Press and news that features Ravines Wine Cellars
Beginning this weekend at Ravines Wine Cellars' two tasting rooms, visitors will have the opportunity to try a different kind of wine tasting.
In addition to our usual tasting of five wines, our wine and cheese pairing featuring Finger Lakes cheeses, or our chocolate pairing of wine with Hedonist chocolates, we will be offering a flight of sparkling wines: Sparkling Keuka, the new 2007 Sparkling Brut, and 2015 Ayre.
2007 Sparkling Brut ($34.95, online or in the tasting room) is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, both from the Argetsinger Vineyard, and has delicate aromas of baking brioche, delicate white lilies, and a flinty minerality.
Sparkling Keuka ($19.95 at either tasting room) was released last summer as a Ravinous Club exclusive; now it is available for general purchase. This wine is a sparkling version of our popular Keuka Village White blend of Cayuga and Vignoles.
2015 Ayre ($9.95, tasting room only) is our semi-sparkling, semi-sweet interpretation of Moscato d'Asti. At only 8% alcohol, and sporting aromas of peach and orange blossoms, it's a fun way to end a tasting - or a meal!
Tastings of these wines are exclusively available with this flight.
Chef Scott Riesenberger has come up with small bites to pair with each wine.
Our tasting rooms are located at 400 Barracks Road in Geneva (on Seneca Lake), and 14630 Route 54 in Hammondsport (on Keuka Lake). For more information, and hours of operation, click here,
Last Sunday, January 15, Ravines kicked off its "Chef and Winemaker" series with a vertical tasting of 5 vintages of Ravines Meritage.
Attendees had a chance to do a side-by-side tasting of the 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 vintages, and winemaker Morten Hallgren surprised everyone by bringing a couple of bottles of the 2006 vintage as well. According to Morten, all of the tasted vintages are "far away from peaking", although both the 2006 and 2010 are closer than the others (2006 because it's older, 2010 because it was riper and more lush).
In his opening remarks, Morten also said that these Meritage blends have amazing aging potential, and that as a relatively young wine region we don't know how many years the wines can age for. "Perhaps in another ten years we can do another tasting like this with the same wines."
Having a chance to taste these vintages together shows the significant differences between years ("vintage variation"). The Finger Lakes doesn't have the luxury of consistent weather - 2006 and 2009 were both cooler years with later harvests, 2010 was warm and sunny, 2008's weather was in-between, and 2011 was a combination of everything with a warm spring and rainy September.
The event started with a chance for attendees to try to create their own Meritage blend. Everyone was given some of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from the 2015 harvest (both taken from barrel) and some of the newly-released 2015 Cabernet Franc (poured from bottles), and after tasting each component everyone started to blend different proportions of the three wines together to create something pleasing. Morten tends to use a higher proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in his Meritage blends (such as the new 2013 Maximilien), but some participants seemed to prefer a more Merlot-heavy blend.
Ravinous Kitchen Chef Scott Riesenberger created a slate of small bites to complement the wines. Smoked duck, fondue, and potato tart each harmonized with the Meritage and enhanced the experience - as it should be, since Ravines' wines are designed to go with food.
The full schedule for upcoming Chef and Winemaker events is available here. Seats are limited, so book yours early!
Winter isn't a time to relax at Ravines Wine Cellars. In the past month, we have released three new wines - new vintages of our Sparkling Brut, Dry Riesling, and Cabernet Franc.
Ravines' 2007 Sparkling Brut is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes from the Argetsinger Vineyard. The wine was made in the traditional way, also called Méthode Classique, and lay en tirage (in the bottle, with yeasts) for seven years before being disgorged. This vintage displays delicate aromas of baking brioche, delicate white lilies, and flinty minerality. 2007 Brut is available for $34.95 online or at one of our tasting rooms.
Ravines' 2015 Dry Riesling is the followup to the Wine Spectator Top 100 award winning 2014 vintage. This year's vintage remains a blend of grapes from both of our vineyards (White Springs and 16 Falls) and also includes a small percentage of grapes from Serenity Vineyards. Delightfully dry at 4g/l of residual sugar, our Dry Riesling displays a racy acidity and distinct minerality. 2015 Dry Riesling is available for $17.95 online or in the tasting room.
Our most recent release is the 2015 Cabernet Franc. Unlike many wines using this grape, Ravines' Cabernet Franc is fruit-forward with bright red and black fruits. This wine will cellar well! 2015 Cabernet Franc is available for $21.95 online or in the tasting room.
