Monday, November 28, 2016

Fun in a bottle

Wild Brute Winery adds local-focus Hornell wine bar

Owner Justin Recktenwald (Tribune photo)
From the Hornell Evening Tribune
Hornell’s newest business is ready to uncork a good time, and showcase some of the region's best wine, beer and ciders in the process.The Brute is a Finger Lakes-focused wine bar located at 99 Main Street.

After three years in business, Wild Brute Winery is stepping outside the bounds of its farm-winery in Arkport.

“We wanted to increase our exposure, and do some more stuff in our community, and coming downtown was huge," said owner Justin Recktenwald. "There’s a rise in crafts producers in the area, and what better way to showcase what I’m doing and what they’re doing than to have the best selection in New York State under one roof.”

The Brute is offering 20 wines by the glass, an additional 20 wines by the bottle, 30 beers, and five ciders.
Go here for the full story.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

EU guests sample NY wines for Thanksgiving

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-11-21-07-amIf they weren't familiar with New York State wines before this week, the 40 ambassadors from around the globe who spent Thanksgiving Day at the U.S. Embassy in Brussels, Belgium, are now.

New York wines were the only wines accompanying a traditional American Thanksgiving meal hosted on Thursday by Anthony L. Gardner, U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

The wines included two from Brotherhood Winery (Hudson Valley) -- Sparkling Rosé and Cabernet Sauvignon -- as well as a Fox Run Vineyards (Seneca Lake) Riesling and Leonard Oakes Estate Winery (Lake Ontario) Ice Wine.

The reliance on New York wines was a result of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation's export program run by Susan Spence, and New York Wines S.a.r.l, a European wine importing company owned by Christian Claessens.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Classic pairings class planned for NYW&CC

Champagne with oysters, Sauvignon Blanc with goat cheese, Port with bittersweet chocolate ... and, the list of classic wine and food pairings goes on.

To get some professional tips on how to pair, what to pair, and why to pair, the New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua is offering a class that will allow participants to sample six classic wine and food pairings "to see if they are truly extraordinary or in need of a makeover."

The class is set for 2 to 4 p.m. this Saturday, with required reservations priced at $40 per person. The Wine & Culinary Center is located lakeside at 800 South Main Street. Phone: (585) 394-707.

Tour schedule goes indoors and out at Shinn Estate

David Page and Barbara Shinn
Visitors to Long Island's North Shore wine country will have several opportunities to tour a major winery indoors and out over the next few weekends.

Beginning this Saturday and Sunday, owner-viticulturist-winegrower Barbara Shinn will host 45-minute walking tours and wine tastings at Shinn Estate Vineyards & Farmhouse. In addition, owner-vintner-distiller David Page will conduct hour-long tours of the winery and the barrel cellar.

Each separate tour is $25 per person and will take place if six or more reservations are received. Dates and other details about the tours are available on the Shinn website.

Visitors will find Shinn Estate Vineyards a bit different compared to most such establishments. The business began in 1998 when Shinn and Page purchased the old Tuthill homestead on Oregon Road in Mattituck. They then planted 20 acres of grapevines and built an estate winery and the Farmhouse bed-and-breakfast which has been named a top American wine destination by such publications as Fodor, U.S. News Travel, Food & Wine, and Bon Appetit.

In the summer of 2009 and spring of 2010 they had a solar- and wind-power installed, thus making theirs the first East Coast winery and inn solely powered by alternative energy. They also utilize a gravity-fed winemaking operation, and native yeast fermentation.

Shinn Estate, the first Long Island winery to also hold a farm distilling license, installed a 400-liter copper alembic pot still from Portugal during harvest 2010. Page produces grappa, eau de vie, grape vodka, and alembic brandy.

'Wine & Chocolate Weekend' at Adirondack Winery

Wine and chocolate pairings are good year-round, but they seem particularly appropriate around the winter holidays.

The folks at the Adirondack Winery apparently agree. They're planning a Wine & Chocolate Weekend from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on December 3-4 at their Lake George tasting room.

Five different chocolates made locally by Barkeater Chocolates will be paired with five different Adirondack Winery wines. Attendees will get a souvenir glass as a gift.

There is a bit of a disconnect as to pricing for the event. On the announcement on the Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail website, it is listed as a no-cost event. However, the winery website lists a $15 per person admission price.

Adirondack Winery is located at 285 Canada Street in the village. Phone: 518-668-9463.

