Tales from the Shale - Vineyard Journal May 11, 2018

May 11, 2018 -- BIO-SPRAY / VINEYARD SAUCE
Written by Autumn Stoscheck (Instagram: @myvineyardyear)

First bio spray of the year at Forge Cellars. I call it Vineyard Sauce because it smells like Thai fish sauce. While the winemaker's fermentations are done in beautiful French oak barrique, the vigneron's fermentation is taking place in recycled plastic barrel. After 4 weeks in the cellar, my brew of Effective Microbes is ready to spray on the vines. These microbes have been selected for their ability to contribute to plant and soil health. Sort of like a probiotic for the vineyard. Also in the mix, organic fermented fish from a family farm in North Carolina. This contains essential fatty acids which the microbes need, as well as nutrients for the vines. Farms rarely post pictures of spraying on their social media...consumers might be shocked at the behind the scenes look at chemical agriculture. But I am posting this picture because my bio spray is a joyful occasion. As a mom, I love cooking healthy food for my children with high quality ingredients. As a farmer, I feel like I am doing the same thing for my plant children. As a caretaker of this vineyard, I get to be there when the sun rises over the Hector backbone on this glorious day in early May!

Tales from the Shale - Vineyard Journal Apr. 26, 2018

April 26, 2018 -- TYING THE VINES
Written by Autumn Stoscheck (Instagram: @myvineyardyear)

My first day tying vines at Forge Cellars (and ever for that matter). The Hector wind has died down, the sun is out, the birds are singing and the lake is shimmering in the distance. This little French tying tool is really slick. It's kinda like hog tie pliers, but with a biodegradable twist tie material.

This time of year is so exciting. Even though it's still cold and from the outside the vines look like they are still sleeping, I know that so much is happening in the plant realms that I can't see. The roots of the vines are growing, getting their networks in place for photosynthesis and working in concert with their mycorrhizal allies. And do you know that intoxicating smell after an early spring rain? I like to think it's the smell of the soil microbiome kicking in to high gear.

May 4, 2018
There are a lot of parallels between orcharding and vineyarding...today was the day that this long, slow start to spring really seemed to be over. The sun came out and got hot between warm rains, the tree frogs and the peepers reached a defining pitch and you could almost watch the buds swelling in real time. All day I was getting texts from both my orchard and vineyard people. "Did you finish pruning?" "Did you get that spray on?" "Did you finish tying?" "Is your tractor fixed?" "Did the brush get pulled?" For a lot of folks, this time of year is just enjoyable but for my friends who farm woody perennials it's a different feeling: suddenly the season is off to an unstoppable start. Roots multiplying, sap flowing, leaves ready to begin unfurling at a dizzying pace. Somewhere between panic and euphoria, we kick into a higher gear and now it's a race to the finish line. Today at the Forge home vineyard, my intern and I tied 2,600 vines: a race against time as the buds are now popping, incredibly fragile and ready to begin opening. Luckily we will finish tomorrow, not a moment too soon...

Tales from the Shale - Vineyard Journal Apr. 23, 2018

AutumnStoscheck.jpg

Have you met Autumn Stoscheck?  She's the powerhouse behind Eve's Cidery, farmer extraordinaire, orchardist turned vigneron, and generally just a badass lady.  Autumn is on sabbatical with the cidery and working with us to develop our biointensive home farm.  Her methodologies and holistic approach to the land echo the philosophies of Forge and Saint Cosme, while also bringing a unique perspective to the mix.

Throughout the season we will share some highlights from the vineyard, and bring you along to explore the terroir of our site.


April 23, 2018 -- MAKING BIOCHAR
Written by Autumn Stoscheck (Instagram: @myvineyardyear)

#1 Vine prunings from 3 acres of 3 year old vines, the pit, and my fire starter. I dug this pit in 2 hours with a front loader on a little Kubota and hand held hoe. It's cone shaped, 3' deep in the center with a 6' radius up top.

#2 Started a very hot fire with scrap wood from old pallets.

#3 When it was raging, I began adding the prunings. The trick is to continue to add as much fire as possible with out smothering it.

#4 Fire burns twice, first making charcoal, then ash. The cone prevents air from reaching the bottom of the fire, leaving behind the charcoal. The fire is so hot it makes no smoke, only steam. The pit was full when I threw the last of the vines on the fire.

