While it may not seem so from the past week’s weather, it’s fall and that means grape harvest in the Finger Lakes. I stopped in to talk to Peter Bell at Fox Run Vineyards to ask how harvest is going.
“As you remember, the summer was pretty darn wet. It wasn’t a great growing season, but the weather we’ve had for the last week and a half and the weather we’ll have for the next week looks like there’s definitely some chance of redemption. The grapes are ripening up really well, flavor wise, sugar wise, the acids in the grapes have been very high all summer and they’re going down nicely. So, I’m pretty optimistic, thank you.”
If you’ve never experienced harvest first hand, it can be a chaotic experience and it’s hard to talk to a grower or a winemaker for long before they’re called away.
To give people a look behind the scenes of harvest, Fox Run is offering a Food and Wine Experience on Fridays. Guests receive a tour of the vineyards and the winery with one of the owners or a member of the staff. Dan Mitchell has been with Fox Run for 13 years. He conducts some of the tours, which rarely offer the same experience twice.
“Things change. Mother Nature deals us different growing seasons every year or so. Something that may have been our practice thirteen years ago may change over time be it vineyard management or fermentation technique.”
Following the tour, Fox Run offers a light lunch prepared by their resident chef Brud Holland. He focuses on pairing their wines with as many local ingredients as possible, so the harvest season is a busy time for him as well.
“I’m out and about picking up things from different farmers. We’ve got a pretty nice extensive garden here at Fox Run. I’m doing a little work with Bejo Seeds, which is up on Pre-Emption Road. They grow a lot of interesting vegetables and do a lot of research with seeds. Often times I get products that are grown only here in this region specifically for a growing trial.”
The Fox Run Food and Wine Experience happens Fridays at 11:30 through the end of October. There is more information on their website.