Finger Lakes Wine

The Finger Lakes wine region is located just south of Lake Ontario in Central New York.   The four main lakes of the Finger Lakes AVA include Canandaigua Lake, Keuka Lake, Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake.  The large deep water lakes of this region were carved out by glaciers and the soil deposits surrounding the lakes contain shale which results in wines with steely minerality and natural acidity.  The soil along with the micro-climate created by the lakes make it perfect for grapes to grow in the Finger Lakes region.  Because of the lakes, extreme cold weather is avoided in the winter and cool air delays the start of the growing season in spring so tender shoots on the vines are not injured by late frosts.  In the summer, warm and breezy days help ripen the grapes and in the fall, the sun-warmed lakes prevent early frosts and extend the growing season.

There are  more than 115 wineries in the Finger lake region with most of them small and family owned and operated.  Riesling is by far the most planted and known varietal from the Finger Lakes Region, but Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, Merlot and Pinot Gris are all also grown in the region

I was recently invited to taste wine from the Finger Lake Region from eight different producers in honor of Finger Lakes Wine Month, (the month of May).  The wines for the tasting  included three Chardonnays, two Gewurtztraminers and three Riesling.  The tasting was part of #Winechat on Twitter and was hosted by @ProtocolWine for @FLXWine.

Swedish Hill 2012 Chardonnay $16.99 has 100% malolactic fermentation. It is very oaky and buttery and is a classic traditional Chardonnay.

Lakewood 2012 Chardonnay $12.99 is buttery with oak and vanilla flavors with coconut on the finish reflective of it partial malolactic fermentation.

Knapp Winery 2012 Chardonnay $13.95 has apple lemon and pear flavors with some oak on the finish

Hector Wine Company 2012 Gewurztraminer $20 is dry with a nice floral nose, it is bright and crisp with hints of ginger and spice

Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars 2012 Gewurztraminer $14.99 tastes of lychee, lemon pear and tropical fruit flavors with nice acidity.

Boundary Breaks 2011 Riesling $30 is sweet and tastes of lavender and orange blossoms.

Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 2012 Riesling $20 is medium dry with lemon and apple flavors and a nice creaminess

Red Newt Cellars 2011 Riesling $19.99 is dry with bright citrus flavor it has nice minerality and acidity

What I learned from this tasting is that the wines of the Finger Lakes are produced in a broad range of styles, so there probably is something for everyone.  Also, there is more to Finger Lakes wines than just Riesling, although I must say the Riesling from here is quite remarkable and I’d love to try more!

In honor of Finger Lakes wine month I suggest you pick up some Finger Lakes wine and let me know what you think.  I definitely look forward to the opportunity to try more Finger Lakes Wine!   For more information on Finger Lakes Wines go to

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