Chris from Bellwether Wine Cellars was kind enough to send us some samples from the Finger Lakes of New York. As American Riesling lovers, we always enjoy the chance to educate ourselves about the great work people are doing out East. While we’re quite fond of Oregon Riesling, we accept that New York has the world’s eye when talking about Riesling from the USA. While we drink a lot of German Riesling, tasting new world Riesling gives us a chance to expand our understanding of Riesling’s expression of terroir, and range of expression. In this show, we taste the 2012 A&D Vineyard Wild Ferment, the 2012 Sawmill Creek Vineyard Riesling, and the 2012 Sawmill Creek Pinot Noir.

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  1. Dana Estep

    Hi guys – another enjoyable show for those of us from the east. Haven’t been to Bellwether yet, but watching this has me feeling like we need to work them in on our next trip to the Finger Lakes. Regarding Finger Lakes pinot noir, although not getting the pub of riesling, most of the well-known wineries make at least one. You’ve had a Heart and Hands riesling before – they make only riesling and pinot noir including some single vineyard ones. Red Newt is probably one of the few that doesn’t do a pinot noir although maybe Kelby is working on one. There’s an ongoing debate whether cab franc or pinot noir will end up as “the” Finger Lakes red wine as riesling is the white wine. Likely to be a number of years before that’s settled if it ever is.

    thanks again. will be out your way fairly soon for our daughter’s wedding. looking forward to sampling more of those fine OR pinots and maybe some rieslings as well. Dana

  2. kris matthewson

    Hey guys,
    Thanks for checking out the wines! We are currently working on getting our wines out west.
    Just wanted to respond to some questions you had about the wines.

    The A&D Vineyard wild ferment Riesling is a crazy wine. The grapes are all clone 198 Riesling hand-picked from a loam/shale site on Keuka Lake. There is no yeast/fining/filtering with no additions. The fermentation last for 5 months then the wine is racked twice and SO2 is added. I only add 40 ppm total with 18ppm free at bottling. The purpose of the sulfur is to clean up any aldeydes that develop. But, we bottle with high levels of bound co2 to protect the wine in place of sulfur this also helps with the mouth feel. The co2 is not really apparent until the second day it is opened.

    Finger Lakes and low alc. Riesling
    There are a group of winemakers making Riesling with low alc. and natural RS. The long term trend in the region was to ferment the wines dry and then add back sugar. Recently we have seen a younger generations of wineries/winemakers make arrested or halted fermentation Rieslings. This is a huge step forward in my opinion. These wines tend to be more harmoniously balanced. Also there is a more complex sugar component in these wine (veriety and more polymerization). This is also making our wines in a more traditional style (mosel spats/aus). They just taste god damn delicious like this as well.

    Glad you like the wines and I love the videos it is a huge source for me learn about whats cool in Oregon.

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