Posts Written ByBryan Calandrelli

You’ve Got Hail

By Brian Calandrelli, Niagara Correspondent This summer has tested vineyard managers throughout Niagara County, NY with rainy, humid and sometimes dangerous weather patterns. Hail fell from the sky at least three times, which made many in the industry rethink their expectations for their crops this year. I’ve read several reports on bad weather in Bordeaux, Burgundy and even on this site about Long Island, so it’s not all that surprising that our cool climate in the Niagara region wasn’t spared. I walked through Martin Schulze’s vineyard after the last hailstorm and the damage was obvious. On the east side of…

Diversity in the Vineyards of Niagara, USA

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By Bryan Calandrelli, Niagara Correspondent When pinpointing the origins of the Niagara Wine Trail, there will always be a few wineries recognized as the granddaddies of the region. Certainly Niagara Landing, formerly Cambria Wine Cellars, will be mentioned as well as the pinot-pushing Warm Lake Estate as the local pioneers. Others have followed their lead, and over the last two years, another handful have popped up. The differences in winemaking style, farming background and overall business strategy is quickly evident when you visit. Their diversity is most noticeable when you take a look at who’s planting what in their vineyards.…

A Cab Franc Lover’s Guide to Niagara USA Wines

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By Bryan Calandrelli, Niagara Contributor Whether you are a wine geek who can differentiate the sub-appellations of the Loire Valley or just a happy-go-lucky daytripper winding along a New York State wine trail, you’ve probably experienced cabernet franc. Long Island got me hooked some years back and I know I’m not the only one who marches up to tasting bars and skips ahead to this variety. Luckily for me, the Niagara USA region is starting to realize the potential of cab franc too as its young vines begin to produce. And, if you’re a cab franc lover planning a visit…

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards Joins the Trail

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By Niagara Escarpment Correspondent Bryan Calandrelli The Niagara Escarpment AVA added another winery this weekend as Arrowhead Spring Vineyards opened it doors to hundreds of chocolate-eating, wine-drinking visitors during the "Be Mine with Wine" trail event. The Niagara Escarpment itself provides a spectacular backdrop for vineyards in this area which is quickly making Cambria, NY a wine destination thanks to the six wineries located within a few miles of one another. Temperatures in the single digits and wind chills flirting with minus twenty below didn’t stop the hordes of tasters, myself included, from checking out the view from the newest…

The Sweet Hereafter

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By Bryan Calandrelli, Niagara Escarpment Correspondent One of the coolest parts about living in an area with a burgeoning wine region has to be the fact that you get to literally watch history unfold. Of course, some history takes place outside in the kind of cold that burns your lungs and freezes your eyeballs, but when I regain feeling in my fingers I’ll be able to look back on January 3 of this still-new year as the date that marks the first local harvest of ice wine grapes at not one but two local wineries. When temperatures dropped into the…