You can taste and purchase these wines at either of our two tasting rooms. The Geneva tasting room is open daily from 10:00am - 5:00pm; the Keuka Lake tasting room is currently open Friday through Sunday from 10:00am - 5:00pm. Click here for directions and more information.
In its December 31, 2016 issue, Wine Spectator selected Ravines Wine Cellars' 2014 Dry Riesling as one of the Top 100 Wines in the world. This is the 4th time a Ravines wine has been selected to be on this prestigious list, following our 2012 Argetsinger Vineyard Dry Riesling, 2012 Dry Riesling, and 2009 Dry Riesling. We are proud to be the only New York State winery to appear on more than one Wine Spectator Top 100 list.
"A taut, dry style with pure lime, kiwifruit, and pippin apple flavors backed by a slate note that gives the finish good tension and length."
Previously, this wine was chosen by Food & Wine Magazine as a Top 10 Value Wine.
Ravines' unique style of Riesling is characterized by an elegant, dry style with delicate, complex aromatics, distinct minerality, and vibrant acidity. Aging on the fine lees has resulted in a gentle round texture.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
New York Times wine columnist Eric Asimov's annual Thanksgiving wine panel column featured 10 wines, including Ravines' 2013 Pinot Noir.
The pinot noir reminded me ... of a trousseau from the Jura...pale-colored, subtle and reticent on its own... fresh, herbal flavors come alive with food.
This Pinot Noir produced by Ravines Winemaker/Co-owner Morten Hallgren has delicate aromas of ripe cherry, red plum, sultry spices and earthiness which create a sensual and engaging complexity. Grown in the cool climate of the Finger Lakes where the grapes ripen slowly, developing complexity and preserving acids required for fine winemaking, this Pinot Noir was grown at low yields of 2 1/2 tons of fruit to the acre, which encourages a concentration of flavors and the expression of sous bois aromas. The grapes were carefully hand-picked and fermented on their skins for 3 weeks in open-top fermentors, recieving gentle punch-downs twice daily to ensure a gentle extraction which allows for flavor and aromas without harsh tannins. The wine then ages 10 months in high quality, older French Oak barrels and recieves another 2 years of bottle aging where it further evolves.
This recipe, created by Ravinous Kitchen Chef Scott Riesenberger, is an elegant and healthier alternative to the traditional turkey, infused with herbs, nuts and fruit. 2 large turkey, boneless/ skinless breast 6 T unsalted butter, browned and cooled 2 turkey, legs, freshly ground or finely chopped 4 oz chopped, dried cranberries 6 oz chopped, roasted walnuts 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped 1 bunch sage, finely chopped 1 tsp ground allspice Salt and black pepper
Butterfly the turkey breast and pound to roughly ¼ inch thick. Combine all remaining ingredients and keep cold. Place filling in a horizontal line down one side of the pounded breast, roll and tie with butchers twine. Season with salt, pepper and allspice, sear on all sides in a hot skillet and place in the oven at 325 degrees for roughly 20 minutes. You can check internal doneness with a meat thermometer or by inserting a thin knife into the center and making sure the center is hot or at 165 degrees. Keep warm until ready to serve. Slice into 1” slices so beautiful circular design is facing up. Drizzle with gravy, if preferred. Pairs beautifully with Ravines 2013 Pinot Noir.
Today Wine Spectator's prestigious Top 100 list was released for 2015 and Ravines 2012 Dry Riesling, a single vineyard Riesling from the amazing Argetsinger Vineyard, was on the list. This is the third time in the past five years that a Ravines Dry Riesling has made the list. Ravines Oenologist/Winemaker Morten Hallgren has always produced steely, mineral-laden Dry Rieslings since his first vintage in 2002. "The top producers at the time focused on the sweeter, German style, but I wanted to express the pure mineral and fruit side."
Sam Argetsinger, who passed away almost a year ago, was an incredible person and a passionate grape grower. His vineyard is on a very special site. His children own the vineyard now, with son, Beren, at the helm of management.
This wine is described by James Molesworth as having "taut, lip-smacking acidity [which] harnesses the core of Jonagold apple, heather, white peach and candied citrus peel notes in this ripe white, keeping this focused and energetic through the finish."
If you have visited our Keuka Lake tasting room recently, you might have noticed some activity on the slopes behind the building. We cleared the slope and have planted over 6,000 Riesling and Chardonnay vines on 5.5 acres overlooking the lake.
