Press and news that features Ravines Wine Cellars
On Sunday, January 27th we released an 11 year aged wine, Flor, with an extravagant wine dinner in our cellar room. Master Sommelier and renowned chef, Christopher Bates, created the menu and prepared dishes to pair with Flor and other Ravines wines. As a study and big proponent of fortified and oxidized wines, he gave guests a fascinating primer on the prestige of this long-lived and dynamic, old-world wine style.
Ravines Winemaker, Morten Hallgren, grew up around the vines and winemakers in France and has always been interested in emulating this type of wine in the Finger Lakes. In 2008, Morten set out to produce and age a spectacular dry, sipping wine in the style of Fino Sherry from Spain or "Vin Jaune" from the Jura region of France, meaning "yellow wine". The wine's color is more accurately described as hazelnut or bronze, as Morten let the famous yeast strain, flor (hence how the wine got its name!), spend years interacting with the wine in old oak barrels, creating a flowering veil of flor that protected the wine and added complexity as it aged.
Since Flor is a fortified wine with 16% alcohol, it's a beautiful aperitif to pair with apps like salty aged cheeses, olives or charcuterie boards. Plus, you're able to drink it over a longer period of time than a regular bottle of wine without spoiling.
As for the seductive flavors of Flor, a bright nose of almonds, baking spices, and dried oranges emanates from the glass. As you take a sip, your palate is enveloped by layers of walnut, bitter honey and a lingering sensation of toasted bread. The wine finishes bone dry, a perfect complement to many dishes, but which Chef Bates decided on Sunday to pair with Comte (a french, unpasteurized cow cheese) and foie gras on a potato chip.
Calling all Riesling geeks: Throughout the month of April please join us for our Spring Riesling Flight. The flight includes four Rieslings, created to allow the true characteristics of our handpicked vineyards to express themselves.
White Springs: The soil at this vineyard is Honeyoye loam over limestone as the vineyard is located in the northern part of the Finger Lakes. Having already worked this vineyard for many years, we have found the vineyard yields exceptional ripeness.
Dry Riesling, 2015
Dry Riesling, White Springs Vineyard, 2015
16 Falls: Located on the east side of Seneca Lake in the town of Lodi, this vineyard is almost entirely installed with a lyre trellis system and has acidic shalestone soil with significant clay content. This system significantly increases the amount of sunshine captured by the vines, which results in greater ripeness.
Dry Riesling, 2015
Argetsinger: One of the oldest Riesling vineyards in the FingerLakes, this vineyard's soil contains howard gravel on limestone bedrock. The soil at this location gives the fruit a distinct mineral character.
Dry Riesling, Argetsinger Vineyard, 2014
Serenity: This vineyard contains soil made of loam over shalestone. This site has great drainage which promotes optimal ripeness. The vines at this vineyard are 25 years old, which produces a more complex fruit due to an extensive root system.
Dry Riesling, 2015
Dry Riesling, Jeff's Field, 2016
These Rieslings pair wonderfully with our artisinal cheese board on which we feature a beautiful representation of FingerLakes fare.
Bright and elegant with aromas of white flowers, lemon pith, and a touch of honey. Generously textured on the palate with a good acidity and pronounced minerality.
We are excited to announce the release of our new sparkling wine, a 2008 Blanc de Blanc. This wine is made with 100% Chardonnay grapes from our Argetsinger vineyard, a steep sloped vineyard on the East side of Seneca Lake. One of the oldest vineyards in the Finger Lakes, the grapes grown in its limestone soils, seem to express the delicate floral and mineral aromatics that is lovely to find in sparkling wines.
The grapes had a very favorable growing season with plenty of sunshine, but no drought conditions, and were all hand harvested on September 9, 2009. The grapes were pressed with a long and gentle whole cluster press cycle and fermented at a low temperature in stainless steel tanks with long lees aging to improve foam structure and fine bubbles. The wine was bottled in May of 2009 and its second fermentation was complete by August 2009.
