Last week we had the pleasure of hosting James Molesworth, Senior Editor for Wine Spectator and author of wine blog Stirring the Lees, at our new production facility and tasting room. On previous trips to the Finger Lakes, James had visited us at our tasting room on Keuka Lake, but this was his first time seeing our new home on Seneca Lake.
James had the opportunity to take a walk through our vineyard with Winemaker, Morten Hallgren, who explained his decision to field graft the vineyard's few acres of hybrid vines over to Riesling:
"It's the first time in 25 years anyone has field grafted in the Finger Lakes. It makes sense: You keep the root structure in tact, don't have to redo the trellis system and only lose one harvest, rather than the four or more harvests you'd lose if you replanted entirely. We brought in a team from California and the success rate of the grafting was 98 percent. Anything around 80 percent is considered good. So we are really happy. But that's the first step. Now we have to get them through a winter and this first one will be the most risky for the newly grafted vines."
Watch the video of Morten and James in the White Springs Vineyard >
After touring the vineyards and cellar, James, Morten, and Lisa headed to the tasting room to taste a few of our recent releases, including the 2006 Brut Sparkling and 2011 Dry Riesling.
Molesworth described the 2006 Brut, "It's very refined, with subtle, fresh-cut pear, white peach, jicama and almond notes and a refined, gentle mousse through the finish. It shows a light toasty note but stays lighter in feel and more floral throughout."" I'd like to see it put in blind with a flight of Champagne—I think it would hold its own."
2011 Dry Riesling
And his thoughts on the Dry Riesling: "The Finger Lakes Riesling Dry 2011 looks to be one of the top bottlings from this heterogeneous vintage. It shows lovely cut from the start, with tarragon, flint, lime and pear peel notes and a long, nervy but invigorating finish...it's an excellent value."We had a wonderful time with James during his visit to our new winery and proud that he thinks so highly of our wines and the bright future for Ravines.
Read more about James' visit to Ravines on his blog Stirring the Lees and follow him on Twitter to see some great photos he took of the cellar and vineyards!