It is Bigger Than a Score

Photo by Chandra Russell (Sawmill Creek Vineyards)

Photo by Chandra Russell
(Sawmill Creek Vineyards)

I have struggled to write this post over the last few days.  Usually when you get good scores from a national publication the first thing you do is to run to the top of the highest mountain and yell at the top of your lungs.  After all, it feels great to receive recognition for your hard work, because if you know anything about the wine business you are not doing it for the money.  So we received great scores but I just didn’t have it in me to spread the news.  Why?  Well, I think it took a few days to know why and it is very simply this.  Crestwood.  Crestwood you ask?  Yes, the company that wants to store pressurized gas under Seneca Lake in old salt caverns.  Want to know the details?  Check out Gas Free Seneca.  In a nutshell we have an out of state company that wants to put a gas storage hub along the west side of Seneca Lake and then pump pressurized gas into caverns UNDER the lake.   Yes, it is as crazy as it sounds.  And if you take the time, I hope you do, to read more you will see it borders on the insane.

So why did I have a tough time posting the reviews?  Because there are people in our industry that 1) think it is okay or 2) refuse to talk about it because of the blowback.  At a time when we are really hitting our stride (see the reviews below) our biggest challenge is not with other regions in the world producing, in this case Riesling, but with a Texas company who wants to jeopardize our lake and our communities.  And what is worse is that we actually have people in the industry that are on their side.  Every year we gain more recognition, every year we make a bit more wine, every year we continue to develop vineyards and renovate or build new buildings, every year more people come to witness the beauty of the Finger Lakes, every year our reach grows internationally.  But every day we must devote a portion of our day to defeating Crestwood and the risk it poses to our region.


Imagine what we could do if our energies were solely devoted to continuing to make this region realize all of the potential of its land and its people in a way that doesn’t directly threaten what is great about it.


From the Wine Spectator Jan 31 – Feb 29 2016 Edition:

92 – Forge Riesling Sunrise Hill 2014 – $24
Pure, with yellow apple, anise, honeysuckle and jasmine notes that glisten through the long, racy finish.  Shows length, cut and precision.

91 –  Standing Stone Riesling Ice Wine 2014 – $25/375
A delicious sweetie, with orange zest, date, maple and quince flavors that show excellent focus and zip through the unctuous finish.

91 – Forge Riesling Finger Lakes Classique 2014 – $21
Jasmine and citrus oil notes lead the way, followed by lovely lemon cur, white peach and yellow apple fruit flavors.  The long,, stony finish is very pure.  A SAVY SHOPPER Selection

90 – Standing Stone Vidal Finger Lakes Ice 2014 $25/375
An enticing sweet wine, with lush mango, creamed apricot and candied orange peel notes melding together and carrying through the maple-accented finish.

90 – Forge Riesling Finger Lakes Harvest Ridge 2014 $24
Juicy and engaging, with ginger, peach and yellow apple notes, back by a racy melon rind edge through the finish.  Solid.

90 – Ravines Dry Riesling 2014 $18
A taut, dry style, with pure lime, kiwifruit and pippin apple flavors backed by a slate note that gives the finish good tension and length.  Very solid. A BEST BUY.


Let Governor Cuomo know you support the Finger Lakes wine industry today and tomorrow by signing this petition.

Call Cuomo at: 1-518-474-8390