Press and news that features Ravines Wine Cellars
Harvest at Ravines is coming to a close this week, after being the earliest harvest on record, the final grapes - some beautiful Cabernet Franc - from the Hobbit Hollow Vineyard located on Skaneateles Lake, will arrive in the cellar tomorrow.
In spite of the unprecedented early start to the season, the quality of the grapes in the 2012 vintage has been remarkable. The white grapes were able to fully ripen while maintaining the bright acidity that the Finger Lakes region is so well known for. The red grapes hit sugar levels higher than we've ever seen before, with some of our Cabernet Franc coming in with Brix as high as 25. For the most part, the grapes retained a good acidity level, allowing the wines to retain an excellent balance to go along with ripe softer tannins and intense aromas.
The only Riesling that will be bottled as a single vineyard Riesling is the Argetsinger Riesling, whose grapes come exclusively from Sam Argetsinger's vineyard located on the southeast corner of Seneca Lake. Sam's vineyard is one of the oldest Riesling vineyards in the Finger Lakes. The shallow, mineral-rich soils of the vineyard give the grapes a leaner fruit profile with more floral characteristics and focused minerality.
Fruit as unique as the grapes from Sam's vineyard require special treatment in the cellar. A portion of the wine is put into old, neutral French Oak barrels for fermentation and aging on the lees throughout the winter. Aging the Riesling in oak barrels softens the mouthfeel of the wine while making it structurally more complex. Winemaker Morten Hallgren has been utilizing this technique in the production of the Argetsinger Riesling since the 2010 vintage.
Ravines just got better! We are pleased to announce the addition of the vineyards and winery at White Springs Farm to the Ravines Wine Cellars family. In a deal closed earlier this year, Ravines acquired the White Springs production facility, along with 42 acres of vineyards at the Geneva site and an additional 19 acres not yet under vine.
The deal was an acquisition of assets, not a merging of the two brands. White Springs owner Carl Fribolin maintained ownership of the White Springs brand and the White Springs tasting room located on State Route 14. Ravines will continue to make wine for White Springs, as we have already been doing for the past few years.
The addition of the vineyards is especially exciting for Ravines explains winemaker, Morten Hallgren, "With its proximity to the extension of the Niagara escarpment, it sits on calcareous soil with pH values between 7 and 8. Our first impression is that riesling, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and gewürztraminer will stand out."
"The vineyards at White Springs are exquisite and the production facility is unrivaled in this region. This will be the third year we have produced our wines here in this facility and we couldn't be happier." - Morten Hallgren, Winemaker
The New York Times wine critic, Eric Asimov, recently selected Ravines 2011 Dry Riesling as one of his Top 12 American Value Wines.
Check out Eric's full list of top 12 values in American wines and be sure to follow his blog! We love his appreciation for the Finger Lakes wine region and are always beyond thrilled when he recognizes any of our wines!
Believe it or not, Harvest 2012 is already underway. The 2012 vintage will be the earliest harvest in the Finger Lakes on record. An early bud break, a small crop, and a warm, sunny growing season have resulted in exceptional ripeness levels. The sunny, dry weather has given us clean fruit in pristine condition.
The first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for our sparkling wine production were harvested last week from Sam Argetsinger's vineyard.
Expect to see a lot more from us this fall. We're looking forward to a fantastic vintage.