Episode 143: New Year, New York Wines

Episode 143: New Year, New York Wines

Before we get this show on the road, it is important to tell you that the unique wines in this episode were provided by Play Nice PR and the New York Wine and Grape Foundation. The bottles we are tasting represent 3 of the 10 AVAs from New York – Finger Lakes, Hudson River, and North Fork of Long Island.

This is an introductory exploration into the wines of New York, an overview of a few of the regions, and their representative wine styles. There are some tasting segments, but also some factoids and recommendations, as well as a lot of fun. [sponsored content]


A Brief History of New York Wine

What impresses us the most about New York is that there are wineries now in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan! Plus, back in January of 2013, New York wines were served at the Presidential Inaugural luncheon for the first time. One wine was a Tierce Dry Riesling from the Finger Lakes and the other was a Bedell Merlot from Long Island.

Also, we were surprised to find that New York wine grape growing actually began not in the more rural areas of the Finger Lakes or the Hamptons or Long Island area, but in Manhattan. We can thank the Dutch during the 1600s for these first attempts at viticulture in New York state.

Yet it was in the early 1800s that the oldest operating winery in America was also founded in New York, Brotherhood Winery, in the Hudson Valley.

Facts, Figures, & Factoids

Here are some things we found interesting about New York wines – some facts, figures, and more factoids

  • Ranks 3rd in US wine production – yet only 25% of all the grapes harvested make their way into wine. 73% of their harvest is made into grape juice (the other 2% are just sold as table grapes)
  • 6 major wine regions
  • 10 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs)
    • Long Island
      • The Hamptons
      • North Fork of Long Island
    • Hudson River
    • Champlain Valley of New York – established September 2016!
    • Finger Lakes
      • Seneca Lake
      • Cayuga Lake
    • Niagara Escarpment
    • Lake Erie
  • Currently over 420 wineries in the state
  • More than 35 different grape varieties

Hudson Valley Wines Tasted:

Starting with 2016 Whitecliff Vineyard Vidal Blanc – Hudson River Region ($17.95)

North Fork of Long Island Wines Tasted:

2016 Paumanok Chenin Blanc – North Fork of Long Island ($25)

2010 Lenz Old Vines Merlot – North Fork of Long Island ($65.00) – 90% Merlot, 5% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot/Cabernet Franc Blend

2010 Lenz Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon – North Fork of Long Island ($50.00) – 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot & Cabernet Franc Blend

2014 Paumanok Vineyards Assemblage – North Fork of Long Island ($50.00) – 50% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot

Finger Lakes Wines Tasted

2016 Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling  – Finger Lakes ($15.99)

2016 Casa Larga Chard-Riesling – Finger Lakes ($13.99)

2016 Lakewood Vineyards Cabernet Franc – Finger Lakes ($18.00)

2015 Damiani Wine Cellars Cabernet Franc Unfined– Finger Lakes ($21.99)

2013 Chateau Lafayette Reneau Cabernet Sauvignon – Finger Lakes ($22.99)

Quick Thoughts

You know, we often say that no one knows absolutely everything about wine, but there are so many ways to learn about it. We certainly learned a lot about NY wines, through tasting and reading, so thank you again to Play Nice PR for sending us this crazy selection. You know how else one can learn? Ya’ gotta go there!

On Wine Tourism

Back in 2010 Steph designed a girls’ trip to the Finger Lakes region for her pharmacy school pals (Go Griz!). She highly recommends making a trip out there especially with all the growth in the last seven years. “My personal highlights were the tastings at Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, Dr. Konstantin Frank, Red Tail Ridge Winery, and Ravines Wine Cellars. The sommelier community on www.guildsomm.com was a huge help in giving me local recommendations. Shout out to them! I also have to tell you that the Finger Lakes produces high quality sparkling wines. Yup! We didn’t taste any in this episode, but they are worth seeking out, and I wouldn’t lie to you about bubbly. I also really liked the dry rosés made from Pinot Noir. You’ll enjoy all the live music around too, sometimes at wineries, restaurants, or parks. Everything is laid back. Lastly, don’t miss the holistic nature experience at Watkins Glen National Park. A-MAZ-ING waterfalls!”

How else do you learn?

Well, it just so happens that on our Wino Radar this week is the 2018 SWE conference. There will be tours. Rochester is within sniff, swirl, sip and spitting distance from the Finger Lakes region, so, again, tours, immersion, tasting – our favorite way to learn, of course.

Wino Radar

The Woodcliff Hotel and Spa in Rochester, NY will host the 2018 Society of Wine Educators annual conference Aug 15-17th. Registration opens in May 2018. So mark your calendars with both. We’ve obviously given you plenty of reasons to go – be it tourist, wine student, or nature lover.



http://www.nydrinksny.com/ – month of March 2018 and grand tasting March 20th.

http://www.fingerlakeswinecountry.com/ and the hashtag #MyFLX



Marielle Dezurick – Play Nice PR

Jennifer Cooper – New York Wine & Grape Foundation

The Curtis Hotel – The charming downtown Denver property where we conducted our tasting in December, and recorded most of this episode. Thank you Sarah Peerani and The Curtis for your original, fun, funky vibe and top-notch hospitality!

*No Barbies were harmed during the recording of this episode.

Patreon Love

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