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FINGER LAKES COOL CLIMATE TRADE SEMINAR. THE FINGER LAKES: AMERICA’S PREMIER COOL-CLIMATE WINE REGION.

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Presentation on theme: "FINGER LAKES COOL CLIMATE TRADE SEMINAR. THE FINGER LAKES: AMERICA’S PREMIER COOL-CLIMATE WINE REGION."— Presentation transcript:

1 FINGER LAKES COOL CLIMATE TRADE SEMINAR

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3 THE FINGER LAKES: AMERICA’S PREMIER COOL-CLIMATE WINE REGION

4 VINEYARDS PLANTED ON SLOPING LAKESHORES

5 BREATHTAKING VINEYARD & LAKE VIEWS

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7 WHERE ARE THE FINGER LAKES?

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10 FINGER LAKES GEOGRAPHY LOCATION & CREATION Located in the heart of New York State South of Lake Ontario & West of Lake Erie 11 long “finger-like” parallel lakes oriented north-south, carved by Ice Age glacial movement Main winegrowing lakes - Keuka, Seneca, Cayuga Among the deepest lakes in North America, 450 to 600 ft deep, some reach below sea level

11 FINGER LAKES TOPOGRAPHY VARYING SLOPES AND ASPECTS

12 LAKE FACTS: THE BIG THREE LengthWidthDepth (ft) mimiMax Mean Keuka200.5 – Seneca Cayuga381 –

13 WHY DO THE LAKES MATTER? THE LAKE EFFECT Lake Ontario to the North, warm air currents in the winter, cool air currents in the summer Depth of Finger Lakes provide beneficial “lake effect” to the vineyards planted on the shores Warmer Minimum temperatures in Winter Cooler Maximum temperatures in Summer Helps compensate for Continental Climate Elevation of Vineyard & Distance from Water creates vineyard diversity

14 TERROIR: SENSE OF PLACE Glacial Activity that created the Finger Lakes also produced very complex soil patterns The greatest wine-growing regions in the world have soils rich in limestone, shale, gravel; The Finger Lakes stands proudly among them Site-Specificity: vineyards planted on varying soils show great mineral expressions that are specific to their underlying soils

15 FINGER LAKES: A BRIEF HISTORY 1860: Pleasant Valley Wine Company in Hammondsport, first US bonded winery Dr. Frank promoted Vitis vinifera in New York – hired by like-minded Charles Fournier (French Champagne maker) and president of Gold Seal Vineyards 1962: Dr. Konstantin Frank creates Vinifera Wine Cellars, which quickly gains reputation for making excellent Riesling 1976: New York Farm Winery Act passed, permitting wineries to sell directly to public Dozens of new wineries begin to pop-up along the Finger Lakes in the 1980s-1990s, focusing on Vinifera

16 WINERIES & VINEYARDS TODAY Over 100 Finger Lakes wineries 9,300 acres of grapes 20% Vinifera 1,900 acres ~ 5,800 tons ~ 350,000 cases Growing Acreage of Vinifera Plantings Focus on Riesling & Aromatic Whites Whites ~65%

17 VINIFERA PLANTINGS

18 INFLUENCE & INSPIRATION Looking to the Old World for Guidance Similar Climates, Soils & Vineyard Site exposures White Wine: Germany, Austria, France’s Alsace (Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer) & Burgundy (Chardonnay) Red Wine: France’s Loire Valley (Cabernet Franc), Burgundy (Pinot Noir) & Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot) Sparkling Wine: France’s Champagne (Pinot Noir & Chardonnay yielding méthode champenoise wines)

19 QUALITY & VALUE PERSPECTIVE The Finger Lakes offer incredible terroir for these varietals, one of the most unique in the New World with regard to suitability & diversity Value & QPR: Fantastic Finger Lakes wines in the $10- $20 Retail Range (normal bottlings) that rival their Old World counterparts in the same range Exquisite single-vineyard expressions & old-vines bottlings in the $20+ Retail Range that perform similarly Finger Lakes Vinifera industry is very young (only several decades) and just hitting its stride in comparison to Old World vineyards & winemaking cultures (centuries-old)

20 RIESLING: KING OF FINGER LAKES WHITES ~ 700 acres + 26% since 2006 ~ 2100 tons ~ 140,000 cases ~ 7% of US Riesling market Stylistic Diversity Dry, Lean, taut Off-Dry, lush, with balanced acidity Sweet, dessert-style (Ice Wine & Late-Harvest)

