phil davis

2017 Peach Orchard Dry Riesling

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For many years, Phil Davis has been a mentor to Rick and close friend to Louis and Justin. You would be hard-pressed to find another grower like him in the Finger Lakes, one with decades of knowledge founded on intuition, practice, and legacy. We feel fortunate to work with grapes from one of Phil’s most beloved plots, hand-planted in 1996 by his father Irving Davis, and brother Allen Davis. 

Our 2017 Peach Orchard Vineyard Dry Riesling has been described as many things, all of which draw upon the history of the site, and reflect the rhythm and nature of Phil's work in the vineyard. 

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Louis has called this wine, "an extraterrestrial for this vintage," stating that in a year as cold as 2017, the level of ripeness achieved by Peach Orchard Vineyard is nothing short of wizardry. It can be explained by the magic of microclimates: situated in the immediate vicinity of the lake, the plot benefits from the temperature regulation afforded by the huge expanse of water. It also enjoys the effects of light and heat reflection which bounce off the surface of the lake and envelop this vineyard amphitheater. Native American farmers grew orchards on this spot where peaches, cherries, and all sorts of fruits ripen effortlessly. 

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Orchardist and vigneron, Autumn Stoscheck, has been working closely with Phil over the last year while we bring our bio-intensive vineyard to life. This wine speaks to her through a different lens. Autumn writes, "a single vineyard wine captures the vineyard site, but also the vigneron. This newly released single vineyard Riesling from my mentor, Phil Davis, is one of my favorites. It's got this awesome dusty quality, like the dry gravelly loam soil of his site. It's also dense and powerful which speaks to the strength of his vines and the way he farms."

The 2017 Peach Orchard Dry Riesling is a blissfully transparent representation of site, vigneron, and partnership.  

100 cases produced -- More information/Purchase

Why do we make Pinot Noir?

(Sourced from our e-newsletter on Jan. 18, 2018)

2011, our first vintage of Pinot Noir. (Photo: Wendy Houseworth)

2011, our first vintage of Pinot Noir. (Photo: Wendy Houseworth)

Just about every week we have someone visit the winery for a tasting, and often one of their first questions is, "Why do you make Pinot Noir?” 

True, with with our variable weather patterns and cool, northerly climate, nothing is easy here; certainly not the fickle, seductive beauty known as Pinot.  But we have always had the confidence that if we chose the right sites, balanced the yields, worked with dedicated growers, and paid attention throughout the season, we could absolutely achieve excellence. Notice I have mentioned nothing about the winemaking, which must be watchful, disciplined and intensive. This past fall, Justin and I used our brain power and brute strength to figure out how to break through the foot-thick cap of grape skins to punch down our Pinots. Louis haranged us day and night about fermentation temperatures, and we bit our nails in suspense over whether our French barrels would arrive from Santa Rosa, California while it was burning from wildfires.  

Seneca Lake Pinot Noir truly excites us and gets us up in the mornings. We believe it is possible to translate our terroir into a sublime glass of Pinot. Some of the very factors that deter and stymy are those that have the potential to make our version so compelling. We continue our quest for finesse, delicacy, seduction and charm, and we invite you to come along on this journey. Such is our confidence in the variety here, that  in 2016 and 2017, we planted ten acres of Pinot on our home farm. With the help of our Vineyard Consultant, Phil Davis (Damiani Wine Cellars) and our vineyard team, which now includes Autumn Stoscheck from Eve’s Cidery, we look forward to raising our young vines in the most eco-friendly and balanced manner possible that they might tell you a brilliant Finger Lakes story one day.

If you like Burgundy, we think you will especially find our Pinots attractive. These are wines that reflect their delicate and gradual Finger Lakes ripening and their foundation in shale soils. They are alive, expressive and mysterious, unfolding at will. I'll be heading to Burgundy for inspiration and wisdom from the holy grail of Pinot Noir in just a week, so stay tuned for updates, and in the meantime, check out our newly released and rated Les Alliés 2015.

-RR