Press and news that features Ravines Wine Cellars
This week, winemaker Morten Hallgren disgorged more Sparkling Brut — almost a decade after it was bottled.
Disgorging is the process whereby the yeasts in each bottle are removed. In the classic method used by Ravines, the bottles have been riddled to get the yeast and other sediments into the bottles' necks; once the riddling process is complete, the necks are frozen and the plugs of ice containing the lees are removed (this is the actual disgorging process).
Once the bottles have been disgorged, a small amount of sugar is added to the wine before a cork is placed in each bottle. This process is called dosage, and is done to balance out the acidity of the wine rather than to add any sweetness.
The time between when a sparkling wine is bottled and when it is disgorged is called time en tirage. The longer a wine is en tirage, the finer the bubbles and foam will be, and the wine will develop more of the brioche taste and aroma that people associate with a brut sparkling. If a wine is disgorged early, it will be fruitier, with larger bubbles. (Morten likens these bubbles to those found in soda.)
The wine that was disgorged today has been en tirage for almost 8 years, having been bottled in May of 2007.
Ravines' 2013 Chardonnay pairs wonderfully with this hearty, creamy soup from Chef Christopher Bates of the FLX Wienery. This pairing was featured at a recent Keuka Lake Wine Trail event; we share the recipe with you so you can make it at home on one of these cold winter days.
1 lb sweet onions
Peel and slice onions. Peel and dice potatoes. Mince garlic. Heat chicken fat over medium heat, add onions and cook till soft but not brown. Add garlic, potatoes, herbs, pepper and stock. Simmer 1 hour. Add cream. Purée with a hand blender adding butter while pureeing. Season with salt as needed.
|1 C ricotta
1 tsp salt
|1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp truffle oil
Whisk together. Pipe on top of soup in bowl. Garnish with cooked bacon pieces. Serve with Ravines 2013 Chardonnay (learn more here).
Over the past few weeks, the Finger Lakes have received several feet of snow and been subjected to blasts of arctic air. While this makes for slippery roads and slow going for people, our vines are snug under their snowy blankets.
The snow insulates the roots from the icy winds and actually keeps them warm, which should prevent any damage to the rootstock that might kill the vines.
The photo above is of several rows in our White Springs vineyard in Geneva. If you stop into our Seneca Lake tasting room, these vines are to your left as you come down the driveway off Pre-Emption Road. The tasting room is open every day from 10:00am to 5:00pm; come visit us and taste a selection of warming wines like our 2013 Cabernet Franc.
The Finger Lakes may have just received a foot of snow, but the activity doesn't stop at Ravines.
Both tasting rooms are open, so you can stop in to taste our newest releases and perhaps pair the wines with our Ravinous Plate of local cheese and artisan chocolate. The 2014 vintage wines are in their tanks and barrels; winemaker Morten Hallgren and Assistant Winemaker Darrin Scott are carefully checking their development every day. The vineyard crew is tending the vines. And Neil, our wine club manager, is preparing the Ravinous Club Pack for March.
In addition to the wines (Ravines' 2011 Argetsinger Vineyard Dry Riesling, 2013 Keuka Village Red, 2012 Pinot Noir, and 2013 Gewurztraminer), the package also includes the Ravinous Newsletter, which contains notes from Morten and Lisa and recipes which were specially selected to pair with the four wines. One of the recipes is for duck breast which has been smoked over grapevines - and since many people likely won't have access to grapevines, the package also includes a bundle of vines from our White Springs vineyard.
Club members receive four packages a year, in March, May, September, and October. Usually there will be two reds and two whites, and often there will be a wine that may not be available to non-club members (for example, one of our single-vineyard Chardonnays, or our exclusive Cerise blend of Pinot Noir and Lemberger). Club members also enjoy a 20% discount on all wines, with the exception of our Appassionata and Late Harvest Vignoles dessert wines, and receive complimentary wine tastings for themselves and up to three guests at either of our tasting rooms. Club members are also invited to some of the best events around, from our Spring Barrel Tastings to the Fall Harvest Festival and more. (See the full event calendar here.) And there's no membership fee! If you're not already a member, why not take a few minutes and join your fellows who are Ravinous?
Ravines Wine Cellars has been selected by MSN as one of their Top 101 Wineries in America.
The article notes that Ravines makes "excellent...dry riesling" and other "serious" wines, while combining "old world ideology with modern technology".
