Tasting No. 164- February 23, 2015 – Wines from New York State

Club del Vino



Capri Ristorante, McLean VA


Vineyards in New York State


1. Presenter and Participants

Wines presenter: Emilio Bernal- Labrada

ParticipantsMario Aguilar , Marcello Averbug, Hugo Benito,  Alfonso Caycedo,  Ruth Connolly, Clara Estrada, Jorge Garcia-Garcia, Emilio Labrada, Alvaro López, Orlando Mason, Ítalo Mirkow,  Jairo Sánchez,  Ginger Smart, Carlos E. Velez, Ricardo Zavaleta, German Zincke.

Type of Tasting: Open

2. The Wines

Clearly, there are very few New York wines available outside of the state of New York (unless one orders on-line).  New York State wineries account for only 4% of wines produced in the USA.  The number of wineries, mostly located in a climate moderated by the Finger Lakes, is rather limited, and production is insufficient to supply stores throughout the whole country.  Fortunately, it was possible to locate some wines so that the Club could sample these few.  They are not too expensive. The quality of wines from this region varies considerably, but considering the investment, it is generally worth the price. Certainly seems like something worth trying from time to time, but will leave that up to the individual members.

  1. Hazlitt Riesling 2012
  2. Wagner Dry Riesling 2012
  3. Salmon Run – Coho Red
  4. Bully Hill Meat Market Red

3. The Menu

  1. Lobster Bisque
  2. Flat spaghetti w shrimp and tomato sauce
  3.  Squid, shrimp, mussels in saffron sauce with garlic bread
  4. Filet Mignon and green vegetables
  5. Dessert, coffee

 4. Information on the Wines

(The information below has been compiled from varios internet sources) .

 Hazlitt Riesling 2012


Hazlitt Riesling is produced in the Finger Lakes region.  It has aromas of spring flowers that harmonize with sweet flavors of honey and the first peaches of summer in this well-made Riesling.  With a palate balanced with fruit, acidity and a mineral finish, this is a great selection for those partial to a sweet style, well-made Riesling.

Characteristics:  Off-dry, Honey, Peach, Mineral, Light-bodied

Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, located on Seneca Lake, was named one of America’s Top 25 Tasting Rooms in the May 2008 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine.  Additional information about this winery can be found here http://hazlitt1852.com/about

Alcohol:   %;  Price: $

Expert Ratings: 

Wagner Dry Riesling 2012

Wagner-Caywood-East-Riesling-Dry-2012 B

Wagner Dry Riesling is produced in Finger Lakes, New York.  This Alsatian-style Riesling is crisp and fruit driven, showing delightful notes of apple, peach, and white flowers.  The ripe nose explodes with fresh aromas of stone fruit and apple blossoms, while a crisp acidity balances everything out

Characteristics:  Crisp, Apple, Lemon, Medium bodied.



Alcohol:  %;  Price:  $

Expert Ratings: 

 Salmon Run – Coho Red

Salmon cojo Red

 Coho Red is exquisitely balanced to present an easy to drink, slightly fruity off-dry taste. Flavors of raspberries and cherries are wrapped in a soft full-bodied style making this an ideal everyday wine.

The Salmon Run Coho Red is a product of a winery known mostly as “Dr. Frank’s” established by Konstantin Frank, who came to the USA from Ukraine and set up his business with the help of a French enologist in 1962.  It´s a family-run operation now going into its fourth generation, and has won more awards since 1962 than any other NY State winery.

For further information on the family, history, varieties and awards earned by this winery visit http://www.drfrankwines.com//index.cfm  

Alcohol:   %;  Price: $

Expert Ratings: TBA

Bully Hill Meat Market Red

Buly Hill

An excellent balance of fruit and oak make this full-bodied, dry red ideal with all red meat dishes.

Bully Hill winery is located on the banks of the Keuka Lake in the Finger Lakes Region.. You can read more about the winery here: http://www.bullyhillvineyards.com/

Alcohol:  % ;  Price: TBA

Experts Ratings: TBA

4. Club del Vino Members Rating : 

Criterio para calificar: Excepcional: 96-100 puntos; Excelente: 90-95 puntos; Muy Bueno: 86-89 puntos; Bueno: 81-85 puntos; Aceptable: 75-80 puntos.

