After college, Fred Merwarth cold-called Hermann J. Wiemer, a German vintner known for Riesling in the Cornell-adjacent Finger Lakes, he was shocked to hear that Wiemer would take him as an apprentice. That was 2001; Merwarth, now 36, has worked there ever since. With Wiemer, a pioneer in his region, Merwarth has continued to position the winery as the standard-bearer of Finger Lakes Riesling. In 2007, he purchased the brand from his teacher. Merwarth spoke with Wine Spectator's Esther Mobley about the Finger Lakes and the winery where he is owner, winemaker and vineyard manager.