Ravines 2011 Argetsinger Vineyard Riesling was selected by a team of sommeliers as a "contemporary classic" of the Finger Lakes region. The article, "Sommelier Scavenger Hunt", appears in the December 2014 issue of Wine & Spirits magazine.
Teams of sommeliers were sent to various American wine regions to locate wines that best express that region's terroir. All selected wines were then presented in a grand tasting once the teams compiled all their tasting data.
The three-member Finger Lakes team lauded the Argetsinger Vineyard Riesling’s "precision" and called it "astounding". "Even the highest-acidity, driest Rieslings don’t have this wine’s crystalline quality," said Matthew Kaner of Bar Covell in Los Angeles, who was the Finger Lakes team leader. "...the vineyard…[is] trained perfectly, 30-year-old vines with the right sun exposure...fantastic grapes."
Ravines Wine Cellars is saddened by the passing of Sam Argetsinger, who died at his home on Sunday, December 28, 2014.
Sam Argetsinger was an excellent vineyardist and a beloved member of the Ravines family. The Argetsinger vineyard on Seneca Lake provides fruit for many of Ravines' wines, including single-vineyard Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.
The Huffington Post listed Ravines in their list of 7 Must-visit Artisanal Wineries in the Finger Lakes.
...food-friendly wines which have received well-merited attention"
"Their (Keuka) vineyard is located next to the widest part of Keuka Lake, between two ravines, and it is this location that inspired their winery's name. The knowledgeable tasting-room staff will offer some carefully selected cheese-and-chocolate pairings to enhance these food-friendly wines, which have received a lot of well-merited attention and awards internationally." -Huffington Post
The article describes winemaker Morten Hallgren's pursuit of making sparkling wine, and describes the numerous awards and medals given to Ravines recently - including number 33 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 list last year.
"The secret is finally out....Ravines has truly come of age and gained a seat as a premier producer in the Finger Lakes. Ravines Wine Cellars is making heads turn all over the world." -Edible Finger Lakes
Here are three fall recipes from our kitchen to yours!
Dry Riesling pairs perfectly with our recipe for Savory Carrot-Potato Gratin. This hearty dish a is perfect vegetarian option and will help to keep you warm this season. Create this dish for yourself at home or share with family and friends at your holiday gatherings.
4 white potatoes, cut into 1" cubes
|6 carrots, well chopped
salt & pepper
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 C grated gruyere cheese
Sauté carrots and onions in olive oil until tender, but firm.
Add potatoes, gruyere, and thyme. Toss until well mixed.
Transfer to baking dish, cover with cream, and season with salt & pepper.
Bake in a preheated 375° oven, approx. 1 hour or until nicely browned and tender.
with wild mushrooms & white pepper crackers
Here is another delicious food and wine pairing: Delicata Soup and Gewürztraminer. Create this warm and hearty dish at home to enjoy on a chilly winter day or share with friends and family at your holiday gathering.
2 Delicata squash
|2 shallots, finely chopped
2 C chicken stock
1/2 lb wild mushrooms
1 t fresh minced chives
Peel squash, cut into 1" cubes, and steam with 1/2 c water in a covered saucepan over medium heat, approx. 20 minutes or until completely tender. Drain water and remove from heat, mash with a fork, season with salt & pepper, and set aside. Sauté shallot in butter until tender but not brown. Add wine and continue cooking until liquid is reduced by half. Add chicken stock, cream, and squash while beating with an immersion blender. (If you do not have an immersion blender, heat cream and stock separetly, add all ingredients to a blender, and blend until very smooth.) Season with salt & pepper. Serve topped with sauteéd wild mushrooms and chives, with a crispy cracker laid on top of the bowl. Enjoy with Ravines Gewürztraminer.
with Bacon & Onion
For the holidays, we are sharing this delicous recipe for Cornbread Sage Stuffing. This dish is sure to delight on Thanksgiving day and pairs perfectly with Ravines Pinot Noir. Create this recipe at home to share with your friends and family this holiday season.
|1/4 lb local smoked bacon
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/2 t sage
1 batch low-sugar cornbread stuffing
|1 large onion, finely chopped
giblets & liver of one turkey
1 t poultry seasoning
1 t salt
Finely chop bacon and sauté in pan 5-7 minutes until cooked, but still tender. Sauté chopped vegetables until translucent and tender, season with salt & pepper. Remove from heat. Crumble cornbread into the pan and toss with sauteéd vegetables. Add seasonings and finely minced giblets. Moisten well with giblet broth, approx. 1 cup. Transfer to baking dish and bake at 375° for approx. 30 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy with Ravines Pinot Noir.