The Finger Lakes Wine Region of New York (FLX) is only a 5 hour drive from my home in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Having a World-Class wine-producing region so close provides my wife and me the luxury of making a trip to the area when the mood strikes us. During our trip last week we visited old favorites Herman J. Herman Winery and Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery while adding a new favorite Standing Stone Winery. All three of these wineries produce excellent Riesling along with other notable wines. Cool-climate white wines have always been this region’s claim to fame but on this visit I was curious to see first-hand how the development of the Saperavi grape was progressing. In the following series of posts I will give you my personal take on the wine, grapevines, trends and scenic views I encountered around these glacial lakes. Come along with me and see what’s new in the FLX.
Standing Stone Vineyards “Officially” releases 2012 Saperavi. Standing Stone becomes the first winery in the U.S. to bottle and release the newly classified Saperavi grape under its newly recognized and rightful name. In conjunction with the iconic Dr. Konstantin Frank Cellars, Standing Stone Winery filed a petition with the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in late December 2013 to have the Saperavi grape recognized as an approved wine grape variety. The Saperavi grape is a cold weather grape that originated in Georgia, Russia. Owner and winemaker Marti Macinski has always had a fondness for this grape said “We’ve been growing Saperavi for 20 years and we’ve been using it in blends and bottling it under different names. But now that Saperavi is again an officially recognized grape, we are thrilled to be able to put it on our label. And I’ve got to tell you this 2012 vintage is unbelievable. The vines have really grown to maturity and we have 20 years experience of working with the grape and understanding how to bring out its characteristic in the bottle”. This grape has grown well in the Finger Lakes “Banana Belt” and is believed to be able to grow anywhere Riesling thrives. Saperavi grapes produce a deep red wine with good structure and texture that is rich but not overly tannic. This could be the grape that elevates the reds of the Finger Lakes to a level that would provide a nice complement to the world-class whites of this region.