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Finger Lakes trying to go red

22 Sep

• From the Syracuse Post-Standard:

Since the 1980s, after Dr. Konstantin Frank paved the way for Finger Lakes winemakers to grow and make wines from the classic European grapes known as vinifera, Riesling has soared to the top as the star white wine grape of the region.

What about reds?

Decades into the surge in quality wine-making in the Finger Lakes, where cold-hardy grapes are essential, vintners and vineyard owners seem to be searching for a vinifera grape that can stake a claim to be the region’s signature red, or at least build a solid reputation. Extensive production of familiar varieties like Pinot Noir and Merlot and the lesser known, but widely planted, Cabernet Franc are yielding good wines, but none have had the star power of Riesling.

Now more and more wineries are playing around with some relatively obscure or uncommon red vinifera varieties, like Lemberger, Gamay Noir [shown in photo] or Teroldego, grapes that are native to cooler parts of Europe. …

Maybe one will become a regional star. Or perhaps the winemakers will simply find something that works well in their own vineyard, as Sheldrake Point has done with Gamay Noir, the grape behind the famous Beaujolais wines in France.

[Go here for the full story.]

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Posted by on September 22, 2010 in Agriculture, Finger Lakes, Wineries

 

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