Our focus is on the east side of Seneca Lake, the deepest (620ft) of the eleven Finger Lakes. We look for premier sites with considerable slope and an abundance of different clones and soils.
In a cool climate, every day of hang time matters to gain the full expression of the vineyard, which is why we manage the yields and canopies very closely. Timely leaf pulling in the fruiting zone and controlled yields are critical actions we use to achieve healthy, ripe fruit with a prolonged hang time. We harvest for ultimate ripeness and balance, so that each site is brought in at ideal quality. Hand harvesting and re-sorting at the winery ensures only the choicest, healthiest fruit makes the cut.
The Forge team works closely with each of our growers to get to know their properties and vines, and we pride ourselves on these long-term relationships. We stay involved throughout the season to manage the fruit to its highest standards.
Through diligence and patience, we have begun breathing life into the Forge home farm. With high-density plantings of Riesling and Pinot Noir, mixture of clones, and the holy trinity of soils -- clay, limestone, and shale -- we are striving for great potential.
Our site was once home to a vineyard of native grapes that had been neglected since the 1980s. We have spent the last few years reclaiming and replanting the site, painstakingly moving through acre-by-acre to bring it back to its full potential. Today, our farm spans 15-acres with nearly nine-acres currently under vine. Pinot Noir is the focus, of which roughly eight-acres are planted, followed by one-acre of Riesling. We chose this parcel to lay down our roots due to the fantastic slope, elevation (900ft), and the combination of soils. In 2016, we began our high-density planting, with vines spaced three-feet apart and seven-feet between rows -- roughly twice the typical planting density. The intent is to control vigor and reduce yields, optimize the energy input used in the vineyard, and encourage natural competition among the vines, prompting the roots to dig deeper and offer a greater expression of the site.
The philosophy at our home farm is quite simple: give voice to the land. We work with the land, and adhere to practices that preserve and feed the land instead of manipulating it. Our aim is to continue developing the vineyard in an organic method, possibly moving in the direction of Biodynamics in the future. We focus on incorporating natural materials into the site -- cedar trellis posts, for example -- and promoting biodiversity -- Indian Runner ducks as our pest management team -- in order to conserve a naturalistic environment.
Lower Caywood Vineyard
Part of the original series of plantings done by Charles Fournier in 1974-1975.
Wagner Caywood East Vineyard
A steep shale-filled site that translates great minerality and power.
Always smoky, mysterious, and intriguing, the fruit from this vineyard is full of character and intensity.