May is Riesling Month in the Finger Lakes

May is Riesling Month in the Finger Lakes

Photo Courtesy of Finger Lakes Wine Country

Being a fan of Riesling, I’m excited about May being Riesling Month.  Being a huge fan of Finger Lakes Rieslings…read article.



The Finger Lakes for Wine Lovers

Photo Credit: Heron Hill Winery

I’m a huge fan of the Finger Lakes and its outstanding wines.  Here is an article of mine on traveling to the Finger Lakes and which wineries to visit along the way published by Jersey Bites.




2008 Dr Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling

2008 Dr Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling

I decided to pair this Finger Lakes wine with scallop ceviche I was serving as a starter at my last dinner party and it was a super choice.

When I poured the 2008 Dr Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling, it was straw colored in the glass.  I thought I’d made an error and opened a sweet Riesling judging by the honey color of the wine, but upon tasting it, I was pleased by the tartness and acidity I found.  In the mouth, this wine offers Fiji apple, ripe lemons and wet steely stones.  Great acidity and length on the finish.

Nice summer wine to add to my repertoire of affordable Rieslings.

Around: $15.

Riesling Hour – Tasting the Finger Lakes

Riesling Hour – Tasting the Finger Lakes

Riesling Hour Wines

Who’s ever done an online wine tasting? Why not join Finger Lakes Wine Country, me and hundreds of wine fans on Twitter and Facebook on 5/26 all while enjoying a fabulous glass (or two) of Finger Lakes Riesling:

Follow the Riesling conversation at: on Facebook or search @flxwine on Twitter

Let me know if you decide to sip with us!

Anthony Road Wine Company – A Seneca Lake Jewel

Anthony Road Wine Company – A Seneca Lake Jewel

Anthony Road Wine Sign

On a recent visit to the Finger Lakes wine region of New York, I had the pleasure of visiting Anthony Road Wine Company at the recommendation of Lenn Thompson of the New York Cork Report.  My initial reaction to seeing the beautiful structure the tasting room resides in was – wow, what wines might be waiting for me in such a facility?

Anthony Road Winery was opened in 1990 by Ann and John Martini in a farm shed on their property.  It has since prospered into an award-winning Finger Lakes winery.  Johannes Reinhardt is the winemaker and comes from a German winemaking family involved in the business since 1438.

Here are the wines sampled during our visit:

  • 2009 Semi-Sweet Riesling: Offers cantaloupe and lime aromas with slightly sweet notes and a crisp finish. $14.99.
  • 2007 Chardonnay – No Oak: Light, straight-forward wine with creamy finish. Not a buttery Chard for certain. $12.99
  • 2008 Cabernet Franc / Lemberger: Perhaps the best example of Lemberger I’ve seen in the Finger Lakes – medium-bodied, cherry on the palate with a dry finish. $17.99.
  • 2009 Pinot Noir: Fermented and aged in French oak, this wine offers red fruit, but in the form of ripe strawberries versus the typical cherry found in many Pinots.  There are hints of cocoa there that make this wine slightly earthy. $19.98.
  • Tony’s Red: Was boasted as the ‘pizza red’ and it was – light and fruity wine to be enjoyed with casual fares on any week night. $8.99.
  • 2007 Sweet Dream: Using Vignoles grapes (French-American hybrid), Anthony Road Wine Company is able to create a dessert wine that’s balanced with a nice level of acidity to cut through the honey and ripe peach flavors and long finish. 8.6% residual sugar. $15.99 (375ml).

You can find Anthony Road Winery products online at the winery’s web store, at nearby liquor stores and at the winery located at:

1020 Anthony Road

Penn Yan, NY, 14527

Social media fans can ‘like’ Anthony Road Wine Company’s Facebook page.

Dr Konstantin Frank – Enjoyable Beyond the Cab Franc and Riesling

Dr Konstantin Frank – Enjoyable Beyond the Cab Franc and Riesling

Photo Credit: Finger Lakes Visitors Assoc

Who could visit the Finger Lakes wine region of New York and not visit Dr Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars?  Not my party and nor should you.

First, the tasting room in Hammondsport, NY is vibrant with fun energy (did I mention we visited on Halloween weekend?).  The staff, especially Colleen, is helpful and knows its pitch.  During our tasting, Colleen ensured that we not only enjoyed the wines the winery’s famous for, but some of its less known stars.

