We are a small, artisanal producer focusing entirely on Riesling and Pinot Noir. We are made up of three like-minded and passionate friends —French Winemaker-Grower, Louis Barruol of Château de Saint Cosme in Gigondas and Finger Lakes partners Richard Rainey, and Justin Boyette.
We strive to grow grapes and handcraft wines of interest and value that perfectly balance minerality, aromatics and fruit to reflect our exceptional Finger Lakes terroir. Each vintage is viewed as an opportunity to express our region — to reflect its soils, its cool climate and its hillside lake terroirs.
Our goal is for our wines to reflect the place that they come from, because this is where the pleasure is. When you smell a wine, you should to be transported to its origins and see the landscape. It should relate to good memories, and provide a strong feeling of identity. This is why we try to listen, be soft and transparent in our winemaking.
Our choices in the cellar guard the purity of our vineyards. Simply put, we make wine in the traditional, handcrafted manner. We harvest by hand. We sort by hand. We load the grapes into the press by hand. We shovel the vats out by hand. We employ spontaneous fermentation and ferment in very tiny lots, so that we truly understand the expression of the vineyard each year. We use very low levels of sulphur, ferment our Rieslings bone dry, and do not fine or filter our red wines.
Our indigenous yeast fermentations proceed very slowly. It is not in spring, but in the summer after the vintage that we are finally able to move toward bottling the wines. Once fermentations are complete, our team begins diligently tasting through our barrels and tanks, giving each a detailed rating and review, and writing personal tasting notes. When we talk about small batch and individualized fermentations, we really mean it — hundreds of separate, small French barriques from 15 individual vineyards, each with its own story and personality.
Our Classique bottlings are our most important wines, as they aim to reveal the true nature of each vintage and to explore the terroir of east Seneca Lake. These wines are the foundation of Forge and each year Louis aims to craft a wine that consistently speaks of the style of Forge and a pure expression of the vintage.
the allies, the friends, the united ones.
Every year Les Alliés evolves naturally by “uncovering” itself. After the long, steady fermentations are complete, we decide that some very special barrels are stand-outs, and by consensus, the most exceptional of our Rieslings and Pinots. This is the consensus that makes up Les Alliés — the allies, the partners, the united ones. We don’t “make” Les Alliés, we discover it together, and it’s an easy decision because it tells us what it wants to be.
Our Single Vineyard bottlings allow us to explore the impacts of soil and terroir on our different vineyard sites. Every year before blending and bottling, we taste the wines from each individual vineyard, and make the selection of Single Vineyards based on which sites offer the greatest expression of terroir in that particular vintage.