I would like to share some interesting news that I heard from wine makers around the region.
I recently visited Tod Manspeaker at his Briar Valley Vineyards tasting room in Bedford, Pa. He told me he was removing all the Viognier from his vineyard because of Primary Bud Blight and replacing it with Malbec. He had to pick about 1 1/2 weeks early because of the forecast for a big storm hitting the East Coast but the storm missed his
Briar Valley tasting room in Bedford, Pa.
vineyard and they had a great harvest even though it was earlier than planned.
After getting a tip from fellow blogger Armchairsommelier about a vineyard in Virginia growing Saperavi I contacted Rik Obiso at White Barrel Winery in Christiansburg, Va.. White Barrel was formerly known as Attimo Winery. Rik told me that they do grow about 250 Saperavi vines on a 1/3 acre section of their vineyard but haven’t produced from them yet. He is planning on 2017 being their first vintage but for now they are keeping the vines pruned to encourage them to grow strong roots. When I asked him about his Viognier he said that they are also removing all of it from their vineyard and that job will be completed this winter.
The harvest at Standing Stone Vineyards Hector, NY went very well. The harvest around the FLX was good and maybe great, only time will tell but if I were to bet I would bet on great. Standing Stone was featured in several articles, here are just two! Syracuse.com published this article about Harvest at Standing Stone. Syracuse.com article
Saperavi juice runs from press @ Standing Stone Winery
Foodnetwork.com got into the act with this mention of Standing Stone and its unique pairing of Standing Stone wines and local artesian cheeses. Foodnetwork.com article Don’t miss their Saperavi vertical tasting on November 15th, 2015, it will be something special. Check out the color of the Saperavi juice in this photo courtesy of Marti Macinski.
It’s easy to keep up with what’s going on at your favorite wineries by following them on twitter.
Vineyards above Keuka Lake.
My latest trip to the FLX was enjoyable, informative, surprising, relaxing and like always too short. I learned many things from the people I met and the events I observed. Here are a few things that I learned by mingling with the locals. The latest fad in the vineyards is to plant Grüner Veltliner. The east side of Seneca Lake felt cooler in summer than the west because the wind blew across the cold waters of the lake. Marti Macinski, Standing Stone’s owner/winemaker was a lawyer before she followed her dream of becoming a winemaker. Saperavi is in demand and is selling out around the lakes, even at premium prices. Wine tourism is on the rise and wineries are competing more aggressively to attract customers. I just can’t get used to mini marts with craft beer taps and growlers at the cash register.
In the FLX there are some things that never change. Some of the best Riesling in the world can be found at great prices. Scenic views of beautiful glacial lakes surrounded by vineyards that you can’t find anywhere else in this country. Welcoming and hospitable people that are happy to see you and strive to put the region’s best foot forward to visitors.
It’s not Sonoma and it’s not Napa, it’s the Finger Lakes Region of New York, a truly unique place. My suggestion to you would be not to take my word for it but to go see it for yourself.
Saperavi Grapes Photo Courtesy Wikipedia
Standing Stone Vineyards to host a vertical tasting of their popular Saperavi on Sunday November 16, 2014. Tom & Marti Macinski become the first vintners in the nation to bottle the Saperavi grape under its newly recognized and rightful name. The N.Y. Wine & Food Classic double gold medal-winning 2012 vintage will be part of the November 16th tasting. This vintage is featured in the November 30th issue of Wine Spectator Magazine where it was awarded a 88 point rating. Owner and winemaker Marti Macinski will be leading the two Saperavi vertical tasting sessions Sunday afternoon at 1:00 and again at 3:00. This is a great opportunity for guests to learn from the leading expert on this up and coming wine grape. Tickets are $20 and include food pairings from Dano’s. Reservations can be made by calling 607-582-6051 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Tom and Marti Macinski Photo Courtesy: Standing Stone Vineyards
I would like to congratulate the entire Standing Stone Winery family for being chosen to have their 2012 Riesling served at the 2014 Super Bowl Media Party. Standing Stone Winery was also mentioned by James Molesworth in Wine Spectator Magazine this month as a Finger Lakes winery that should be sought out for their excellent Riesling. Martha (Marti) Macinski has again provided me with a candid glimpse inside the winery from her unique perspective as both owner and winemaker.
The winery is relatively calm this time of year but some structural work is being done in the vineyards on the posts and wires so there will be no delay when the time comes to prune and tie the vines. Jess, the assistant winemaker, is planning the upcoming bottling runs along with monitoring the fermentation of the dessert wines. The pressing of the frozen grapes is close to completion with only a small amount left unfinished. Marti is excited about the 2013 vintage calling it “Truly spectacular with lovely ripe and rich flavors, near perfect fruit chemistry to make the winemaking work go smoothly.” Her only problem was figuring out where to put this very abundant crop. Assessment of the vines will be made next week when they will prune as needed to balance out any damage caused by the severe weather. She isn’t expecting to find much of an issue because when the temperature dropped below zero the wind blew hard off the unfrozen lake circulating the “warm” air around the vineyards buffering them from the extreme cold.
I would like to thank Marti for taking the time and effort to keep me informed of the activities at Standing Stone Winery. When you are in the Finger Lakes Region plan a stop at Standing Stone to taste their superb wines and say “Hello” to Marti. www.standingstonewines.com
Wine Barrels Photo Courtesy Standing Stone Winery
I have just heard from Martha Macinski or Marti as she is known to everyone in the Finger Lakes. She updated me on the happenings around the Standing Stone Winery that she and her husband Tom have owned since 1991. They have just finished pressing frozen grapes to make Riesling Ice and Vidal Ice. The grapes are not picked frozen but are picked as late harvest and then frozen commercially so that they may be pressed to make Ice wine. The Riesling Ice 2012, Vidal Ice 2011 and the Riesling 2012 are all ready and will be bottled in early March. One of the nice things about stopping by the tasting room during the winter is that there are fewer people visiting so Marti and her staff will have more time to talk and share details about the wine. The vineyard crew is busy fixing any trellis components that have broken over the previous growing season. Pruning will start in February and after that task is completed the vines will be tied up before bud break in the spring. There was some concern that the recent spike in temperatures would reduce the snow cover that protects the vineyard during the winter but the cold nights and the return of normal winter weather prevented any damage to the vines. Marti made me laugh when she told me that ” You would be surprised how much work it is to taste 10 barrels of Standing Stone Saperavi.” I know it is a tough job but I guess someone has to do it :-). They will be bottling some 2010 and 2012 wines in April and May with the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon and the Merlot being of reserve status and reportedly delicious! Thanks to Marti for keeping me informed on the latest news from Standing Stone Winery which is on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake in Hector, NY. If you want more info you can visit the website www.Standingstonewines.com or go to their Facebook page.
Tom and Marti Macinski Photo Courtesy: Standing Stone Vineyards
I recently received an e-mail from Marti Macinski to keep me up to date on activities at Standing Stone Vineyards. Marti and Tom Macinski have owned and operated Standing Stone Vineyards since 1991. They have steadily increased the yearly production from 800 cases in that first vintage of 1993 to about 8000 cases last year. They are officially done picking grapes with great results and have some of their wine fermenting while sitting on the lees. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is starting to ferment and needs punched down four times a day. Tom is looking for volunteers that want to learn some winemaking skills while helping to basket press the Cab. Even if you are not up for a hands- on winery experience you can always stop by the tasting room that is open every day and while you are there don’t miss the chance to sample the bread and the many dips.
Standing Stone Vineyards 9934 Route 414 Hector, NY 14841 (607) 582-6051 www.standingstonewines.com Blog http://www.standingstonewines.wordpress.com