• 2 Seneca Lake wineries among world’s top 100

29 Oct

Wine & Spirits editor Joshua Greene (left) and Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV preview five wines from the W&S Top 100.

Two New York State operations have been included in Wine & Spirits magazine’s latest list of “100 Top Wineries.” Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars and Hermann J. Wiemer, both located on Seneca Lake, were selected by the editors from among all the world’s commercial wineries. In total, 37 American wineries made the list.

Lamoreaux, which is located in Lodi on Seneca Lake, this year marked its 20th anniversary. It began handcrafting sparkling wines using the Methode Champenoise in 1994. Its first such product, the 1990 Brut, won five gold medals and was named the International Wine Center’s “Best Bet in Sparkling Wine” in 1994. The bulk of its sparkling wines are made from Chardonnay grapes, which come predominantly from its New Passmore Vineyard.

According to owner Mark Wagner, “The estate vineyard, located closest to the winery, is comprised of our Clone 4 vines that yield fruit with a higher natural acid content and lower sugars, a profile that is ideal for making sparkling wine. Once in the winery, each of the lots is fermented separately, then bottled, spending at least three years en tirage on the yeast lees [sediment that occurs during and after fermentation] before being hand riddled and disgorged.”

Lamoreaux Landing typically alternates between making Blanc de Blanc (100% Chardonnay) and Brut (typically 70% Chardonnay/30% Pinot Noir), but also occasionally produces Blanc de Noir (100% Pinot Noir).

The Wagner family has been in the grape business for four generations. Since the 1940s, they have produced grapes for such large-scale wine producers as Taylor and Widmer. Mark Wagner took the reins in 1978 and re-targeted the business to cultivate premium vitis vinifera grapes to supply the new wineries that began popping up as a result of the state’s Farm Winery Act passed in 1976.

The name Lamoreaux Landing the name of a 19th Century steamboat landing on Seneca Lake. The complex’s main building is a large Greek Revival style. It was opened on August 30, 1992. The estate controls more than 100 acres of planted vineyards. They are divided into more than 20 different vineyard blocks to pinpoint yields for the cool-climate, estate-bottled varietals. Riesling and Chardonnay are the most prevalent, but Lamoreaux also manages blocks of Cabernet Franc, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The winery, located at 9224 Route 414, is open for tastings year-round, although tours are by appointment only. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Phone: (617) 582-6011.

Hermann J. Wiemer, a native of Bernkastel, Germany, emigrated to the Finger Lakes in the 1960s. He came from a family that had been making wine in the Mosel Valley for more than 300 years. He located in Dundee, on the western shore of Seneca Lake after purchasing 80 acres. Wiemer’s first Riesling and Chardonnay vintages won Gold in New York competitions. Over the past 30 years, his consistency and quality have earned a reputation as one of the nation’s top white wine producers and a leader in Riesling.

His winery is located at 3962 Route 14. The retail shop and tasting room is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays, with all hours subject to change January through March. Phone: (800) 371-7971 or (607) 243-7971.

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Posted by on October 29, 2010 in Awards, Finger Lakes


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