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Finger Lakes Wine

Hunt Country Vineyards
Matt Kelly


As harvest was winding down in the Finger Lakes, I visited Hunt Country Vineyards on Keuka Lake. The Hunt family has been making wine since the early 80s, but they’ve been farming the land far longer than that. It’s a family history that’s on display in their tasting room.

A view of Keuka Lake from Keuka Spring Vineyards
Kelly Walker / Finger Lakes Public Radio


My latest stop visiting Finger Lakes winemakers during harvest 2017 was with August Deimel at Keuka Spring Vineyards. On visits to other winemakers, we’ve heard how the wet summer and unexpectedly warm September delayed harvest. But, not only did the fruit come in late, it came in fast.

A view of Hosmer Winery on Cayuga Lake.
Kelly Walker / Finger Lakes Public Radio

My most recent stop visiting winemakers during harvest around the Finger Lakes was at Hosmer Winery on Cayuga Lake. It was a beautiful, sunny day when I visited last week. Head winemaker Julia Hoyle agreed with her fellow winemakers that the wet growing season had an impact, but that the warm dry spell in September was a big help.

 

 

A view of the vineyards at Red Tail Ridge on an overcast harvest day
Kelly Walker / Finger Lakes Public Radio


As part of continuing coverage of the 2017 grape harvest in the Finger Lakes, I drove out to Red Tail Ridge last week on the west side of Seneca Lake. Winemaker and co-owner Nancy Irelan walked me around and introduced me to her staff and intern. Like many in the Finger Lakes wine industry, they’ve worked and have friends in the northern California wine industry that’s been affected by the historic wildfires.

Kelby Russell / Instagram


The fall grape harvest has been underway for a couple of weeks in the Finger Lakes. I stopped by Red Newt Cellars on Saturday to talk to winemaker Kelby Russell about how harvest is going.

Fox Run Vineyards


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.

Kelly Walker

Since the late 1990s, Peter Bell of Fox Run Vineyards has hosted a winetasting for his fellow Finger Lakes winemakers.

“I’ve always been interested and motivated to taste with other winemakers, my colleagues.” 

On this particular morning, the group is tasting tank samples of 2015 semi-dry Riesling, what Bell describes as works in progress.

“The best time to make some changes, of course, is before the wine goes into bottles. And that’s what’s going on right now.”