#5 Luckily our sprayer only uses organic certified materials, so I had a convenient method to pump the 100 gallons of water that the fire required to quench.

#6 Apx 200 gallons of high quality, uniform biochar ready to inoculate and add to our compost pile to be returned to the vineyard.

The Evolution in the Cellar

(Sourced from our e-newsletter on April 20, 2018)

 Winemaking at Forge Cellars - Seneca Lake, Finger Lakes, New York

Here we are, in between the calmness of slow, steady fermentations and the thrill of preparing these barrels for the journey ahead. Using natural yeasts as we do, our wines take their sweet time to ferment to bone dryness and the 2017s are still finishing this evolution. It’s a busy time of constant tasting and note-taking, discovering the vintage in our cellar.  There is hardly anything more exciting than tasting through the wines from our collection of vineyard sites, and experiencing the “colors” of the eastern shore of Seneca Lake.  People often ask about our interest in working with so many sites; the simple and honest answer is that, at this young stage of Forge and the Finger Lakes, we want to explore our terroir more completely and partner with the best growers, while still focusing within a tight eight-mile strip that we love along southeast Seneca Lake.   Keep in mind the narrow terroir that is in our Riesling Classique: even with 15 plots, we are essentially working with vineyards between Lodi and Hector, except for one late-harvest site. 
 
There are certain terroirs that offer intensity and precision, while other sites offer savory, stony minerality, or flavors that make you feel like you just bit into the juiciest peach of your life.  Blending these profiles together allows us to give you a bottle that is layered with the complexity we find in the lower-east microclimate of Seneca. To define this connection, beginning with our 2017 vintage, our wines will be labeled with the "Seneca Lake" AVA rather than the wider-ranging "Finger Lakes."
 
What about the single vineyard wines?  There are always a few vineyards that so clearly portray their terroir that they compel us to study them alone. They are masked within a blend and brilliantly complete on their own. Similarly, we note a few barrels among both the Riesling and Pinot Noir that are truly exceptional, and can be nothing other than our Les Alliés.
 
In these coming days, we will sit together as a team and uncover the 2017 vintage.  More than one hundred barrels will be individually tasted, assessed, blended, and the final wines realized.

Naked on Earth Day

(Sourced from our e-newsletter on April 20, 2018)

 Naked Bottles Forge Cellars Riesling and Pinot Noir

As fermentations come to an end and the wines comes to life, the movement from barrel to bottle brings a new set of logistics.  Labels are finalized, glass bottles are shipped from France, boxes are ordered, and the list goes on.  One constant element in the chaos of production, is our steadfast aversion to putting capsules on our wines.  It’s a decision that may seem curious in the world of fine wine, but we believe the minimalism is necessary to reduce waste and harm to our planet. After all, capsules are purely decorative; they were historically used to protect wine from vermin in the cellar.  To comply with European import regulations, a limited number of bottles sent overseas are the only Forge wines that ever use capsules. 
 
According to the Ocean Conservatory, we produce more than 2.5 billion tons of solid waste globally each year.  Plastic waste accounts for over 275 million tons, and every year, 8 million tons of plastic finds its way into our oceans.  The Environmental Protection Agency states that in the United States alone, there are over 10,000 old municipal landfills and the number of active landfills in the U.S. is greater than 3,000.
 
These numbers are heartbreaking.  At Forge, we are very conscious of the environment that gives us the ability to pursue our passion. We want to be calculated and conscientious with our approach in the vineyard and in the winery, including our packaging.  Our goal is to nurture a symbiotic relationship with the Earth, to feed, listen, and translate the terroir with clarity.  For these reasons, we do our part not to contribute to the ever-growing plastic waste in the world.
 
Wine capsules are often made of tin, PVC, or Polylam, of which only tin is recyclable.  Tin is also the most expensive option of capsule, and only a small fraction of wineries who use capsules actually choose tin over other options, thus the waste grows.
 
In honor of Earth Day, we raise our naked bottles and give thanks to Mother Nature!


If you'd like to learn more about plastic pollution in our oceans, please watch the video below published by the United Nations.

Why do we make Pinot Noir?