Funny bone, wish bone, etc.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

College plans 7-9 wines in spring

FLCC Viniculture and Wine Center
Finger Lakes Community College's fledgling viticulture program earned plaudits in August when its 2015 student-made Gather Dry Riesling won Best Limited Production Wine at the New York Wine & Food Classic competition.

Students plan to bottle seven to nine varieties of wine next spring made from grapes grown at the school's Finger Lakes CC Viticulture and Wine Center in Geneva. And, they plan to ramp up their wines' images with specially designed labels.

FLCC graphic design students will unveil their proposed labels for next year’s college wines at the Viticulture and Wine Center on December 1. A representative of Niagara Label, the Erie County company that donates its services to make the labels, will discuss the printing process at the free public event.

The college's viticulture program has more than 20 tanks of 10 types of wine in the center's cellar, including Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Lemberger, Chardonnay, Cayuga White and Marquette. Finger Lakes Community College has a winery license to produce a commercial product.

Report: Grapes are the top value U.S. fruit crop

Industry statistics released during the recent Wine America conference, held this year in Oregon's Willamette Valley, provided the latest official look at the U.S. wine industry.

Here are a few tidbits, based on 2014 numbers, the latest year for which full-year statistics are available:

• Grapes, valued at nearly $6 billion annually, are the highest value fruit crop in the United States, and represent 37% of the value of all non-citrus fruit.

• Grapes are the 6th largest fruit crop, with nearly 25,000 farms on over 1 million acres producing almost 7 million tons in 2014

• The U.S. accounts for 6% of the world's grape acreage, but 10% of grape production, reflecting its productivity and efficiency.

• There are more than 8,700 wineries in the U.S. producing over 830 million gallons, with California accounting for 85% of that. (Washington is second, New York third.)

• The U.S. produces 12% of the world's wine, and consumes 13% of all wine, making it the No. 1 wine-consuming nation.

• U.S. wine exports (90% from California) reached $1.49 billion in value in 2014.

• Nearly 30,000,000 people visit wineries annually, providing employment to over 50,000 people.

Wine America: The National Association of American Wineries counts 44 New York State wineries among its members.

'RAW Wine' expo highlights controversial category

screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-12-33-01-pmFrom The New York Times

It may seem shocking, precious or counter-intuitive to think of wine as alive. But "RAW Wine" billed its recent trade and consumer fair as a celebration of “wines with emotion. Wines that have a humanlike, or living, presence.”

“Humanlike” and “emotion” may overstate the case. Yet few qualities are more desirable in a wine than a sense of it as a living, evolving, energetic thing.
RAW was a perfect opportunity to test out the proposition, as roughly 125 producers poured tastes of their wares in a cavernous, barely finished event space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Over the course of its two days, the fair drew almost 2,300 visits, the event organizers said.

While RAW did not say so explicitly, the event was a celebration of natural wine, that contentious category that has polarized the wine industry over the last decade.

Go here for the full story.

Shawangunk 'Wreath Fineries' holiday tour under way

screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-12-38-31-pmThe annual "Wreath Fineries at the Wineries" program began the first of three weekend events today at 15 venues on the Shawangunk Wine Trail.

The self-guided tour hits 14 different member venues that dot the Hudson Valley. From the Capital Region, the trail is best accessed via the Thruway (I-87), Exits 16-18. This weekend and the weekends of December 3-4 and 10-11 will see wineries hosting visitors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

There are no single-day tickets. Visitors get to select their dates and pick a winery as a starting point. The event begins at check-in where visitors will receive a souvenir wine glass, a grapevine wreath, and a Shawangunk Wine Trail ornament (a couples ticket shares wreath and ornament). Then, it's off to have a wine tasting and pick up a different ornament from each winery visited.

