Press and news that features Ravines Wine Cellars
Today we'd like to give you a peek behind the scenes at Ravines.
We have three interns working with us this year. Guillaume Kieffer comes to us from Alsace and brings with him experience in cool-climate winemaking, and Ken Berard and Jordan Imm are both enrolled in the viticulture and winemaking programs at Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC). All three are getting a lot of hands-on experience (which means they get to do the dirty work).
Darrin Scott is our assistant winemaker, and he joined Ravines from Pennsylvania wine country earlier this year. He spent this morning filtering lees by racking the wine (moving the wine from one barrel to another using gravity rather than a pump).
Morten Hallgren, Ravines' owner and winemaker, likely needs no introduction. Today he checked on the fermenting Riesling in our Geneva winemaking facility.
In future posts, we'll continue to introduce you to the team responsible for creating and selling you our wines.
Harper's Bazaar has named Ravines Wine Cellars to their list of The Best Wineries to Visit this Fall. This list highlights top 10 picks for wineries in the U.S. chosen by Peter Eastlake, Food & Wine's 2013 Sommelier of the year.
Make Ravines a stop on your weekend getaway. Soak in the breathtaking views of hillside vineyards and fall foliage while you taste the wines that earned Ravines a place on Wine & Spirits' list of Top 100 Wineries of 2014 as well as a place on Wine Spectator's Top 100 list two times. These world class wines offer an alternative to sweeter styles that can help you enhance any meal while you avoid packing on the pounds this upcoming holiday season.
Not only does this style of wine pair well with healthier dishes, dry wines are very low in sugar, making them lower in calories than their sweeter counterparts.
Visit us at our Keuka Lake tasting room or Geneva winery & vineyards this fall. Taste and discover wines that will delight your palate and suit your lifestyle. Not able to make it to the Finger Lakes? Browse our selection online.
Today at Ravines, we started moving pressed juice into barrels.
Riesling from the Argetsinger vineyard was moved into 10-year-old oak barrels. Using older barrels imparts as little oak aroma to the wine as possible while still allowing for aging and fermentation. Ravines has been using older oak barrels for our Argetsinger Riesling since 2010.
Winemaker Morten Hallgren says that the juice from the Argetsinger grapes will remain in barrels for around 6 months, or until sometime in April 2015. It will remain on the lees the entire time it is in the barrels. (Lees are yeast deposits left over from fermentation.) This aging on the lees, a process known as sur lie in French, allows the wine to accept all the aromas and flavor possible.
Morten said that the Riesling from the Argetsinger vineyard came in with a very low pH and approximately 9g/liter of acidity. This is likely due to the nature of Sam Argetsinger's vineyard, which is located in Hector on the southeastern side of Seneca Lake. This vineyard lies on a steep slope, allowing for good drainage; the Riesling vines are at the top of the hill. Seneca Lake's shape at that spot points the vineyard slightly north. The soil is Howard gravel over limestone bedrock, which accounts for the distinct minerality of the wines from this site. Sam's Riesling vines are among the oldest in the Finger Lakes.
Later today, Chardonnay from our 16 Falls vineyard in Lodi, NY will also be moved into barrels; the Chardonnay from our White Springs vineyard in Geneva will be moved into barrels tomorrow.
The Riesling harvest continues tomorrow at White Springs. Yesterday, 20 tons of beautiful Riesling grapes were brought in from the vineyard.
Check back here later in the week for more updates!
Today the Ravines team harvested Chardonnay at the White Springs vineyard in Geneva, NY.
Winemaker Morten Hallgren doesn't base his harvest schedule on numbers, as some other winemakers do. (For example, some winemakers will look at brix, which is the amount of sugars in the juice.) Morten makes his decisions on when to harvest based on several criteria, including the weather forecast and an overall impression of the fruit. For Chardonnay, he looks for a translucent quality to the grapes and whether the foliage has begun to change color.
Morten commented that this year's fruit looks "beautiful" and that the quality of this year's harvest is "above average"; he thinks the 2014 vintage is in the "top 20 percent" of all time.
The Ravines 2014 Chardonnay will be a blend of grapes. Most of the wine will be White Springs grapes, and some will be from the 16 Falls vineyard in Lodi, NY.
We're also harvesting grapes for the next vintage of our Keuka Village White blend. Keuka Village White is a fruity blend of Cayuga White and Vignoles; the Vignoles was harvested at White Springs last week.
Next to be harvested: Merlot and Gerwurztraminer.
Check back later for more posts from the 2014 harvest!
In our previous blog posting, we showed you some pictures and video from this morning's Pinot Noir harvest at the White Springs vineyard in Geneva, NY. Here are a few more images...
This year's fruit is beautifully clean and ripe. Since the grapes were hand-harvested, the grapes remained intact and we didn't lose any juice. There are four rows of Pinot Noir grapes in our Geneva vineyard - each row is over a half-mile long - and there were a lot of these bins with the fruit ready to be pressed.
After the grapes are crushed, the juice and skins are placed in large metal bins for three weeks. This contact between juice and skins allows us to extract all the flavors and aromas you have come to expect from Ravines Pinot Noir. Here, assistant winemaker Darrin Scott punches down the skins that have floated to the top of the juice. These grapes are from the 16 Falls vineyard in Lodi, NY.
Winemaker Morten Hallgren is thrilled with the quality of the 2014 Pinot Noir grapes. “Low yields in the vineyard insure perfect ripeness every year. It’s always a struggle to keep the fruit clean because of the disease pressure in the Finger Lakes, but if you work hard in the vineyard, you are rewarded with beautiful fruit.”
Stay tuned for more Harvest 2014 updates!
Well before 7:30am, vineyard crews were in our White Springs vineyard in Geneva harvesting Pinot Noir. Approximately 20 crew members hand-cut each cluster of grapes and gently placed them into plastic bins that will then be picked up and brought to the winemaking facility.
Pinot Noir from our 16 Falls vineyard near Lodi was delivered last week, as were Pinot Noir grapes from Sam Argetsinger's vineyard near Hector.
Hand picking is more expensive and time-consuming, but it's worth the extra effort because the grapes remain intact. Keeping the grapes pristine as long as possible keeps the juice from leaking out prematurely; gentle whole-cluster pressing in the membrane press is also critical to keeping the astringent quality of Ravines' Pinot Noir that you have come to know.
Once all the grapes are harvested, our vineyard manager Doug and his assistant Patrick pick up the bins and deliver them to the production facility:
Stay tuned for more Harvest 2014 updates throughout the next few weeks!