(Sourced from our e-newsletter on Jan. 18, 2018)

  2011, our first vintage of Pinot Noir. (Photo: Wendy Houseworth)

2011, our first vintage of Pinot Noir. (Photo: Wendy Houseworth)

Just about every week we have someone visit the winery for a tasting, and often one of their first questions is, "Why do you make Pinot Noir?” 

True, with with our variable weather patterns and cool, northerly climate, nothing is easy here; certainly not the fickle, seductive beauty known as Pinot.  But we have always had the confidence that if we chose the right sites, balanced the yields, worked with dedicated growers, and paid attention throughout the season, we could absolutely achieve excellence. Notice I have mentioned nothing about the winemaking, which must be watchful, disciplined and intensive. This past fall, Justin and I used our brain power and brute strength to figure out how to break through the foot-thick cap of grape skins to punch down our Pinots. Louis haranged us day and night about fermentation temperatures, and we bit our nails in suspense over whether our French barrels would arrive from Santa Rosa, California while it was burning from wildfires.  

Seneca Lake Pinot Noir truly excites us and gets us up in the mornings. We believe it is possible to translate our terroir into a sublime glass of Pinot. Some of the very factors that deter and stymy are those that have the potential to make our version so compelling. We continue our quest for finesse, delicacy, seduction and charm, and we invite you to come along on this journey. Such is our confidence in the variety here, that  in 2016 and 2017, we planted ten acres of Pinot on our home farm. With the help of our Vineyard Consultant, Phil Davis (Damiani Wine Cellars) and our vineyard team, which now includes Autumn Stoscheck from Eve’s Cidery, we look forward to raising our young vines in the most eco-friendly and balanced manner possible that they might tell you a brilliant Finger Lakes story one day.

If you like Burgundy, we think you will especially find our Pinots attractive. These are wines that reflect their delicate and gradual Finger Lakes ripening and their foundation in shale soils. They are alive, expressive and mysterious, unfolding at will. I'll be heading to Burgundy for inspiration and wisdom from the holy grail of Pinot Noir in just a week, so stay tuned for updates, and in the meantime, check out our newly released and rated Les Alliés 2015.

-RR

The perfect wine for Thanksgiving -- 2015 Dry Riesling Classique

Don't fret about Thanksgiving wine choices - just about anything goes

On Thanksgiving day, two things are more important than the wine you pour. No. 1, of course, is the people you are with. (If you thought "watching football" was No. 1, you might need a re-education on the meaning of Thanksgiving; start with a "Charlie Brown" special.) No.

"How many times have we walked away from meals talking more about what was in the glass than what was on the plate? Many times."  We couldn't agree more with Michael Austin of the Chicago Tribune.  Of course, the feast is centerpiece of Thanksgiving, but without wine, the feast is incomplete.  In his article of must-have wines for Thanksgiving, Austin recommends our 2015 Dry Riesling Classique, calling it "full of minerality, almond, orange zest, citrus and a whisper of smoke — soft and luscious with bright acidity and a dry finish."

One of the best things about the holiday season and the foods that accompany them is that our Riesling and Pinot Noir offerings were practically made for them.  The Rieslings have weight and concentration with the perfect amount of freshness and acidity to complement rich dishes (poultry, pork, creamy squashes and soups) while also not overpowering the lighter fare at the table (salads and fresh vegetables or cheeses).  Vegetarians or those with carnivorous cravings will take pleasure in pairing a variety of foods with our Pinot Noir.  Our Pinots have unbelievable intensity with the perfect amount of restraint.  Earth, mineral, and fruit are woven together with precision and intention, while the tannins and acid breathe structure and freshness into the palate.  Poultry or red meat, root vegetables and mushrooms, lentils or salmon, and of course the traditional Thanksgiving cranberry sauce and stuffing -- these are just a few ways you can introduce Forge Pinot to the food and guests at your table.

-KR

Wonder how we make our Rosé? This is a great, simple explanation.

Why Saignée is Like No Other Rosé | Wine Folly

Saignée ("sohn-yay") means "to bleed," and it also describes a method of rosé winemaking that involves "bleeding" off a portion of red wine juice after it's been in contact with the skins and seeds. Saignée is considered a byproduct of red winemaking because its primary function is to increase the concentration of red wines.

