dealing with falling-down drunks getting belligerent about “short” pours and closing times. All reasons I don’t love beer festivals. Which is why I was blown away while hanging out at the Custom Brewcrafters table on Saturday at Tap New York 2012; people were returning and bringing friends, even towards the very end of the day, because they remembered the beer. They asked for their…

Fighting Frost in the Finger Lakes

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Some photographs tell a deeper story than the first glance reveals. This beautiful shot was taken by Todd Eichas at New Vines Bed & Breakfast on the east side of Seneca Lake, shortly after 6:00am this past Saturday. It shows more than a placid spring morning. New Vines sits on top of a hill overlooking two of the region’s most acclaimed vineyards: Magdalena Vineyard and Josef Vineyard, which are owned and operated by Hermann J. Wiemer. Eichas says his thermometer read 28 degrees on Saturday morning, but he says the vineyards below are always several degrees warmer. I asked Hermann…

Goodale Farms Valencay-Style Goat

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There has been a lot in the local press about Goodale Farms as of late.  A year ago, in May 2011, the farm received a license to start making and selling cheese.  Just five months later, they had already won first place in their categories at the American Dairy Goat Association’s 2011 national convention. Winning awards just after a few months in production is quite impressive for cheesemakers new to the business. Goodale Farms in Aquebogue places a strong emphasis on milk quality and the natural farming practices required to support it.  They don’t use pesticides and the fertilizer is…

Screwcaps at Paumanok Vineyards — Not Just for White Wines Anymore

Paumanok Vineyards 2010 Assemblage on the Stelvin bottling line

Photo courtesy of Paumanok Vineyards Kareem Massoud, winemaker at Paumanok Vineyards, has a thing for screwcaps. I wouldn’t say that loves them — that’d be kinda weird — but believes in them and loves talking about them. Just trying talking to Kareem for any length of time without alternative closures coming up. It’s damn near impossible. Kareem, like his father Charles before him, takes a very thoughtful, logical approach to the family’s wines. “My parents bought this farm in 1983 and planted grapevines on bare land,” he says “Many years were spent establishing the vineyard until the vines bore fruit for the…

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2010 Syrah

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With all due respect to Long Island and the Finger Lakes, the most exciting wines on my tasting table over the past month or so have been from the Niagara region of New York.  Generally speaking, they are well-made wines that are well priced and show the kind of distinctiveness I look for. This Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2010 Syrah ($35) is on the higher end of the pricing scale, but it delivers today and has the stuffing to improve in the bottle over the next five to ten years. The intense, layered nose shows dark, brooding fruit — blueberry, blackberry…