Red Tail Ridge winery is owned and operated by Mike Schnelle and Nancy Irelan (short video), a husband and wife team, who are dedicated to producing fine wine in the Finger Lakes. Red Tail Ridge is the first LEED®-certified green winery in New York. Red Tail Ridge’s “green” features:
- New wine processing building aims for LEED Silver certification.
- Walls contain recycled materials.
- Fieldstone on facade came from vineyard grounds.
- Geothermal heating/cooling system.
- ‘Daylighting’ to cut energy use.
- Use of suppliers within a 500-mile radius.
- Drainage ditches, drain tile and irrigation pond minimize storm runoff.
- Laser-straight rows planted 6 feet apart aid in cultivation and weed control.
- Fencing and nets deter wildlife humanely.
Our tasting was led by self-proclaimed ‘hired gun’ Noel, a knowledgeable wine and Finger Lakes enthusiast.
- We first sampled the 2009 Sans Oak Chardonnay: Typical non-oaked Chardonnay characteristics – ripe pear/juicy apple with a creamy finish. Around $11.95.
- Second, we sipped on 2008 Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay: Nutty peach flavors, creamy nutmeg finish. Around $16.99.
- Our third offering was the 2008 Dry Riesling: Tangy key lime and juicy tropical fruit with dry finish. Wine Spectator: 89 points. Around $18.95.
- Next was the 2008 Semi-Sweet Riesling: Rich, peachy nose with tangerine/cantaloupe flavor. Unctuous finish that lingers. Think – Indian food. Around $13.95.
- A new varietal to me was the 2008 Lemberger: Mouthful of ripe cherries, spicy, slightly chocolaty notes. Around $19.95.
- Finally, we sipped the 2008 Estate Pinot Noir: Nose is in-your-face with bright cherries. Big mouthful of raspberries/ripe cherries with hints of butterscotch. Around $19.95.
The winery even features a charity wine, 2009 Good Karma, where 3% of the per-bottle profit is donated to Foodlink, a regional food bank.
Red Tail Ridge wines can be purchased at the winery, by phone at 315-536-4580, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, at many fine wine stores and can be enjoyed at many New York tri-state restaurants and select California dining establishments.
Good wine producer, confident in its pursuit of sustainability, Red Tail Ridge Winery is a must-visit Seneca Lake winery. The cozy tasting room is located at:
846 State Route 14
Penn Yan, NY 14527