Another Sinfully Delectable Food and Wine Pairing

 Photo by: Steven M Rice

Photo by: Steven M Rice

Our friend, Steve, from the Seattle area sent us this picture of our 2015 Lower Caywood Vineyard Riesling that he paired with local Dungeness Crab.  This may be one of the greatest parings with that wine that I could ever imagine.  The richness, minerality, and specifically the wild herb component of our Lower Caywood Riesling paired with the crab must have been wonderful.  

When Louis was here, we grilled Alaskan King Crab legs and had them with a magnum of 2012 Riesling Les Alliés, and it was sinful.  Remember, these are not your grandma’s Rieslings…

-RR

The Bond of Marriage (at Forge)

I was having dinner with the Rainey’s a little over a year ago when Rick had the idea that I get married at Forge. “I know most people don’t want to get married where they work,” he said, “but this is different.” 

It was so obvious that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it. Forge was just starting to take a shape of its own at the time. We were getting ready to do the first planting. 4,000 Pinot Noir vines, 2,000 Riesling vines in a high density, 3-acre planting. The building hadn’t gone up yet but was scheduled to go up soon and we had all worked for a year or more to design it so it was just right. When I got home I brought the idea to Jimmer and he loved it. “No one has ever gotten married there before,” he said. That was one thing he really wanted in a venue. It didn’t phase us at all that it was the place we worked. This place is so filled with great energy and power that when I thought about it, there was suddenly no other spot I would even consider. Forge was it.  And it didn’t really hit me until afterward that generally speaking there are many people, possibly even most people, who would never want to get married where they work. But for us, as Rick said, it was different.

That summer we worked the land we would get married on together: shoot thinning the baby vines, getting to know the place, watching the building go up, pulling out wires (so many wires!) from the old vineyard site Forge had reclaimed. And this summer, on June 17th, we did indeed get married there, in front of the big old Oak tree in the corner of the first planted vineyard. 

-AB

Opposites

This year we are experiencing the wettest summer that I can recall.  I have never had a wet basement in our 200-year-old farmhouse during the summer months.  Just this past week, I had four inches of water down there--thankfully, it is a slate and dirt floor, so the water comes in and goes out without too much of an issue.  

The fun of having a “sister estate” is that we get to compare notes.  Louis sent me a picture this morning from Château de Saint Cosme in Gigondas (Rhône Valley), which was taken with a drone above the Roman chapel (the inspiration for the Saint Cosme label) that is at the top of the vineyards behind the winery.  He told me that they are having a hot and dry summer, but the vines seem to be doing okay.  The vines have to develop very deep roots in order to survive these hot months in the Rhône.  This is quite the opposite of Seneca Lake this summer, where we are handing out snorkels to the vineyard crews.

-RR

Here Come the 2015 Wines...

*|MC:SUBJECT|*
RELEASE OF THE 2015 WINES
 
Here we are once again.  It's that time of year when our newest vintage of wines
make their debut, and you, a faithful member of the Forge Foundry, are the first
to experience the unveiling.  

 

There is no wine club at Forge, no hierarchy among fans of great wine, no complicated sales gimmicks, just a simple formula for sharing what we do with those who enjoy it.  Our annual offering keeps us engaged with you a few times a year without filling up your inbox.  We would prefer that you read less emails and have more time to visit us in the Finger Lakes. 

The 2015 vintage is very small in terms of quantities.  The volumes, meaning the juice we received from the grapes, was to put it...mildly frightening.  However, wines from 2015 are so much fun to drink that you'll quickly forget how little there is--until you finish the bottle and go to look for another.  Fortunately, you have some 2014 Forge wines that are aging gracefully (you do, don’t you?), and can always turn to this very complex vintage as a very suitable backup.  Trust me, I am speaking from experience.  I believe that for Justin, the patient one of the group, that the 2015 vintage was memorable because of the length of the fermentations.  They were not complete (fermented to dryness) until well into the summer, hence the late release of the wines.  Often I would ask him how fermentations were moving along, and the usual response was…”well, they are GOING…like a turtle." 
Every year, I look forward to Louis' impression of the vintage.  Here are a few of his thoughts:

"One of the nicest aspects of our work is having a different vintage every year.  A computer company has to invent all sorts of new products and develop many kinds of marketing strategies to keep the customers on board  You know what?  Mother Nature does that for us, and it is so creative that every vintage is different.  Obviously, sometimes a vintage can “look like” another, but my experience is that all of them have their own identity.  2015 gives a great picture of this; we had never seen a vintage like 2015 and we won’t see it again.  On a tasting point of view, it is so pleasurable when the mark of a vintage is obvious, it gives a great dimension of “time” to the wine.  The terroir gives the dimension of “place”, of “origin.”  What is important is to get an idea of truth.  It is important that the wine is a translation of a reality, a story, a moment.  So, as a grower it is important to make the best possible wine, but it is a bad way indeed to go “against” a vintage.  This is why I like the 2015, because it has a lot of self identity and when we drink it in 15 years time, the way it will taste will have a “time machine effect” on us and it will make us happy."

It will make us “happy”…this is indeed the 2015 vintage.  They are hedonistic, exotic, and unlike any of the wines we have had the pleasure of crafting before.  Enjoy, be happy.

-RR
RIESLING CLASSIQUE 2015
$19


A classique not that classique. As Rick says it is more a great Burgundy than anything else. Ripe, wide, profound, long. But the freshness is still very present. An enormous impact of the vintage on this wine. A style on its own. -LB

Our most important wine aims to reveal the true nature of the vintage and to explore the terroir of east Seneca Lake. Working with 8 different growers on 10 parcels, we see the depth of expression possible in a ripe vintage. With this level of ripeness, fermentations continued into late spring in order to finish bone dry. Quince, lemon, fennel and slate mingle with marzipan and white chocolate, supported by precise acidity.

Production: 1800 cases
LEIDENFROST VINEYARD
RIESLING 2015

$24

A ripe, smooth, round riesling from great vegetal material.  So different from Sawmill and geographically so close. -LB

We consider this a “grand cru” site because of its close proximity to the lake and rocky terroir of shale near the surface. This vineyard always expresses its terroir clearly; grapes ripen early and well, yielding distinct character and power. The 2015 is savory and intense with flavors of stone and saline interplaying with apricot skin, apple and anise.

Hector (east side, Seneca Lake)
Soils: shale
Production: 50 cases
LOWER CAYWOOD VINEYARD
RIESLING 2015

$24

A very expressive wine with a stunning complexity and identity.  A really great terroir/location/vine.  No doubt.  An aromatic spectrum that I deeply like.  We do have something very special there, for sure. -LB

These 40-year old vines are part of the original Charles Fournier plantings, planted on shale with minimal topsoil. Due to some extra-loving care throughout the growing season, this site produced dynamic flavors that deserved its own bottling. Lifted aromas of menthol, wild herbs and wasabi contrast sharply with a rich, lush palate of glazed apples, preserved lemon, raw honey and dried orchard fruits.

Lodi (east side, Seneca Lake)
Soils: shale
Production: 25 cases
SAWMILL CREEK VINEYARD
RIESLING 2015

$24

That is classicism more than the classic.  So elegant and talking about this particular microclimate on a very precise way.  I think Sawmill is a wine to taste old.  This is a proper super great pedigree wine, no doubt.  The balance is great and works naturally well every year. -LB

We have come to expect great complexity and expression from well-farmed grapes on this site which lies in a slope contiguous to Leidenfrost. This vineyard is a jewel of the Finger Lakes where Riesling expresses itself with both minerality and ripeness year after year. A riper, heftier style that mixes dried apricot, dried apple and wild peach with honey, anise, ginger, white pepper and loam.

Hector (east side, Seneca Lake)
Soils: shale
Production: 100 cases
PINOT NOIR CLASSIQUE 2015
$26

Very Burgundian in style but very « east side Seneca » in expression. It makes sense: the style is given by your work. The expression is given by…nature. And obviously our aromatics and texture are highly related to shale in this wine. -LB

Attractive mulled plums, violets, raspberry tea, truffle and charcoal aromas can be found on the nose. The ripe results of low yields in a warm growing season are evident in the density of this year’s Classique. Sweet plums, raspberries and pure cherry juice are spiced with cinnamon, cocoa powder and violets. Savory elements of underbrush and stone join the profile, staying focused and juicy on a long finish.