Participating wineries are Applewood Winery, Baldwin Vineyards, Brimstone Hill Vineyard, Brunel & Rafael Winery, Clearview Vineyard, Demerest Hill Winery, Glorie Farm Winery, Palaia Vineyards, Robibero Winery, Stoutridge Vineyard, Whitecliff Vineyard, Benmarl Winery, Brotherhood Winery and Warwick Valley Winery.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Update: Distributor responds to lawsuit alleging fraud

lawsuit-iconUPDATE (11/18/16): Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has responded to allegations in a lawsuit that it has been defrauding four Albany bars. Its statement: "We at Southern Glazer’s of Upstate New York are deeply concerned by the inaccurate accusations made in a recent lawsuit filed in Albany. We plan to vigorously defend the lawsuit. The lawsuit arises out of the alleged wrongful conduct of a single employee acting independently in violation of company policy and who has been terminated. We have a long and proud tradition of the highest ethical business practices and our nearly 2,000 employees in New York fulfill our expectations in this regard every day. We take these allegations very seriously and our customers can rest assured that we have rigorous policies, procedures and training in place. We will not have any further comments about the lawsuit but anticipate we will ultimately prevail."

(Originally published 11/15/16)

These are strange times for major New York State players in the adult-beverage sales industry.

As I reported on Friday, the huge Empire Merchants has filed a lawsuit alleging fraud by an Illinois company that responded by trying to buy out Empire ("Drinks distributor war takes an odd turn"). Today comes word that Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits is being accused in a $1.25 million lawsuit of defrauding four Albany bars over a period of years by charging for alcohol the businesses never ordered or received.

The suit, according to the Times Union, filed on Tuesday alleges that a salesman for Southern Wine and Spirits, with knowledge of management, repeatedly put through unrequested last-minute orders, known as “will calls,” that the representative signed for under his own name or with forged signatures, sometimes misspelled, of representatives of The Barrel Saloon, The Capital Bistro, Public House 42, and Pearl Street Pub.

The suit, filed on behalf of Pratt and Depoli by attorney James D. Linnan, seeks $500,000 for Pearl Street Pub, the oldest of the four bars, $250,000 apiece for the other three, punitive damages to be determined, court costs and attorney fees, according to the TU.

Go here for the full story.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Another major alcohol distributor sued

lawsuit-iconThese are strange times for major New York State players in the adult-beverage sales industry.

As I reported on Friday, the huge Empire Merchants has filed a lawsuit alleging fraud by an Illinois company that responded by trying to buy out Empire ("Drinks distributor war takes an odd turn").

Today comes word that Southern Wine and Spirits is being accused in a $1.25 million lawsuit of defrauding four Albany bars over a period of years by charging for alcohol the businesses never ordered or received.

The suit, according to the Times Union, filed on Tuesday alleges that a salesman for Southern Wine and Spirits, with knowledge of management, repeatedly put through unrequested last-minute orders, known as “will calls,” that the representative signed for under his own name or with forged signatures, sometimes misspelled, of representatives of The Barrel Saloon, The Capital Bistro, Public House 42, and Pearl Street Pub.

The suit, filed on behalf of Pratt and Depoli by attorney James D. Linnan, seeks $500,000 for Pearl Street Pub, the oldest of the four bars, $250,000 apiece for the other three, punitive damages to be determined, court costs and attorney fees, according to the TU.

Go here for the full story.

Cuomo OKs aid for 'home' winemaking

regulation-iconAlthough Governor Andrew Cuomo has many detractors in many segments of the state, if you ask people involved in the adult beverage industries they are likely to want him to become governor for life.

Cuomo has been instrumental in the rapid and continuing growth of the wine, beer, spirits and cider segments, through a series of informational summits and regulatory changes that have changed the landscape of business through elimination of red tape and antiquated rules involving creation, production and sales of such products.

His latest action came on Monday when he signed into law a bill from the State Legislature to help expand what his office terms "recreational" or "homebrew" production of beer, wine and cider in New York State. It does not involve the creation of liquor.

The bill (S.1227B/A1100B) allows for the creation and operation of custom beer, wine, and cider production centers that will rent space and equipment to those looking to produce beer, wine, or cider for home consumption. The State Liquor Authority (SLA) will regulate the centers.

"The craft beverage industry has taken this state by storm, and more and more New Yorkers want to try their hand at making the next great Empire State beer, wine, or cider," Cuomo said. "This new law builds upon this increased interest, supports local agriculture, and breaks down artificial barriers to allow innovation and creativity to flow."

The new law was spurred by the fact that both urban and suburban residents often cannot afford or do not have access to the appropriate space or equipment to make homemade beer, cider, or wine in their homes or apartments. "These custom production centers not only provide space and lower the overhead costs of production, but they also provide amateur brewers and wine and cider makers with the local ingredients and expert training needed when first starting out," the announcement said.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Coming up for water, one more time

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-3-16-00-pmEvery few years, the topic of water pops up in this column. Yes, water. The latest nudge came in a story posted today on, titled "A Sommelier for Water? Seven Ways Somms Are Moving Past Wine."

