By Melissa Dobson, Finger Lakes News Correspondent

Last Saturday, Rich and I attended the 7th Annual Martini-Reinhardt Selection Grazing Gala at Anthony Road Wine Company. From our first trip to visit the winery last fall, the crisp, clean lineup of wines and the welcoming personalities behind them pushed them to our list of favorites here in the Finger Lakes. That’s no small feat considering that we have encountered a good amount of nice wines and friendly people along the way.

What continues to impress me is the laser-sharp focus and vision of winemaker Johannes Reinhardt.  Johannes is soft-spoken with an enchanting way about him that draws you in. Both he and his wife, Imelda have a talent for making you feel as though you’re the only person in the room when they’re speaking with you. Their passion for each other’s happiness as well as for their shared belief in the need to push for consistent, quality-focused wines in the Finger Lakes region is evident and admirable.

The M-RS Grazing Gala featured hors d’oeuvres and small plates prepared by Red Newt Bistro‘s Deb Whiting with each plate paired with a select Anthony Road wine.

Just prior to the dessert course, owner Ann Martini asked Johannes to speak to attendees about conditions and winemaking details of the 2008 dessert wines.  As I mentioned in this week’s “What We Drank” post, they will be available in bottle within the next 2-3 months.