Production: 625 cases
ROSÉ 2016
$17

This rosé of Pinot Noir is full-flavored and structured with notes of vibrant crunchy red cherry, cherry pit, thyme, and mineral. Produced using the saignée method, grapes were hand-harvested from Standing Stone Vineyard (located in Lodi on the east side of Seneca Lake) and experienced 16 hours of skin contact to retain its rich color.

Production: 84 cases
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Putting the Ducks to Work

We are big advocates of biodiversity on our growing farm, and value the symbiotic relationship we have with our land. This weekend, our ducklings were moved from their temporary home in the winery to their new coop in the vineyard. Over the next few weeks they will learn the landscape and begin helping us with pest management. (Bonus: not only are these guys hard workers, but they are pretty darn cute, too!)


If you're interested in learning more, check out this video from a winery in South Africa that employs more than 800 ducks in their vineyard -- it's truly a sight to see.

Louis' Visit to "The Lakes" - May 2017

Visits with Louis always move too quickly.  Having the entire team together is always something we look forward to, and while we work hard and efficiently when we're together, we always leave time for play.  (And play, we did!)

Jean-Baptiste, one of Louis' long-time friends and fellow French winemaker, came along for the ride, and experienced the Finger Lakes for the first time.  What is truly remarkable about this region is that you don't have to go out of your way to introduce someone to this place and the people, it just happens organically.  When an unknown person arrives in the Finger Lakes, there may as well be a line out the door of people waiting to introduce themselves and pass on one of their favorite local pastimes or watering holes.  The community is woven so tightly here, which is one of the many reasons we love doing what we do, where we do it.

Back to work...  Although our rosé production is small—about 100 cases this vintage—it's a fun project for us, and was the first item on the agenda.  We were all pleased to see it retain the intensity and expression of the 2015 vintage that we all loved so much.  The next big task during Louis' visit was finalizing all of the cuvées: Classique, Les Alliés, and Single Vineyard wines.  This means that each and every barrel and tank were tasted, ample notes were taken, blending trials were conducted, and after countless samples and discussion, the wines were realized.  Every year it's fascinating to see the sometimes drastic differences between vineyards and terroir when tasting the wines.  In our tasting of 2016 Rieslings, we noticed one powerful vineyard (you'll have to wait to find out which one...) that was so expressive, even adding 3% of it into our Classique bottling changed the entire dynamics of the wine.  All-in-all, the wines from the 2016 vintage were full of character and finesse, wines that we are proud to be the first to have seen the entire winemaking process from start to finish in our new facility.

It is important for us to constantly taste, to let our palates and our minds experience and understand the world of wine around us.  Everyone on the team is encouraged to document the various wines that they try (especially Riesling and Pinot Noir), and share their impressions.  The opportunity to taste together is always the most beneficial, and allows us to engage in lively discussion, analysis, and sometimes debate.  It was a treat to taste some of the older vintages from Saint Cosme (2004 Les Deux Albion, anyone?) and sample Riesling and Pinot from around the world, each with their own story and personality. 

What did we do for play?  Aside from taking pleasure in beautiful wines and the Michelin 3-star meals that Rick cooked up, we also wrangled in our bravery and jumped into one of many creeks feeding into Seneca Lake.  Nothing is quite as invigorating at 9am as a chilly dip into a pool of fresh water (right, Louis?).  We warmed up with a bonfire at the winery, had coffee and pastries, and shared some good laughs about the lunacy that just happened.

These are the moments that remind us of how much we love what we do.  Having the team together, seeing our wines come to life before our eyes, and taking in all that the Finger Lakes has to offer (cold streams and all) is the life force of Forge.

-KR

Forge Around the World

Things are busy here in "the lakes" (as Louis would say), so while we're busy tending to things in the winery and vineyard, our wines have taken up the hobby of globetrotting.  

Just last week, our Riesling and Pinot Noir were seated among some BIG names in the wine biz for a professional tasting of American wines in Romania.  It is an honor and a privilege to wield the flag of the Finger Lakes abroad, and introduce the region and wines to connoisseurs overseas.

  Photo: Facebook page of Liz Thach

Photo: Facebook page of Liz Thach

Photos: Facebook page of Liz Thach

Shanghai was the next stop for our Riesling.  Liz Thach, MW (Master of Wine) presented our Riesling Classique to 34 Chinese wine professionals during a tasting of "8 Top American Wines."  Forge Cellars wines poured alongside Kistler, Domaine Serene, Turley, and Opus One!?