Attention Bloomberg people. That is not a new topic.

I wrote one of the first stories about America's first water sommelier back in the summer of 2002. That was after I visited with Filip Wretman, who was new to that role while employed at the Battery Park Ritz-Carlton hotel in lower Manhattan.

That same year, the topic popped up in various other incarnations. For example, The New York Times ran a piece on Wretman it headlined "Where Ice Water Is an Insult, and Tap Is a Disgrace." Hotel Online published a syndicated story that also credited Wretman with being the trailblazer.

Between then and now, the topic and various sommelier's names have occasionally been in the media. In 2013, for example, the author of The Food Writer's Diary published in Nation's Restaurant News alluded to the first time he "heard about" Wretman was "11 years ago," which would have put in it 2002, when the original stories were published.

Then last year the Eater website ran an interview with "America's only water sommelier," a German expat named Martin Riese who plies his trade in Los Angeles, that sounded suspiciously close to crediting him with creating that role in the U.S. Perhaps they were influenced by Newsweek, which in 2014 did precisely that in an interview with Riese it titled "A 44-page Water Menu from America's First 'Water Sommelier'."

Here's a slightly abridged version of my original story, about America's real first water sommelier:


NEW YORK — Some of the best water in the city comes out of the tap, straight from reservoirs in the Catskills. Anyone can show you where to get it.

Some of the most expensive comes in bottles, straight from places such as France, Sweden, Fiji, Italy, Norway, Canada, Scotland and various U.S. states. Your friendly water sommelier can suggest which to choose.

Well, he can if you’re dining at the new Ritz-Carlton hotel in Battery Park. The management says they have the only such person in the world.
His name is Filip Wretman. He’s 26, a diminutive, GQ-slim Swede who came to the United States via various peaks and islands.

Wretman, son of the prominent Swedish restaurateur/chef/writer Tore Wretman, openly concedes he did not set out to be a water expert, much less the first water sommelier. He studied the hospitality business at the Les Roches hotel school in Switzerland, and worked in the Swiss Alps, the Philippines and St. Bart’s in the Caribbean before coming to Manhattan as bar manager at the Ian Schrager chain’s trendy Hudson Hotel, near Columbus Circle.

So, how much did Wretman know about water when the Ritz-Carlton decided to get serious about its offerings at the new hotel, which opened in January after being delayed in the aftermath of 9/11?

“Not much more than anyone else,” Wretman said with disarming honesty during a private water tasting.

He said he spoke to numerous vendors and spent a lot of Internet research time getting to know more about the burgeoning business of bottled water, a hit in many countries but particularly booming in the United States.

Wretman’s research and tastings did more than simply acquaint him with the numerous brands of bottled water anyone can find in local supermarkets -- brands such as Fiji, San Pellegrino, Evian, Aquafina, Acqua Della Madonna, Dasani, Deer Park, Poland Spring and on and on for 1,800 or so brands worldwide, including such familiar Capital Region brands as Saratoga, Diamond Spring and Vermont Pure.

His studies made him comfortable selecting and suggesting a range of still and sparking waters that make ideal accompaniments for cheeses, certain sauces, spicy or mild dishes, sweet or salty offerings, desserts and the like.

Some might think having an in-house water expert is merely a high-end hotel’s contrivance or a gimmick to sell bottles of high-priced waters. Contrivance, perhaps, but not a particularly expensive one. At the Ritz-Carlton, you can try as many waters as you like at just $5 a head, less than the price of a cocktail.

“We really see it as part of our mission of providing comfort and gracious living to all our visitors, whether they’re overnight guests or not,” says Nikheel Advani, the hotel’s food and beverage director.

The Ritz-Carlton’s goal at Battery Park, Advani notes, is to make it “a center of comfort and tranquillity in a rebuilt city.” Wretman keeps a dozen or so waters on hand, but can come up with virtually any brand a visitor requests with at least 24 hours notice. After all, the Ritz-Carlton chain prides itself on catering to visitors’ every whim. It even has a bath butler who creates various bathwater concoctions designed to refresh, soothe and pamper guests. …

How does a water expert compare the art of recommending waters to that of recommending wines?

