Posts Tagged“ravines wine cellars”

Thoughts on the Finger Lakes’ Sh!##iest Vintage Ever

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“No reserve wines in 2009 due to shittiest vintage ever.” It was one of the greatest tweets I’ve ever read, because it came from a winery employee. The tweet is long since deleted, but that is close to a word-for-word recollection. How could I forget it? I admired it instantly. Wine and food writers are often sifting through spin, and this was unvarnished. That was the summer that wasn’t, as my wife calls it. Almost never sniffed 90 degrees, and spent most of July in the low-to-mid 70s. Ripening was slow, and when frost came in October, it was, for…

Getting Rose Right: Finally, the Finger Lakes is Making Consistently Excellent Rose. Here’s Why

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Photo via David Diaz, Damiani Wine Cellars No one is immune to bad ideas, and for years, the Finger Lakes had consistently bad ideas when it came to rose. It all seemed to culminate in one ill-fated February evening in 2014. You might be wondering why anyone was talking about rose in February, and you would be on to something. On the evening Thursday, February 27th, 2014, Fox Run Vineyards hosted an industry and media “Discover Dry Rose Grand Tasting.” Perhaps you recall that January and February of 2014 had been colder than an ex-lover, hammered by snow and raw…

7 Years of Ravines Wine Cellars Meritage

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There is a phenomena that is unique to the world of fine wine that gives some winemakers sleepless nights, sends collectors on quests that are akin to searches for the Holy Grail itself, and provides ample employment opportunities for wine writers and critics alike: Vintage Variation. For brewers and distillers, achieving consistency in their product is a common and overarching goal. But for producers of fine wines — particularly in cool climates — embracing inconsistency is more the norm. Most espouse the philosophy of “letting the grapes dictate the wine” by emphasizing the attractive characteristics that are presented by a…

Finger Lakes Region Mourns the Loss of Top Grape Grower Sam Argetsinger

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The Finger Lakes lost one of its most prominent grape growers on Sunday night when Sam Argetsinger died at his home. Argetsinger is the owner of his eponymous vineyard, which rises high above the southeast side of Seneca Lake. “We’re still in shock,” said Morten Hallgren, co-owner of Ravines Wine Cellars, which uses Argetsinger Vineyard fruit to make some of the finest wines in the region. “Sam was a loyal friend, a passionate grape grower, and an Iroquois translator who was so in touch with his environment that you could see it in his fiery blue eyes. A friend like…

The Joy of Going Vertical: Older Wines are Worth Pursuing

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The premise of a vertical tasting is simple – samples of the same wine are drawn from different vintages and are tasted in a side-by-side fashion to compare and contrast differences in the wine that can be attributed to variation in climatic and other growing conditions across various years of production. Of course, additional factors such as changes in winemaking styles, difference in fruit sourcing, and changes in blend composition can also play a major role in the flavor profile of a wine and need to be considered when choosing the wine and vintages for a vertical tasting. Assuming these…

Empire State Cellars Wine Club: July 2014 Selections

Over the years that I’ve been curating this this wine club, it has been my distinct pleasure to share a great many classic wines from classic New York wineries. We have a bit of that this month, but as I was finalizing the selections, it quickly became apparent that we had a lot of new and not-yet-classic wines and wineries represented. We have New York’s only Trebbiano. We have sparkling wines — one red, one white — that are the first releases of two new labels. And we have two Finger Lakes wineries — Kemmeter Wines and Forge Cellars —…

The 2012 Finger Lakes Vintage: Finally, the Hype is not Hyperbole

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“Don’t judge me by the size of my parents’ house.” These were the words a friend said to me in ninth grade before I came to hang out. He was concerned that I might judge him based on the opulence in which he was being raised. He worried I would assume he was just like his house: extravagant, showy, boasting of power. He needn’t have felt that way. No one should have to apologize for their parents’ success; we can simply hope it won’t make them lazy and entitled. The house is not the person. Circumstances change. I couldn’t help…

Empire State Cellars Wine Club: September 2013 Selections

The September shipment of the Empire State Cellars Wine Club will go out to members in a few weeks — but here’s a sneak peak of what is coming.. If you aren’t familiar with the club, you can learn more here. “Hello New York” Wines Charles Fournier 2012 “Gold Seal Vineyards” Riesling: Named for a Finger Lakes pioneer and his seminal vineyard, this negociant-made riesling is focused and fresh, showing pear and apricot flavors, nervy acidity and along, slate-y finish. A terrific value.  Wolffer Estate Vineyard 2010 “Red Letter”: The great 2010 growing season resulted some of Long Island’s best-ever <$20 reds, this…

In Death, a Finger Lakes Grower’s Impact, Achievements are Made Clear

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In the final days of his life, when 53-year-old Paul Wellington didn’t have the strength to feed himself, Tom Higgins would make the drive over and offer to hold Paul’s bowl, or spoon. Or his hand. Higgins had become a close friend of Paul Wellington and his wife, Carol Prendergast-Wellington. Wellington was the skilled grower and vineyard manager at acclaimed Hobbit Hollow Vineyard on Skaneateles Lake. At first, Higgins loved the fruit. In the end, Higgins loved the man. Wellington passed away on May 15 after a rather lengthy battle with brain cancer. His death is a blow to the…

Replacing Unwanted Vines with Better Varieties: Field Grafting Offers Solution for New York Producers

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Spend time with grape growers, and you’ll eventually hear them lament, “I’d love to rip X variety out of the ground and replace it with Y variety, but it would cost a fortune in time and money.” It’s true; the process of plowing up acres of vine, then planting new rows, can be cost prohibitive. I’ve heard from many winemakers over the years who tell me they’d love to get rid of their hybrid varieties. They’d love more riesling, for example. But it’s not like pulling up a Rose of Sharon and replacing it with a bed of Impatiens. Vineyard…