New York Wines (18) Thirsty Owl, Finger Lakes

The origin of Thirsty Owl was 200 acres of land belonging to Bob and Mary Plane who were instrumental in pushing for the NY Farm Winery Act, which made it feasible for grape growers to open wineries back in the 1970s when the dominant big companies were dropping contracts. They were grape suppliers, and after […]

New York Wine (19) Osmote, Finger Lakes

Ben Riccardo, Osmote

Osmote is one of our finds from the New York trip. It’s the project of Ben Riccardi, who grew up in New York State (born in Ithaca, and studied at Cornell), but has travelled the wine world widely. His winemaking CV includes stints in New Zealand, France, Australia, California and Chile.

He spent […]

New York Wines (17) Boundary Breaks, Finger Lakes

Bruce Murray, Boundary Breaks

Bruce Murray comes from central New York. A few years ago he enjoyed one of Germany’s leading Rieslings (a Spatlese from Nahe genius Helmut Dononnhof Riesling Spatlese with a Thai meal at the Lotus of Siam in Los Vegas. ‘This was a pairing and experience I never forgot,’ he says. He […]

New York Wine (16) Swedish Hill, Finger Lakes

The story at Swedish Hill is a common one in the Finger Lakes. Grapes were planted here for Taylor Wines, and then in the 1970s with their demise these grapes had no home. So Swedish Hill was one of those properties who put in a winery in order to use the grapes.

The industry at the […]

New York Wines (14) Nathan Kendall, Chëpika and Hickory Hollow, Finger Lakes

Nathan Kendall

Nathan Kendall is one of the bright lights of the Finger Lakes wine scene. He’s winemaker at Hickory Hollow winery, but also makes wine under his own name. And he’s also involved in a new project with Pascaline Lepeltier, the famed New York Sommelier, making a pet nat called Chëpika.

Nathan met Pascaline a […]

New York State (13) Lamoreaux Landing, Finger Lakes

There have been vineyards on the site of what is now Lamoreaux Landing since 1947. It’s an estate of 750 acres on the eastern side of Seneca Lake, with 120 acres under vine in some 20 different blocks. We visited with owner Mark Wagner, who manages the vineyard, and Josh Wig, who is co-owner and looks […]

New York State (12) Silver Thread, Finger Lakes

The view from the tasting room over the Silver Thread vineyard

As a wine estate, Silver Thread is now 27 years old. The previous owner, Richard Figiel, bought the property on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake in 1977 and replanted with vinifera beginning in 1982.

Figiel was an organic enthusiast and for a while held […]

New York State (11) Red Newt, Finger Lakes

One of the leading wineries in the Finger Lakes, Red Newt is named after the eastern red spotted newt. It’s based on the east side of Seneca Lake in the hamlet of Hector.

Owner David Whiting tasting from barrel

David Whiting founded the winery in 1998 when he bought an old dairy farm with some land, […]

New York State (10) Bloomer Creek, Finger Lakes

Debra Bermingham

Kim Engle and Debra Bermingham are the people behind Bloomer Creek, which on this showing is producing some of the most compelling wines in the Finger Lakes. We visited with Debra, who as well as being a professional artist, was also once close to choosing mountaineering as a career.

The Bloomer Creek journey began […]

New York State (9) Dr Konstantin Frank, Finger Lakes

Dr Konstantin Frank is one of the most important figures in the development of the Finger Lakes wine region. His story is a remarkable one, too. He’s most famous now for being the key figure in getting people to plant Vitis vinifera varieties in the Finger Lakes.

Born in 1899 into a wealthy ethnic German family […]