21 RIESLING: TERROIR COMPARISON Mosel-Saar-Ruwer (Germany): Rieslings of incredible balance, dance of acidity & sugar (Slate) Wachau (Austria): Rieslings of greater weight, laser-like acidity, richness, profound waxed & firmly dry character (Loess [silt, sand, clay] & Volcanic Rock) Alsace (France): Rieslings of greatly varied character, ranging from bone-dry & lean, to weighty, rich & unctuous (Granite, Limestone, Sandstone, Clay) Finger Lakes (USA): Riesling for every palate, with soil types spanning the gamut of terroir, and styles influenced by all the great Old World Riesling regions

22 WE LOVE RIESLING – BUT WHY? Terroir, A Sense of Place: Rieslings are incredible vessels for expression of site, you can “taste the soil” in site-specific examples Wine + Food: wine’s place in history is on the table, with food, and Riesling’s fantastic natural acidity & fruit profile is extremely versatile with cuisine Longevity: Riesling can age extremely well because of its balance of acidity & fruit extract Hold the Oak: while many New World wines are over-oaked to accommodate the “modern palate”, Riesling will never see new oak, maintaining a great freshness and always expressing its fruit character & birthplace

23 THE FUTURE OF THE FINGER LAKES As a region, there is great potential to become a world- class winegrowing region Other now-great cool-climate regions at one time had to overcome growing pains & other obstacles, learning about what their land & grapes were capable of, and making important decisions for their futures The region is now positioned to enter a Golden Age; vinifera has proven its viability in the area, vineyard techniques & care in the cellar have shown their benefits, and producers have the confidence to make great changes to benefit their wines

24 THE FUTURE OF THE FINGER LAKES Producers must come together and combine resources in order to make great strides Position Pioneering Estates as the “face of the region”, focus on quality & use them to represent the area as a whole to the rest of the wine world Focus on the Vineyard as the primary goal Follow the examples of Old World estates Single-Vineyard Wines & expression of terroir, quality over quantity & never-ending pursuit of greatness

25 THE FUTURE OF THE FINGER LAKES The American Wine Market is ready for an emergence of The Finger Lakes as its very own Premier Cool-Climate Wine Region As consumers, we are leaning toward fresher wines that have lower alcohol and have their place at the table with food; very quickly, we are growing tired of jammy, high-alcohol fruit bombs We already show love for cool-climate international regions, such as Germany, Austria, and France’s Burgundy, Loire Valley & Champagne Utilize tools to provide Accessibility to the region & its wines, such as the IRF Scale

26 INTERNATIONAL RIESLING FOUNDATION’S RIESLING TASTE PROFILE A quick way to understand balance Voluntary participation to inform and educate Ratio of residual sugar/acidity

27 THE INTERNATIONAL RIESLING FOUNDATION’S RIESLING TASTE PROFILE

28 THE FUTURE OF THE FINGER LAKES Utilize the Food & Wine Industry to propel the Finger Lakes region to greatness Sommeliers, Restaurateurs, Wine Writers and many other professionals in this industry will fall in love with Finger Lakes wines, once they are exposed to the best examples and notions of poor quality are dispelled Create Ambassadors for the region through these professionals, let them become inspired & then inspire others

29 SOMMELIER’S PERSPECTIVE Some great quality to be found in the area at various price-points Single-Vineyard & small-production examples (micro- cuvees) are proving to be the most exciting Acid: Keep it turned-up! Dry to Sweet: Uniform support, as long as there is balance (whether austere or plush in style) Sounds wine-making mixed with great terroirs Value? Yes & No Focus on the Very Best; put aside anything less

30 WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY “The Rieslings from our region have been outstanding in quality for many years and now that Riesling in general is gaining in popularity we are thrilled.” — Kevin Zraly, FingerLakesTravelJournal.com, April 2008 “From dry to sweet versions, the Finger Lakes is slowly but steadily cementing its reputation as this country’s best source for Riesling.” — James Molesworth, Senior Editor, Wine Spectator “Americans are turned on to Riesling and the Finger Lakes has what Riesling loves: life at the cool margins and layers and layers of slate. There’s no better place to find crisp, refreshing, mineral-tinged Riesling in the States.” — Joshua Greene, Publisher and Editor, Wine & Spirits Magazine

31 THE FUTURE OF THE FINGER LAKES Wine enthusiasts like you must go out & discover these wines, demand that your local stores & restaurants acknowledge and represent them Include yourself in the equation as much as possible, visit these wineries & reach out to the winemakers & owners, share your thoughts & wine experiences with them The Finger Lakes region cannot grow through the acts of a few individuals, only through a combined community effort & support

32 THE FINGER LAKES: AMERICA’S PREMIER COOL-CLIMATE WINE REGION


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