El  primer vino Blanco, fue calificado  como  Bueno con promedio de 81 puntos y el segundo vino Blanco como  Aceptable con una Media de 78 puntos; el primer vino tinto fue calificado  como Aceptable con un promedio de 75 puntos y  el segundo tinto, con un promedio de 81 puntos, fue  calificado como Bueno.  En resumen, en esta  degustacion del 2015 , segun las calificaciones del grupo, se observaron calificaciones solamente de vinos Buenos y Aceptables, pues los vinos no llenaron las espectativas esperadas.  Varios participantes indicaron que los vinos no son representativos de los mejores que se producen en el estado ni en el estado ni en la región de los Finger Lakes

Vinos degustados:

  1. 2012 Blanco Hazlitt Riesling.

Calificacion Media: 81

Desviacion Estandar: 10.0

Mediana: 86

Moda: 88

Impresion General:   Un vino acido/dulce con poco aroma y sin caracteristicas especiales.

  1. 2012 Wagner Dry Riesling.
  2.      Calificacion Media: 78

Desviacion Estandar: 8.0

Mediana: 80

Moda: 79

Impresion General:  Un vino sin sabor, sin aroma e incoloro.  Un poco dulce.

  1. 2011 Salmon Run-Coho RedDesviacion Estandar: 10.4Moda:   80
  2. Impresion General: Este vino tinto, presenta caracteristicas de los vinos dulces, es aceptable para los que gustan de tintos dulces. Color rojo bastante acentuado con muy poco aroma.
  3. Mediana: 79
  4. Calificacion Media: 75
  5. Bully Hill Meat Market RedDesviacion Estandar: 6.2Moda: 75
  6. Mediana: 80
  7. Calificacion Media: 81

Impresion General: Se encontró con poco aroma y con un sabor que puede aceptarse como agradable, tambien observa un final muy corto.

5. REGIONAL NOTES – New York Wines


New York Wines – Riesling of Finger Lakes

(Source: Wkipedia) 

New York wine refers to wine made from grapes grown in the U.S. state of New York. New York ranks third in grape production by volume, after California and Washington. Eighty-three percent of New York’s grape area is Vitis labrusca (native varieties, mostly Concord). The rest is split almost equally between Vitis vinifera form Europe and French hybrids.

NY State has 9 AVAs, (Cayuga Lake AVA, Finger Lakes AVA, Hudson River Region AVA, Lake Erie AVA, Long Island AVA, Niagara Escarpment AVA, North Fork of Long Island AVA, Seneca Lake AVA, The Hamptons, Long Island AVA) and is the second  largest producer of wine in the U.S., boasting 4 wine-growing regions and 8 AVAs. New York is also one of America’s oldest commercial wine states, with a wine history dating to the 1860s. Today, vineyards are found in nearly half of its counties. New York’s wine regions reach from the shores of Lake Erie to the tip of Long Island, encompassing a wide range of terrain, climate and wine styles. Much of this production is still from native American labrusca varieties like Concord and Niagara, grown primarily for kosher wines. The balance is split between wines made from French-American hybrids, and an ever-expanding catalogue of classic vinifera varieties. The largest actual vineyard area is the Lake Erie District AVA, which extends into Pennsylvania and Ohio. 


New York State’s wine production began in the 17th century with Dutch and Huguenot plantings in the Hudson Valley region. Commercial production did not begin until the 19th century. New York is home to the first bonded winery in the United States of America, Pleasant Valley Wine Company, located in Hammondsport. It is also home to America’s oldest continuously operating winery, Brotherhood Winery in the Hudson Valley, which has been making wine for almost 175 years. Furthermore, New York State is home to North America’s oldest dedicated sacramental winery, O-Neh-Da Vineyard, now operated by Eagle Crest Vineyards on Hemlock Lake in the Western Finger Lakes region. 

In 1951 Dr. Konstantin Frank emigrated from the Ukraine to New York, to work at Cornell University’s Geneva Experiment Station. Frank was hired by Cornell as a janitor at the Geneva Experiment Station. Though he was a respected viticulturalist in Ukraine, this was the only position for which his American work experience, which consisted of his being a janitor at Horn & Hardart‘s cafeteria in New York, qualified him at the time. He spent his spare time at Cornell attempting to convince his colleagues that the failures of quality wine production in New York had to do with their choice of vines. He believed that choosing the correct Vitis vinifera vines would yield great wines in the Finger Lakes. With three-hundred years of failure preceding his theory, his colleagues were skeptical. Combined with a language barrier (although Dr. Frank spoke six languages fluently, (English was not one of them) his vision would have to wait for an appropriate ear. 