This particular wine was made using the champenoise method, a traditonal method for producing sparkling wine that yields a higher quality, more complex wine with fine bubbles and a beautiful brioche-like aromas. During this process the wine maker starts a second fermentation within the bottles, and after a year, they age "en tirage" for 9 years, they are then hand riddled and disgorged, which occured for this wine during the first half of 2017. 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 more the wine will develop more of the brioche-like taste and aroma that people associate with a quality sparkling wine. This wine was en tirage for 9 years. Disgorging is the process whereby the yeasts in each bottle are removed.After disgorgement the wine is finished with the dosage, a small additon of sugar dissolved in wine, meant to balance the acidity in the wine rather than to add any sweetness. The dosage on this wine is 4 g/l sugar.
The perfect wine to pair with savory foods, we start every Ravinous Table event with a glass of sparkling wine and a savory bite.
The 2008 Blanc de Blanc is available for sampling and purchase at either of our tasting room locations.
Late Harvest wines are produced by leaving the grapes on the vine one to two months longer than normal, which allows the grapes to become dehydrated and thus sweeter due to higher concentrations of sugar. Workers covered the rows of grapes with netting to prevent the birds, deer and other critters from eating the grapes while they are dehydrating.
Riesling is one of the favored candidates for late harvest wines, given it's high acidic content. Grapes will lose their acidity while hanging longer on the vine, and higher concentrations at the onset still create a dessert wine with a certain crispness that other varietals lack.
Ravines currently produces a Late Harvest Vignoles, another popular late harvest dessert wine produced by the same method mentioned above.
Vignoles bunches are naturally transformed into a honeyed dessert wine with vibrant citrus and exotic fruit notes.
Each year, Wine & Spirits Magazine chooses 100 wineries from around the world as hallmarks of the industry. Ravines Wine Cellars was selected for producing a variety of high quality wines.
Land Baron: Since moving to New York's Finger Lakes in 1999, Denmark-born Morten Hallgren and his wife, Lisa, have been slowly putting together a Riesling-focused empire, expanding to vineyard sites on Keuka Lake and on the east side of Seneca Lake, as well as another 60 acres in Geneva, where they farm White Springs, now there home vineyard." "With the welcome addition of the Argetsinger Vineyard, says Hallgren, "we will be fully estate grown by next year." With some 130 acres planted, their vineyards represent one of the largest vinifera estate in the region."
White Springs: the 2015 vintage was Hallgren's fifth at White Springs, the facility and vinyeard he purchased in 2010 on the north end of Seneca Lake near Geneva, The 59-acre property is planed on the classic Finger Lakess loam series called honeyoye, over limestone. Hallgren believes the limestone gives their white wines, both chardonnay and riesling, a distinctive mineral tone, edgy and firm. In 2015, a relatively uneventful growing season was brought to a sudden end when, on October 17, a cold snap took tempeatures down to 17 degrees, and he was obliged to pick. As a result the 2015 White Springs is perhaps even more edgy than most years, with a thrilling, mouthwatering lemon-lime flavor and pronounced, salty tanginess. It's a vintage with the mineral underpinnings to age beautifully. _
" New Reds: While Ravines has earned its reputation for riesling,(as well as an espedially nervy, Chablis-like chardonnay--check out the 2015) Hallgren has also become adept at making reds, bottling a Bordeaux-inspired blend, a pinot noir and a cabernet franc--one of the top Finger Lakes red we tasted this year. made from the lighter fruitier lots that didn't go into the Bordeaux blend, the 2015 Franc is a shlyly foral red with scents fo violets and smoke, thyme ane mulberry, a joy to chill down and drink." --P.J.C.
"Among the Finger Lakes’ many fine wineries,
Ravines in Geneva gets our nod,
not only for its steely 2015 Dry Riesling
but also for chef Scott Riesenberger’s terrific three-course “Ravinous Table.”
