Posted: October 11, 2013 By James Molesworth
Posted: May 17, 2013 By James Molesworth
Posted: February 28, 2013 By James Molesworth
Posted: February 28, 2013
Posted: November 6, 2012 By Dana Nigro
Posted: October 26, 2012 By James Molesworth
Posted: October 12, 2012 By James Molesworth
In addition to a burgeoning number of quality-oriented wineries, the Finger Lakes is also home to a bustling food scene, much of it of the farm-to-table variety. Prices are often low (compared to what urbanites are used to), the settings are always casual and a few places are attached to or next door to wineries, making weekends of wine tasting and eating ideal. Here are a few options for good eats. You can also refer to my Nov. 2008 blog post for more recommendations on Finger Lakes dining.
Posted: October 9, 2012 By James Molesworth
After my visit to Ravines and a quick lunch, I headed up to Silver Thread Vineyard, which is under new ownership since being purchased by the husband-and-wife team of Paul and Shannon Brock. Paul, 36, is the former winemaker at Lamoreaux Landing and he also currently teaches viticulture and winemaking at Finger Lakes Community College. He accentuates the professorial background with his tussle of wiry black hair and thin-rimmed glasses. Shannon, 35, was wine educator at the New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canadaigua, so she also knows what it's like to stand at the head of a class and educate others about wine, and she commands attention with her bright, vivacious personality.
Posted: October 8, 2012 By James Molesworth
After leaving Fred Merwarth at Wiemer to deal with his remaining 70 tons of Riesling fruit, I headed farther up the western side of Seneca Lake to check on the new digs for Ravines Wine Cellars. Owned by Morten and Lisa Hallgren, the winery was started over on Keuka Lake in the 2002 vintage, and it's grown steadily since then, from a few thousand cases to now 14,000 cases annually, with a projected 20,000 cases within the next five years.
Posted: October 5, 2012 By James Molesworth
On my second day in the Finger Lakes I made my usual lap around Seneca Lake, the region's most prominent lake and home to the largest collection of wineries.
While I always try to mix in some new faces on each trip, I need to stop in at benchmark estates on a regular basis. Since assuming control in 2007, Fred Merwarth has made sure that the Hermann J. Wiemer estate hasn't skipped a beat. With 75 acres under vine and three-quarters of its 15,000-case annual production represented by Riesling, this is the flagship winery for the region's best grape.
Posted: October 3, 2012 By James Molesworth
Sheldrake Point's Bob Madill, a Canadian native, got the wine bug early. While working in tech and software, he was already moonlighting with Ontario wineries such as Lakeview Cellars in the '80s and early '90s.
"I was a cellar rat, a cellar master and then I learned how to sell wine too," said Madill, a spry 65. "The selling part was the hardest."
Posted: October 2, 2012 By James Molesworth
Well, it's been almost a month since I traveled. That's so long between trips, I think Nancy was starting to get annoyed with me being around the house too much. So, off I go again. This time, back to the Finger Lakes, just a four-and-a-half-hour drive from New York City.
The Finger Lakes is at the tail end of their harvest right now, so it's a fun time for me to check in and see how things are. Here in my office in New York I've been tasting through the bulk of the recently released Rieslings and other wines from the 2011 vintage, a tricky season for the region; so far 2012 looks to be much more even.
Posted: April 6, 2012 By James Molesworth
Posted: February 10, 2012 By James Molesworth
Peter Bell, 55, has been the winemaker at the Finger Lakes' Fox Run Vineyards since 1995. He stopped by my office today and following are some excerpts from our conversation.
Posted: January 20, 2012 By James Molesworth
Posted: August 23, 2011 By James Molesworth
Posted: July 13, 2011 By James Molesworth
With the Stonecat Café next door to Bloomer Creek winery, it was easy to decide on my lunch spot on my second day of visits in the Finger Lakes. It remains one of the best dining spots around, with an eclectic menu (orange fennel sausage) that relies heavily on locally sourced ingredients. After lunch, I continued up Route 414, popping my head in at the new Hector Wine Company and Standing Stone, and then it was off to Red Newt Cellars to taste the 2010 reds and whites followed by dinner at Red Newt Bistro.
Posted: July 11, 2011 By James Molesworth
In most wine regions, the older generation is typically the one holding onto tradition while the younger generation employs new ideas or techniques. In the Finger Lakes, though, the older generation is just as apt to be the one pushing as the younger one—since the older generation is basically the first one to break from the old Finger Lakes model of growing large quantities of hybrids and natives, rather than cutting yields and growing vinifera. I visited two such wineries on the morning of my second day here, Damiani and Bloomer Creek.
Posted: July 8, 2011 By James Molesworth
Posted: July 7, 2011 By James Molesworth
I made the drive up to the Finger Lakes yesterday morning, heading all the way over to Keuka Lake's west side for a stop at Keuka Lake Vineyards.
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