Dr. Frank continued to promote his beliefs on the potential of the Vitis vinifera in New York until Charles Fournier, a French Champagne maker and president of nearby Gold Seal Vineyards took heed and hired him. The two shared the common language of French as well as a passion to plant Vitis vinifera in the Finger Lakes region. A decade later, Dr. Frank was producing quality wines from such Vitis vinifera vines such as Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot noir, Gewürztraminer, and Cabernet Sauvignon. This set the stage for further plantings of Vitis vinifera vines in New York, aided by the boost to the New York wine industry given by the New York Farm Winery Act of 1976, which eased the process of opening a farm winery. Wineries have worked to choose the proper varietals that grow well in the unique terroir of the state. The Finger Lakes region would eventually become the central area of New York’s wine industry in the 20th century.

In 2011, the New York wineries were given another boost when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Fine Winery Law into law, allowing each farm winery to operate up to 5 tasting rooms as a single entity, rather than requiring a separate license for each. The act also streamlined the paperwork involved in direct shipping wine to customers, and allowed wineries to use custom-crush facilities or rent equipment and space from existing wineries, rather than requiring wineries to own all their own equipment. 

Wine grapes 

Vitis vinifera, Riesling grapes are used to make some of the highest quality wines in New York, others are made from French hybrids, American hybrids and Vitis labrusca

The range of wines made in New York include Riesling, Seyval blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot noir, sparkling wines, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Vitis vinifera varieties account for less than 10% of the wine produced in New York. Important American hybrid grapes grown in New York include Catawba, Delaware, Niagara, Elvira, Ives and Isabella. French hybrid grapes grown in New York include Aurore, Baco noir, De Chaunac, Seyval blanc, Cayuga, Vidal and Vignoles. Vignoles is particularly used in late harvest wines and ice wines. Wine made from Chardonnay grown in the Finger Lakes AVA is noted to take on characteristics of leaner styled Burgundy white wine. In total there are 34 most known varieties that grow in New York:  Aurore, Baco noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Catawba, Cayuga, Chambourcin, Chancellor, Chardonnay, Chelois, Chenin blanc, Colobel, Concord, De Chaunac, Delaware, Diamond, Elvira, Frontenac, Gewürztraminer, Isabella, Ives noir, Leon Millot, Marechal Foch, Melody, Merlot, Niagara, Pinot blanc, Pinot gris, Pinot noir, Riesling, Rougeon, Sauvignon blanc, Seyval blanc, St. Vincent, Steuben, Traminette, Vidal blanc, Vignoles, Vincent 

Main Growing Regions 

There are four major wine-growing regions:  Lake Erie AVA on the western end of the state, the Finger Lakes AVA in the west-central area, the Hudson River Region AVA in eastern New York, and the eastern end of the Long Island AVA. In 1976, when the Farm Winery Act was passed, the Finger Lakes and Long Island regions had 19 wineries. By 1985, there were 63 wineries, and now the regions hold approximately 212 wineries.Wine Regions’ Soils and Climate. 

The wine regions’ soils originated from the last glacial advance which left gravel and shale type soils with heavy clay deposits in the Finger Lakes region and sandy soil in the Long Island region. The climate differs amongst the regions based on the Atlantic Gulf Stream and the numerous bodies of water and mountainous regions around the state. The annual precipitation ranges from 30 inches (76 cm) to 50 inches (127 cm). The growing season in the Lake Erie and Finger Lakes regions ranges from 180 to 200 days a year, while on Long Island, the season is extended to 220 days and the humidity is higher and the fall precipitation is somewhat higher as well. 

The Adirondack Coast Wine Trail is New York’s newest wine region. Established in 2013 the region’s wineries successfully argued the regions unique terroir, with unique glacial soils, the weather systems which flow off the Adirondack Mountain range and flow down over Lake Champlain, and the effect of one of the worlds oldest reefs in the Lake itself, make this area deserving of its own designated wine trail. The region was consistently overlooked as a potential grape growing region until one of the budding wineries, Elfs Farm Winery & Cider Mill, came out of no where to win “Specialty Winery of the Year” at New York’s largest wine competition. Receiving rave reviews even though no one in attendance was familiar with this region, the press in attendance gave this startup wine region the legitimacy it was seeking.

This entry was posted in Meeting Abstract and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s