finger lakes

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April 30, 2014 Issue  :  Letters

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Posted: April 30, 2014  

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Fly Your Freak Flag

Pushing the boundaries in pursuit of betterment at Red Hook Winery and Channing Daughters in New York

Posted: April 2, 2014  By Ben O'Donnell

The world of winemakers has no shortage of madmen, fire-eaters, swashbucklers, prophets-a confederacy of crazy from the contrarians in California planting obscure Italian varieties to the biodynamic scofflaws of France who tussle with the governmental agency that regulates wines. Of course, that's why we love them: With great risks can come great wines. Without maverick spirits guiding them, we wouldn't have some of the world's iconic wines, like Penfolds Grange or Dagueneau Silex.

Both the Finger Lakes and Long Island are young regions, for vinifera anyway, and in nascent fine wine regions, to get to the next level, you have to go outside your own and your peers' vision of what those wines can be. To do that, you have to be defiant, ballsy, risky, crazy. I want to focus here on two wineries I recently visited where the driving philosophy is to get weird in the service of better wine.

News & Features  :  News

Winter Inflicts Damage on Cool-Climate Wine Regions

Growers in New York state, Ontario and the Midwest assess damage to vine buds

Posted: March 24, 2014  By Ben O'Donnell

Feb. 28, 2014 Issue  :  Features

Finger Lakes: Riesling Succeeds in 2012

Posted: February 28, 2014  By James Molesworth

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

19 Ripe Rieslings

New reviews of crisp whites from the 2012 vintage in New York’s Finger Lakes region

Posted: January 31, 2014  By James Molesworth

News & Features  :  News

Paul Hobbs and Johannes Selbach Announce Winery Project in New York's Finger Lakes

Star California and German winemakers will plant vineyards and produce Riesling

Posted: January 22, 2014  By James Molesworth

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

9 Piercing 2012 Whites

New reviews of distinctive Rieslings from New York’s Finger Lakes

Posted: October 11, 2013  By James Molesworth

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

14 Impressive and Diverse Wines

New reviews from Colorado and the Finger Lakes region of New York

Posted: May 17, 2013  By James Molesworth

Jan. 31 - Feb. 28, 2013 Issue  :  Tasting Reports

Finger Lakes Forges Ahead

Riesling makes its mark in this New York wine region

Posted: February 28, 2013  By James Molesworth

Jan. 31 - Feb. 28, 2013 Issue  :  Alphabetical Listing

Finger Lakes Alphabetical Listing

Posted: February 28, 2013  

News & Features  :  What We're Drinking Now

A Racy Riesling Anchors a Family Day at Sea

Ravines Finger Lakes Riesling Dry 2008

Posted: November 6, 2012  By Dana Nigro

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

25 Remarkable White Wines

The 2011 Riesling vintage challenged vintners in New York’s Finger Lakes

Posted: October 26, 2012  By James Molesworth

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Where to Dine in the Finger Lakes

Reviews of some choice eateries for hungry wine country vacationers

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.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Finger Lakes, Day 2: Silver Lining

The next stop on my Finger Lakes tour was at Silver Thread Vineyard

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.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Finger Lakes, Day 2: A Promising Seneca Newcomer

Morten and Lisa Hallgren have moved Ravines winery to Seneca Lake after purchasing White Springs Farm

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.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Finger Lakes, Day 2: Seneca's Riesling Benchmark

Tasting Hermann J. Wiemer's soon-to-be-released 2011 Rieslings with Fred Merwarth

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.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Finger Lakes, Day 1: A Canadian Son

Sheldrake Point's Bob Madill follows his Riesling's lead

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."

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Return to the Finger Lakes

Heading to visit with upstate New York's finest

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.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

16 Finger Lakes Rieslings

New reviews from the excellent 2010 vintage in upstate New York

Posted: April 6, 2012  By James Molesworth

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

A Sit-Down with Winemaker Peter Bell

The longtime Finger Lakes winemaker sees Riesling finally getting its due

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.

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