Press and news that features Ravines Wine Cellars
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.
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.