Our tasting featured:

  • First on the list was the Chateau Frank Célèbre ($19.99).  Thought this Cremant-style sparkling wine was super.  Riddled by hand and aged ‘sur lies’, this sparkling Riesling offers apple on the nose and tiny, creamy bubbles.  Super enjoyable.
  • Next came the 2009 Dry Riesling ($14.99) and the 2009 Semi-Dry Riesling ($14.99).  The dry Riesling shows tart green apple on the nose and citrus, wet stone in the mouth.  The semi-dry Riesling offers a mouthful of juicy ripe pear that lingers pleasantly on the finish.
  • We then moved on to the 2008 Rkatsiteli ($17.99).  This varietal that originated in Georgia, and is still popular in Eastern Europe, is known for its high level of acidity. To counteract this trait, Dr Frank adds some natural sugar to produce an enjoyable, balanced wine.  The in-your-face tropical fruit palate and floral nose would be a good match to spicy food.
  • We moved on to the 2009 Gewurztraminer ($17.99).  Citrus fruit with subtle honey notes. Nice balance and level of acidity.
  • We compared the 2007 Pinot Noir ($19.99) with the 2008 Salmon Run Pinot Noir ($13.99) next.  the ’07 is an award-winning wine and shows beautiful purple hues in the glass, bright silky cherries in the mouth with a long dry finish.  The ’08 isn’t as bold and bright and has more earthy qualities than the ’07.
  • Finally, we sipped on the 2008 Salmon Run Meritage ($13.99).  54% Cabernet Franc/39.5% Cabernet Sauvignon/6.5% Merlot create this French oak barrel aged wine.  Was described as a good match for pizza night, and it is.  Nothing bold about this wine, just a neat choice for a casual meal.

Planning a Finger Lakes visit?  Don’t miss Dr Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars situated in a beautiful area of Keuka Lake at:

9749 Middle Road

Hammondsport, NY 14840

Telephone: 800-320-0735

You can buy Dr Frank wines at the winery, in select stores and through its online store.  Want to learn more about this winery?  Subscribe to its newsletter.

Heron Hill Winery – Finger Lakes Wines Done Well in a Gorgeous Space

Heron Hill Winery – Finger Lakes Wines Done Well in a Gorgeous Space

Photo Credit: Heron Hill Winery

Since its first vintage in 1977, Heron Hill has grown from a small 5,000 case winery that only made white wines into an award-winning, dynamic, 20,000 case production facility and entertainment destination for more than 50,000 people every year.

Overlooking scenic Keuka Lake, the winery’s tasting room is a sprawling, beautiful space with neat architecture and a friendly staff.  At the recommendation of Lenn Thompson of the New York Cork Report, my tasting party met with tasting hall manager, Tambi Schweizer during a recent visit to the winery.  Tambi’s knowledge of her products and her enthusiasm for the wine business is palpable and made my party’s time at the winery all the more enjoyable.

Our tasting focused primarily on comparing various wines of the same varietal against one another with a peppering of other neat finds.

  • First on the list were the 2008 Ingle Vineyards Chardonnay Unoaked ($14.99) and the 2009 Classic Chardonnay Unoaked ($12.99).  Both wines are light and refreshing with notes of green apple, but the former is super well-balanced with lemony undertones and mineral-infused, longish finish. Both enjoyable, but Ingle Vineyards will only found at the winery (which I did).
  • Second, and being sampled alone, was the 2008 Reserve Pinot Blanc ($17.99).  Nice all-purpose wine with crisp green apple nose and the right level of acidity that would make it likeable with food or without.
  • Next on agenda were the 2007 Reserve Old Vines Riesling ($24.99), the 2008 Classic Dry Riesling ($12.99) and the 2007 Ingle Vineyard Riesling ($14.99).  All three are nice examples of Finger Lakes Rieslings, but the Reserve with its bold juicy citrus bouquet and crisp finish reminded me of the best tastings in Mosel.  The Ingle offers the characteristics I enjoy in a Riesling: lemony, tart green apple but with a richness and crisp finish I crave to pair with shellfish.
  • Tambi offered a nice treat, the 2009 Classic Muscat ($12.99).  Tropical flower nose, tropical fruit flavors. Neat wine.
  • We moved on to sweeter Rieslings with the 2008 Classic Semi-Dry Riesling ($12.99) and the 2009 Classic Semi-Sweet Riesling ($12.99).  The Semi-Dry is Heron Hill’s most popular Riesling – for good reasons. It’s sweet on the palate, dry on the finish with a nice amount of acidity.  The Semi-Sweet is super with its mouthful of juicy pear/peach and its flowery nose – craving spicy Indian food just remembering it.
  • Next on the agenda were the Pinot Noirs: 2007 Ingle Vineyard Pinot Noir ($14.99) and the 2007 Reserve Pinot Noir ($29.99).  The Ingle Vineyard is light in color and offers a silky mouthfeel and cherry/raspberry flavors.  The slightly smoky reserve is fuller-bodied, boasts of bright cherries in the glass, on the nose and on the palate.  Nice wine.
  • Next were the 2007 Classic Cabernet Franc ($12.99) and the 2006 Eclipse Red ($13.99).  The Cab Franc is a nice example of a varietal that not all vineyards in the Finger Lakes do well.  Food-friendly wine with big mouthful of ripe raspberries and oaky finish.  Can’t wait to pair this wine with my porcini risotto.
  • Last but certainly not least were the Late Harvest wines: 2005 Late Harvest Chardonnay ($44.99) and the 2007 Late Harvest Vidal Blanc ($17.99).  Love late harvest wines, so was excited to try these.  Both offer a honeyed and lush ripe fruit flavors but the Vidal Blanc has a nice spicy finish and 13.5% residual sugar level that I loved.

