Images from the 1st Annual Growers Tasting

So we decided to do a growers tasting…on Mother’s day.  Yes, we won’t be doing that again…sorry all you Moms, my bad.

The intent was to show all of our wonderful growers what the wines made from their vineyards tasted like before the blend.  It was very interesting to say the least, as I don’t think they get the chance, except if somebody does a single vineyard bottling, to taste their vineyards in this context.  The beauty of working with small (old) barrels is that we have so many options to learn so quickly about the different sites we work with and how to do even better work in the future. Sharing the results with the growers is incredibly insightful in helping all of us to better understand our neighbors unique terroir, exchange ideas and well, Forge deeper relationships and ultimately raise the bar of quality.  Isn’t that what artisinal winemaking/winegrowing is all about?

Along with the wines we paired some nice Korean style pork belly (thanks David Chang) and after we figured out how to assemble the lettuce, pickles, sauce, rice and grilled pork belly (Piggery) it went brilliantly with young riesling. This will be a future staple when we show Forge Riesling…

So what did we learn?  Though each vineyard has a distinct character (terroir) that we all appreciate, the ultimate blend of them together worked better for this vintage.  I like to say they, the personalities of the vineyards, get along well.  Though different, they are all of the same cloth and when put together they seem to help each others expression nicely.  What one lacks in weight, another has in freshness or relief.  Where one had more ripe apricot another had a confit of lime that helped the apricot “raise up” out of the glass.  Though I think their is some merit in single vineyard bottlings, I also believe that having a broad palate to work with in 2011 was really beneficial for us.  Next year I encourage you if your in the neighborhood to stop by and taste all the vineyards on their own, it is really interesting.

Doing this kind of tasting with the growers was really a special treat.  This is our first vintage in the Finger Lakes and the relationships we have been able to establish in such short order are really amazing.   We are excited for the future in a big way…