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 (Vineyards, General Manager) and Justin Boyette (Winemaker).
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 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 and don’t fine or filter our red wines.
We offer complimentary shipping on wine orders of six or more bottles so you can enjoy our full range and put some wines in your cellar. Weather permitting, shipments are sent out every Monday and Tuesday. (Click here for more detailed information regarding shipping.)
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. These are always the first wines that are made even at the expense of all the others.
the allies, the friends, the united ones.
Every year Les Alliés evolves naturally by “uncovering” itself. Our indigenous yeast fermentations proceed very slowly. It’s 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 each of our 70 barrels and two 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 — 70 separate, small French barriques from 10 individual vineyards, each with its own story and personality. Along the way, 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.