-Ray Isle, Food & Wine Magazine
Sauvignon Blanc 2016
After consecutive challenging winters in the vineyard, the Sauvignon Blanc block in Geneva rebounded nicely in 2016. As many of you know, 2016 was the warmest and sunniest growing season in modern times in the Finger Lakes.
Consequently the 2016 vintage of Sauvignon Blanc shows great ripeness with layers of floral notes and citrus fruit to complement the mineral and acidic backbone that gives this wine its freshness. We continue to use the time-honored tradition of lees aging thereby greatly improving the texture and complexity of this wine.
– Notes from the Winemaker, Morten Hallgren
Crisp, exuberant and mineral-tinged with mouthwatering tropical fruit flavors and zesty acidity
The grapes were from our estate White Springs Vineyard in Geneva, New York. Our White Springs Vineyard was planted in 2004 and has Honeoye loam (deep, well drained soils formed in loamy till) over limestone soils.The exceptionally warm and sunny growing season in 2016 had resulted in optimal ripeness level and little to no disease pressure. The grapes were harvested on October 5, 2016 at 22.6°Bx.
The grapes were pressed with long and gentle press cycles in a membrane press, which provides gentle pressure and minimal movement of the grapes, minimizing the amount of tearing and scouring of the skins and seeds. The fermentation was long and cool in stainless steel tanks, with a small fraction in neutral oak barrels. The wine was aged on fine lees from early December 2016 until February 2017.
The 2016 Sauvignon Blanc is available for sampling and for purchase at either of our two tasting rooms. Click for directions and more information.
Food & Wine magazine has selected The Ravinous Kitchen as one of America's Best Winery Restaurants.
Carey Jones touts The Ravinous Kitchen as one of "the best in the nation, [featuring] the best wines of their respective vineyards, excellent cuisine, and often-idyllic settings", and points "four-course meals to pair with the vineyard’s own wines" and use of "orchards, herb gardens, and beehives [that] supply a great deal of the ingredients."
Ravines WIne Cellars isn't just one of the best places in the Finger Lakes to buy wine, it's now a place to get a great meal!
The Ravinous Kitchen opened in 2015 with small plates which paired perfectly with our wines. In 2016, Chef Scott Riesenberger joined the team as Creative Director and Chef of the Ravinous Kitchen, having previously worked at L'Esperance in the Burgundy region of France; Union Pacific, The Essex House, Gilt, and Corton in New York City; and The Haymount House in Westchester. His knowledge of and experience with a range of classical and modern cooking techniques results in a style of cooking which can be described as seasonal-contemporary American with European influences. He likes to create dishes using inspiration from the quality of local ingredients, incorporating simple cooking techniques to enhance presentation and texture.
The Ravinous Table takes place at a communal table in our Geneva tasting room where Chef Riesenberger creates a seasonal menu of beautiful courses each perfectly paired with the expressive, balanced wines of Ravines. Each meal includes multiple courses created with produce, meats, and cheeses from the orchards, fields, and dairies of neighboring Finger Lakes farms including the herbs, vines, and honey hives at Ravines.
Each dinner begins at 6:00 pm with a glass of Sparkling Brut and savory amuse-bouche. Guests then head to the wine cellar where they participate in a brief but engaging tour including a barrel tasting paired with a delicious appetizer. Service begins at 6:30 with four beautiful courses at our farm table with Chef Riesenberger guiding the guests through the courses and the wine pairings.
Past events include a Truffle Experience which featured pork & truffle pâté and truffled carbonara pasta and a Winemakers Dinner featuring Austrian Winemaker Christophe Höpler.
All seats are available by reservation only and are limited to 16 participants.
Click here for a list of upcoming events at the Ravinous Table and to reserve your seat, or call the Geneva Tasting Room at 315-781-7007.
Click here for a list of other events at the Ravinous Kitchen.
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,