“Wine is a world of its own,” Wretman said. “You can recommend much more specifically. With water, we didn’t want to treat this in a way that would make people think of it as a hoax. But, it is quite true that different waters will have different impacts on the palate. They can help you recover the tastes of other foods after eating chocolates, cheeses, and so on … With those sorts of food courses we would suggest a sparkling water to clear the palate.”

Perrier, a familiar name to American consumers, is one such sparkler recommended for cleansing because of its large natural bubbles, Wretman says. San Pellegrino, on the other hand, has tiny bubbles and a high mineral content, giving it a more distinctive taste that would work well with salty or very spicy dishes. Fiji is very light, with a high silica content that complements meat and game without interfering with their juices.

What about the ice cubes in drinks?

“New York tap water,” Wretman confided with a slight smile. “Maybe someday we’ll have that kind of demand for specialty ice cubes, but we’re certainly not at that stage today.”

Millbrook Vineyards unveils winning label artist

Liz Okon with her winning design.
Liz Okon with her winning image.
Besides making a wide range of popular wines, the folks at Millbrook Vineyards & Winery are big on promoting the region's arts.

Their latest example is its Hudson Valley Artist Series wine label competition. Original art works to be considered for use on a Millbrook label were submitted by artists participating in its annual "Art in the Loft" art exhibit. The winning label, created by fine art photographer Liz Okon, was chosen by visitors at the winery. A different piece of her work finished third last year.

A portion of the proceeds from the purchases of the Artist Series wine this year will go to the Dutchess Arts Council and Okon. Her artwork, titled "Road to Destiny," will adorn bottles of 2015 Millbrook Chardonnay Proprietor's Special Reserve ($25) and 2014 Millbrook Cabernet Franc ($20), both available in limited quantities.

Millbrook's next major event is a grand tasting of its portfolio, which will include several wines from Villa Pillo and Williams Selyem, scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, December 3. Details are available online.

Millbrook Vineyards & Winery is located at 26 Wing Road in Millbrook, Dutchess County. Phone: (800) 662-9463 or (845) 677-8383.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Thanksgiving the perfect time for a 'forgotten' wine

sauternesWhile discussing an inherently French wine certainly may not be a "New York wine topic," it does go to the heart of what tradition means in the industry. So, in close proximity to one of our very traditional days, I offer this essay.

"There are no wrong Thanksgiving wines." That's the headline on an offering from esteemed wine writer Eric Asimov in this week's New York Times food section.

As he says of the holiday ritual, "People will stuff their faces, just as they always do. Family and friends will abound, and though we may occasionally complain about grudges and petty differences, the gathering will be pretty fine in the end."

 In my own "always," Thanksgiving was a very big deal in the household of my childhood. My stepfather, an otherwise unsentimental man, regarded it as the perfect holiday, his favorite holiday. Although I didn't learn much else from him, I did absorb a thing or two about wines and spirits and the proper appreciation of both.

He left the creation of the turkey and assorted treats to my mother and me -- or whichever grandmother happened to be visiting -- but reserved to himself the selection of the accompanying wines for all holiday repasts.

His go-to for Thanksgiving usually was a Sauternes, that ethereal French wine produced in the maritime climate of the Sauternes region of Bordeaux, that nowadays can be a rarity to find.

As the aforementioned Mr. Asimov wrote in a commentary two Thanksgivings ago, "Nobody drinks Sauternes anymore, it seems. That is a shame, because this revered sweet wine of Bordeaux can so often be sublime."

I concur. Should you be interested in trying a Thanksgiving wine you may not have experienced before, I suggest you try this blend of Sémillon, Sauvignon blanc, and Muscadelle grapes that have been affected by Botrytis cinerea, also known as "the noble rot." That is a fungus that, despite its rather disgusting appearance, is welcomed by many grape growers because it imparts a special delicacy to the grapes it infects by causing them to become partially raisined, thus concentrating the flavors.

The good sauternes balance common flavor notes of honey, apricots and peaches, sometimes even a mild nutty note, with a dose of acidity. They are a yellow-gold in color if young, and grow darker as they get older. If you find one that tends toward the color of a copper coin, you're on the path to big taste -- and big money. Sauternes typically are best served at temperatures in the mid-50s, although older versions can be a touch warmer.

 I must caution, though, that a good Sauternes -- most often sold in 375ml bottles -- is not an inexpensive wine. Chateau d'Yquem, the most popular and well-known label, runs in the $200 range for the 2011 vintage. But, the 2009 Château Clos Haut-Peyraguey Sauternes is a bargain at $33.

