Posts Tagged“niagara”

Leonard Oakes Winery 2012 Reserve Series Syrah

leonard-oakes-2012-reserve-syrah

“I’m not convinced about its place up here — but we had to give it a shot.” That’s one of the first things winemaker Jonathan Oakes told me when I asked about his soon-to-be-released syrah. Syrah is far from widely planted in the region, but most of what I’ve tasted has been delicious. And, after tasting Oakes’, I’m more convinced than ever at the grapes potential in and near the Niagara Escarpment AVA. Aged in heavily toasted American oak — even if the majority was two and three years old — Leonard Oakes Estate Winery 2012 Reserve Series Syrah ($23) shows a…

A Toast to the Adirondack Coast Wine Trail and Others

north-country-wine

Reports of veraison are finally beginning to arrive from the North Country, and after such wet weather, both the sunshine and this growth stage are welcome news.  It’s not just the grapes that are growing in upstate New York though — so are the wine trails. Recent legislation makes the Adirondack Coast Wine Trail an official part of the New York State Highway map. It’s just a little trail across sixty-six miles of road, linking seven wineries and cider houses, but it is a major development milestone for a new region that adds to the diversity of wine growing in the Empire State.…

Across the Border: The Quest For the Holy Grail — Ontario Pinot Noir

pinot-ontario

Perhaps it’s fitting that the first all-pinot-noir flight at this year’s Expert’s Tasting at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) was named after Monty Python’s classic film. If transcendent pinot noir is indeed the life-giving juice that flows from a cup then there are many out there spending their lives and fortunes looking for it, even though most everyone else already thinks it lies in Burgundy. Luckily my own quest to attend this year’s tasting was fulfilled, and I sat down with winemakers, wine writers, sommeliers and industry supporters to take a journey through several flights of…

Building on Success at Eveningside Vineyards

Eveningside Vineyards owner Randy Biehl stands in front of his new production facility in Cambria, NY by Bryan Calandrelli, Niagara Region Editor Randy Biehl doesn’t tend to wax romantic when he talks about his new production building – the construction of which is close to completion – at Eveningside Vineyards, the winery he owns on the Niagara Escarpment with his wife Karen. “I’m very aware we are in a critical time for our business,” he says.  “Expansion is when many businesses end up failing.” Knowing Biehl, you don’t chalk this up as simple boilerplate pessimism, but rather to his meticulous…

Freedom Run Winery 2008 Estate Riesling

By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief The first time I tasted this wine was at TasteCamp EAST 2009 and it was poured into my empty glass by our Niagara Escarpment editor, Bryan at some point during the wine-soaked weekend. I came away impressed with the effort and enjoyed a bottle that he gave me a few days later with some friends. Again, I liked it, enough to make this the first Niagara Escarpment wine to be a the New York Cork Club selection.  Bryan reminded me a few weeks ago that I still hadn't given it a formal review, so I pulled…

Leonard Oakes Winery: Going Those Extra Few Miles for Great Niagara Wines

Leonard Oakes Winery's winemaker Jonathan Oakes By Bryan Calandrelli, Niagara Escarpment Editor Tasting notes by Julia Burke Leonard Oakes Winery has remained somewhat under the radar here in the Niagara wine region. Lying just outside the Niagara County border a few miles into Orleans County, this young winery hasn’t yet benefited from the busy traffic that makes it to the Lockport/Cambria area wineries in the middle of the trail.  To be honest, I’m just as guilty as the rest of them because I’d only been there once since they opened – that is, until Jonathan Oakes called me last month…

Niagara Escarpment: Harvest 2009 is Underway

The harvest moon over Freedom Run Winery By Bryan Calandrelli, Niagara Escarpment Editor Harvest came early for me this year as my lovely wife gave birth to our son Wyatt Calandrelli on September 29, 2009, a full 12 days before he was due. Both he and mom are happy and healthy. As for myself I am exhausted from a long night and day of labor, a long night of celebrating, a seasonal cold and several sleepless nights of diaper harvesting.  So when I got invited to harvest grapes on Monday, I couldn’t resist dusting off my nippers and running my…

Chardonnay: New York’s Other White Grape?

By Bryan Calandrelli, Niagara Regional Editor What’s this area known for? What’s your specialty? Which white do you do best? These are all questions that I get asked when pouring local wine for newcomers to the Niagara region. I don’t always have time to explain the diversity of soils or the huge difference in how Lake Ontario moderates one mile from the lakeshore to six miles inland to the Escarpment. Nonetheless, people seem to want an answer as to what our signature white grape variety is or will be.  It's not an easy question to answer. In the Finger Lakes,…

Niagara Region 2009 Vintage: Definitely not 2007. Or even 2008.

  Pinot noir growing at Freedom Run Vineyards By Bryan Calandrelli, Niagara Region Editor Does everyone remember 2007? That was a great year, wasn’t it? And how about those whites from 2008? They have such a graceful balance of fruit and acidity…good times. Now that I’m feeling at ease, let me begin the conversation about this 2009 growing season in the Niagara region. It hasn’t been ideal to say the least. The cooler-than-normal temperatures, high humidity and relentless early rains kept disease pressure on everyone’s mind.  Wineries with an environmentally sustainable, organic approach have seen an especially challenging season. For…