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.

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 www.twitter.com/heronhillwinery or like its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/heronhillwinery.

Red Tail Ridge Winery – Thinking Green on Seneca Lake

Red Tail Ridge Winery – Thinking Green on Seneca Lake

Red Tail Ridge Winery

At the recommendation of Lenn Thompson of the New York Cork Report, we visited 5-year old Red Tail Ridge Winery on a recent visit to the Finger Lakes wine region.

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 In Stores

Red Tail Ridge wines can be purchased at the winery, by phone at 315-536-4580, via email at tastingroom@redtailridgewinery.com, 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
315-536-4580