Did you catch our Facebook post last week about Hungary?  Our Riesling Classique is the only American wine on the list at Eleven - bor&tapas, a wine bar/restaurant in Pécs.

Wow.  What a strange yet amazing feeling to see our project making a splash and navigating the vast world of wine.

Adding Drain Tile to Our Home Farm

IMG_3419.JPG

In the coming weeks, our home farm will welcome another addition of Riesling and Pinot Noir vines. This past weekend, Rick and James spent their time installing drain tiles throughout the vineyard where the next phase of planting will occur.  By "tiling" or adding drain tiles, any excess subsurface water from the rising of the water table will be redirected through the pipe/drain system and moved away from the vineyard.  It's a necessary undertaking in a region such as the Finger Lakes, which experiences somewhat significant rainfall in various years. 

During the dig, we unearthed quite a bit of shale and blue clay - a combination that will make Pinot Noir especially happy.  

-KR

Forge Cellars, atop the Chaîne des Puys

It is surreal every time I see Forge Cellars in some place other than our own tasting room!  

Yesterday, Louis sent a picture from Clermont-Ferrand, France, where the wines of Château de Saint Cosme and Forge Cellars were being poured.

Last week he was at Prowein showing our wines and this week Louis is in central France with the Forge portfolio. We may need to change his title to read: Louis Barruol - Finger Lakes Ambassador.

A note about Clermont-Ferrand -- most people don’t know that there is a whole range of mountains, the Chaîne des Puys, made up of extinct volcanoes near Clermont-Ferrand. I was blown away the first time I drove across this chain of mountains and saw the distinct shape of extinct volcanoes out my window. Worth a visit. 

-RR

Dungeness Crabs Meet Harvest Ridge

 Photo: Steven M. Rice

Photo: Steven M. Rice

Our customer, Steven, from Seattle sent us this picture of freshly harvested Dungeness Crabs made into homemade crab cakes.  The week before, Steven was telling me how he was out collecting oysters to go with another Forge Riesling.  We love nothing more than seeing how you pair Forge Riesling with different foods from your neighborhood.

The saline, oyster water, seaweed character of Harvest Ridge probably went really well with the sweet flavor of the Dungeness Crab.  Wish I was there to experience it first hand!

Please keep the pictures coming.  

Cheers.

-RR
 

A Perfect Score

Ratings, ratings and more ratings.  It seems like everyday the world of wine is consumed with scores.  You can’t blame us really as scores do help to sell wines and are especially important to small producers from emerging regions that lack the sales force or marketing dollars to tell their story.   Scores also help to guide consumers in choosing wine in the huge offerings widely available especially when in one of the “big boxes”.

I don’t care what any winery/winemaker/vigneron says, when you get a great score you smile and take a certain pleasure from the recognition.

Today, I think Louis’ father, Henri, is smiling for his son and all he has accomplished not only at Château de St. Cosme but also at Forge Cellars.

Well done Louis….it is not everyday you achieve a perfect score from the Wine Advocate.

-RR

Forge Cellars in Japan

 A picture of Louis sharing Forge wines in Japan. On the right of the picture is our dear friend, Rudi de Pins of Château Montfaucon.

A picture of Louis sharing Forge wines in Japan. On the right of the picture is our dear friend, Rudi de Pins of Château Montfaucon.

A quick piece of advice -- if you are going to have partners in business make sure they are way cooler and more interesting then yourself!

Last week Louis emailed me and said that his Norwegian importer tasted the 2015 Forge wines at St. Cosme and absolutely loved them.  They placed a large order of Riesling AND Pinot, so we're very excited about that.

Plus, the week before, Taiwan placed an order!

Yesterday Louis sent me this:

"I am in Tokyo. I sold some Riesling and Pinots yesterday in Kyoto. Tomorrow tasting all day at Imperial Hotel WITH the Riesling. Tuesday with Enoteca buyer to re-present Pinot and Riesling. Wednesday tasting all day at Imperial Hotel Osaka with the Riesling." - Louis

While the rest of the team is hunkered down here in "the lakes" taking care of 2016 vintage, it is good to know that your partner is out in the rest of the world spreading Finger Lakes love.

-RR