Obviously, you'll need to consult with a trusted wine merchant who has access to top-notch suppliers so you can select from a range of possibilities. You won't be sorry you did.

French grape harvest turns into a hunt

Grape buckets not full this year.
Grape buckets not full this year.
In several earlier postings (here is the most recent), I've described the decline of wine grapes in new York State and, indeed, worldwide as reports of poor harvests keep coming in. But, it may be even worse than thought.

"This isn't so much a harvest, as a hunt for grapes," French winemaker Jean-Jacques Robert, 64, told the English-language French publication The Local as he unloaded grapes still warm from his vineyards around Fuisse in Burgundy.

 "It's a catastrophe, the worst harvest for 30 or 40 years," said the normally cheery owner of Domaine Robert-Denogent.

Reports The Local, the organic winemaker lost between two-thirds and three-quarters of his harvest in one hailstorm in April. And, he is not alone. For thousands of French winemakers, 2016 will go down as an annus horribilis -- horrible year -- with vines destroyed by frost, heavy rain, hailstones "as big as ping pong balls," mildew and drought near the Mediterranean.

"All that was missing was a plague of frogs," said Robert's son Antoine, whose near century-old Beaujolais vines also were devastated.

 Go here for the full story.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Brooklyn contingent checks out Western New York drinks

Adam Bystran of Lakeward Spirits serves Michael Brooks of Bed-Vyne.
• From
You might call it “show-and-tell” for some local craft breweries and wineries. The industries are thriving in Western New York and some potential investors are taking notice.

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, working with the Empire State Development Corporation, dispatched several representatives from the alcohol industry to the Buffalo-Niagara region this week as a part of its Drink Local Campaign. The initiative aims to cross-promote the craft alcohol industry statewide.

The group arrived in Buffalo on Tuesday for a three-day excursion that will include visits to 14 local breweries, wineries and distilleries.
Michael Brooks, owner of Bed-Vyne Wine and Spirits in Brooklyn, talked with WBFO about his initial reactions.

“Well I definitely am impressed with the wine growing region in Niagara County,” he said. “We went to Arrowhead Winery and the quality of wines they’re producing was really impressive. Especially, the body they were able to get from their Cabernet Sauvignons and their Syrahs, which is something I’ve never seen in New York State before. So that actually blew me away.”
Go here for the full story.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

'Keuka Holidays' weekends grow near

The annual two-weekend "Keuka Holidays" festivals are scheduled for November 12-13 and 19-20.

The seven member wineries of the Keuka Lake Wine Trail each will offer tastes of four wines complemented by small plates of hearty winter foods. Ticket holders receive a handmade grapevine wreath at their starting winery and collect an ornament at each. Holiday decorations and well-stocked gift shops will enhance the atmosphere.

That adds up to a grapevine wreath, seven ornaments, 28 wine samples and more than a dozen food samples.

Tickets are sold separately for each weekend. Reservations, ticket types and starting-winery choices are available online.

Members of the Keuka Lake Wine Trail:

• Heron Hill
• Point of the Bluff
• McGregor
• Hunt Country
• Keuka Spring
• Ravines
• Vineyard View

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Farm winery comes to a Finger Lakes city

Alex Frederickson, Megan Hall and Camila Tahim cut the ribbon on their new business.
For some people, the term "farm winery" still needs explanation since it's a relatively new, and sometimes confusing, term. And, when you create such an enterprise in an Upstate city's downtown area, it might be even more confusing.

But, such is the case of Wicked Water, which recently celebrated its official grand opening at 78 Castle Street in downtown Geneva. The Fingeer Lakes farm winery is owned and operated by Megan Hall, Alex Frederickson and Camila Tahim, who use only New York-grown products to create their small batch wines. (The "farm winery" designation requires 51% or more.)

In addition to their own wines, they are offering samples of other New York State wines in their tasting room. Only New York-grown and produced wines are sold in their wine shop, by the glass and in tasting flights. Hall, a viticulturist, curates the wine list, while Frederickson and Tahim are the winemakers. They have a 2014 Riesling and soon will add a red and a rosé.

Wicked Water, which invites customers to bring in their own light foods to dine in while sampling the wines, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 1 to 8 p.m. Phone: (315) 781-5100.