The wines are enjoyable and showcase Finger Lakes favorites in a positive light.  Visiting the winery around lunchtime?  Don’t hesitate to grab a tasty bite at the Heron Hill Café located on the premises.  Ask for the ‘adult grilled cheese’ not featured on the menu, it’s a winner.

To order Heron Hill wines, visit the winery online or better yet, stop by the tasting room located at:

9301 County Route 76

Hammondsport, NY 14840

Telephone: 800-441-4241

Follow Heron Hill Winery on Twitter at or like its Facebook page at

Hermann J Wiemer – The Fame and Attitude are Warranted

Hermann J Wiemer – The Fame and Attitude are Warranted

Most fans of Finger Lakes wines and Mosel-style Rieslings have heard of Hermann J. Wiemer, and the fame, awards and accolades are well-deserved.

The winery’s history is rich with Hermann J. Wiemer’s mother coming from a family of Mosel winemakers dating back 300 years and a father who was a skilled nurseryman.  Hermann J. Wiemer is regarded as one of the pioneers of viticulture and winemaking in the Finger Lakes.

During a recent visit to the winery, I encountered an attitude I had not experienced at any other Finger Lakes wineries that was reminiscent of some French vineyards.  The attitude was pure – ‘you’re privileged to be tasting our wines in this space today’.  Do I think the attitude is warranted?  Mostly, yes for the following three reasons:

Wiemer Building

First, the ‘barn’ housing the winery is fabulous.  The winery was designed in 1982 by an award-winning team of Cornell architects. Enclosed within the shell of the 70-year-old scissor-trussed barn is the wine shop, the tasting room and the production facilities.

Second, our tasting was conducted by Michael, a catering company owner from Manhattan who makes weekend trips to Hermann J. Wiemer to share his passion and wine expertise with winery guests.  Loved him.

Third, most of the wines are simply great.  Our tasting included the following wines:

  • 2008 Dry Riesling: What Wiemer’s known for – crisp, light lime floral bouquet with a minerals-laden long finish. Around $17.50.
  • 2008 Semi-Dry Riesling:  Rich, peachy bouquet and an almost orangey flavor. Unctuous finish that lingers. Think – spicy Thai food. Around $17.
  • 2009 Gewürztraminer: Ripe pear with nice spicy finish. Around $22.
  • 2008 Frost Cuvee: A blend of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Cuvee of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, this is an easy-going wine that’d be perfect sipped on a warm summer day at an outdoor party. Not complicated, with peach aroma and a dry finish. Around $12.
  • 2009 Late Harvest Riesling: This Spätlese-style wine is full bodied, rich with a 5.9% residual sugar. Mouthful of honey and ripe green apple.  Around $23.
  • 2007 Cabernet Franc: This wine sees new and old French oak barrels and is bursting with bright fruit and offers soft tannins. Around $25.

Hermann J. Wiemer wines are relatively easy to find at local wine stores, at least compared to some other Finger Lakes wine brands.  You can also purchase wines online at and at the winery’s story located at:

3962 Route 14

Dundee, NY 14837

Click HERE for driving directions

Telephone: 607 243 7971

Make a point to visit this winery when touring the Finger Lakes wine region.