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Finger Lakes Wine

Fox Run Vineyards

Another long standing summer event in the Finger Lakes has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This was to have been the 28th year that Fox Run Vineyards hosted its Glorious Garlic Festival. But, out of an abundance of caution and with the safety of their customers, vendors, and employees their top priority, the event has been cancelled for 2020 along with the annual Town Pants concert. Scott Osborn is president and co-owner of Fox Run Vineyards. He said they made the decision sooner rather than later so that none of the 13 to 14 thousand people who attend make plans that they have to cancel at the last minute. And, Osborn wanted to give the vendors plenty of notice.

Red Tail Ridge Winery

During the coronavirus pandemic, food insecurity has become a top of mind issue across the country. Food banks are facing unprecedented demand as the economy has ground to a halt. 

For one Finger Lakes winery, a commitment meeting the challenge of food insecurity has been a part of their business all along. Red Tail Ridge Winery on Seneca Lake produces around 9,000 cases annually. Their largest volume wine is an estate Riesling called Good Karma. The name is appropriate. For ten years, 10-percent of the profit from every bottle goes back to a food bank in the state where it’s sold.

Senator Chuck Schumer with wine industry representatives and local officials
Kelly Walker / Finger Lakes Public Radio

Senator Schumer joined several Finger Lakes wine makers as well as local officials and industry representatives at Fox Run Vineyards in Yates County. To produce canned wine, Finger Lakes wineries have to deal with regulations from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Senator Schumer says the regulations are outdated and burdensome to the industry.

Keuka Spring Vineyards | Facebook


The 33rd New York Wine Classic announced its winners Wednesday afternoon. The Governor’s Cup once again went to a Finger Lakes wine, a 2017 Gewurtztraminer from Keuka Spring Vineyards. It’s not a common varietal to take top honors, but winemaker August Deimel says it’s a grape that shows off the unique qualities of the Finger Lakes.

Hunt Country Vineyards
Matt Kelly


As harvest was winding down in the Finger Lakes, I visited Hunt Country Vineyards on Keuka Lake. The Hunt family has been making wine since the early 80s, but they’ve been farming the land far longer than that. It’s a family history that’s on display in their tasting room.

A view of Keuka Lake from Keuka Spring Vineyards
Kelly Walker / Finger Lakes Public Radio


My latest stop visiting Finger Lakes winemakers during harvest 2017 was with August Deimel at Keuka Spring Vineyards. On visits to other winemakers, we’ve heard how the wet summer and unexpectedly warm September delayed harvest. But, not only did the fruit come in late, it came in fast.

A view of Hosmer Winery on Cayuga Lake.
Kelly Walker / Finger Lakes Public Radio

My most recent stop visiting winemakers during harvest around the Finger Lakes was at Hosmer Winery on Cayuga Lake. It was a beautiful, sunny day when I visited last week. Head winemaker Julia Hoyle agreed with her fellow winemakers that the wet growing season had an impact, but that the warm dry spell in September was a big help.

 

 

A view of the vineyards at Red Tail Ridge on an overcast harvest day
Kelly Walker / Finger Lakes Public Radio


As part of continuing coverage of the 2017 grape harvest in the Finger Lakes, I drove out to Red Tail Ridge last week on the west side of Seneca Lake. Winemaker and co-owner Nancy Irelan walked me around and introduced me to her staff and intern. Like many in the Finger Lakes wine industry, they’ve worked and have friends in the northern California wine industry that’s been affected by the historic wildfires.

Kelby Russell / Instagram


The fall grape harvest has been underway for a couple of weeks in the Finger Lakes. I stopped by Red Newt Cellars on Saturday to talk to winemaker Kelby Russell about how harvest is going.

Fox Run Vineyards


While it may not seem so from the past week’s weather, it’s fall and that means grape harvest in the Finger Lakes. I stopped in to talk to Peter Bell at Fox Run Vineyards to ask how harvest is going.

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