Our vineyard team used GPS and laser technology to plant the vines precisely in line to allow for optimal maintenance.
The steep slope will allow maximum sunlight to reach the approximately 4,000 Riesling vines and over 2,000 Chardonnay vines. The clones that were planted are Riesling 198 and Chardonnay Colmar and 95.
According to Winemaker Morten Hallgren, the trellis posts and wires will be installed within the next month; plastic growth tubes were placed around the vines over the past couple of weeks. The tubes help train the vines to grow straight and also protect from animals which might try to eat the new growth.
It will be several years before any grapes from this new vineyard find their way into our bottles, but visitors are always welcomed to stop by to see how the vines are progressing and taste through our delicious wines.
Ravinous Club members will be receiving their club boxes for May 2015 soon. One of the four wines in this collection is our 2011 Meritage, a Bordeaux-style blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot.
This wine has opened up tremendously since it was released last fall. Right now, tastes of red cherry predominate at first, giving way to woodsy notes; there is a long finish of red currant and raspberry.
Compared to other Ravines Meritage releases in a recent vertical tasting, the 2011 is still young, but shows great potential for the future. This year's blend is the first with no Cabernet Franc, so it tastes fresh and bright. (In comparison, the 2005 vintage was predominantly Cabernet Franc. The 2006 through 2010 vintages each contained approximately 25% Cabernet Franc.)
Come try the 2011 Meritage at either of our tasting room locations, perhaps as part of a pairing with local cheeses. We feature Meritage paired with Keeley's "Little Pond", a semi-soft cow's milk cheese from a friend of ours on Cayuga Lake.
If you've visited one of our tasting rooms, it's likely that you have seen the "Library List" near the register. This is a list of older vintages of some of our wines that are available for purchase. We hold back a few cases of each release so that our customers can buy some of these beautifully aged wines.
Successive vintages of the same wine can be very different. Since 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2012 were warm and sunny, the wines from those years tend to be fruit-forward and more intense. 2006 and 2009 were cooler, and the wines from those vintages are balanced and show great cellaring potential. 2011 had a little of everything, with a cool and wet spring, warm dry summer, and warm and wet fall.
While you might expect the majority of our older wines to be reds, we have a good selection of aged whites as well: four vintages of Chardonnay, for example, and two of our Argetsinger Vineyard Dry Riesling, among others. If you were able to attend last summer's Vineyard Picnic, you may remember that we paired three library wines with French cheeses from Murray's in New York City - 2007 Meritage, 2008 Pinot Noir, and 2008 Chardonnay.
You can buy some of our library wines online, and the entire library list can be purchased in the tasting rooms.
Lindsay Prichard featured Ravines' library program in his New York Cork Report article "The Joy Of Going Vertical" last year.
Last weekend, Ravines hosted our annual Spring Barrel Tasting Weekend at our Geneva facility. Ravinous Club members enjoyed a preview of six of the wines from our 2014 vintage, paired with food prepared by Chef Christopher Bates from the FLX Wienery.
We started Sunday's Spring Barrel Tasting Brunch with a welcoming glass of our 2006 Brut in the tasting room; then everyone moved to the cellar. Winemaker Morten Hallgren talked about the new Riesling and Gewurztraminer releases while everyone got a taste of the wines that had been pulled directly from the fermentation tanks. The fun then moved to the barrel room.
Attendees next tried tank samples of the 2014 Keuka Village White and Pinot Rose. These were followed by a comparison between the current vintage of our Chardonnay, which was poured from the bottle, and the 2014 Chardonnay, which was pulled directly from the barrel; the 2014 will remain in the barrel until at least July 2015.
We also compared Pinot Noirs in a similar way; the current 2012 vintage was poured from bottles, while one of the components of the 2014 vintage was pulled from the barrel.
These events are a great opportunity for Club members to talk to Morten and get the inside scoop on the winemaking process by asking questions and seeing the barrels and tanks up close. One Club member asked a great question about the way we re-use our barrels; a barrel that was used to make red wine will remain a red wine barrel for its lifetime with us, although we might not always use it for the same grape (for example, a barrel we use for Pinot Noir this year might contain Cabernet Franc next year).
Each dish on the menu was created to pair perfectly with the wines.
We wrapped the event up with a taste of 2011 Late Harvest Vignoles before moving back to the tasting room for a sampling of our 2008 Pinot Noir from the wine library.
For more information about upcoming Ravinous Club events, click here. The next Club event is May 1.
For information on how to join the Ravinous Club, click here.