Exploring New York’s Wine Regions

People travel to New York from all over the world. Some go for business, others for pleasure. New York City is the most common destination. It is the heartbeat of America and filled with endless forms of entertainment. The Finger Lakes area is gorgeous and a great getaway lake vacation. Don’t forget Niagara. Only Vegas says “Will you marry me?” better than Niagara. Did you know while visiting any of those regions you can also visit wineries? That’s right, next time you are in New York don’t forget to wine.

New York is home to five major wine regions covering nine appellations. With over 400 wineries, this area is the third-largest wine producing region in the US. During the Ice Age glaciers sculpted the land, creating ideal areas for viticulture.

Four-hundred years ago Dutch settler are believed to be the first to plant vines in the New York area, followed later by the English and the French. One-hundred and eighty years ago the first winery was founded in the same valley where the Dutch planted the first vines. Thirty-five years ago New York State had 31 wineries, today over 400. The varietal landscape is diverse, including many American hybrid grapes as well as classic international vitis vinifera varietals.

New York is a cool climate region. The variety of lakes, rivers, and coastal regions provide natural cooling in the summer and a blanket of warmth in the winter. This results in each region having a unique and diverse microclimate.

About two hours from New York City lies the Long Island wine region. This moderate maritime climate has a long growing season. It has sandy soil and is known for its classic Bordeaux blends (known as Meritage). There are 76 wineries locate in this region.

The Hudson River Valley is midway between New York City and Albany. This historic region is home to the state’s first winery. It is nestled among the Shawangunk Mountains on the west side and in Dutchess and Westchester Counties on the east side of the Hudson River. The region is home to 61 wineries.

The Finger Lakes region is the most famous region internationally in the state. It is centered around the four main Finger Lakes It is home to half of the state’s wineries and known for its high quality Riesling, Ice wine, Sparkling wine, and Cabernet Franc. It is home to 126 wineries.

Flanking Buffalo lies the Niagara Escarpment and the Lake Erie wine region. Due to the proximity to the Great Lakes and the escarpment, warm air is trapped here making it the warmest of the New York wine regions. The limestone soil and gravel silts make the fertile soil idea for growing a wide variety of grapes. These regions are known for grape juice and home to the Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association. This area is home to 22 wineries in the area.

Disclaimer: Samples; all thoughts & opinions are my own.

2014 Paumanok Assemblage North Fork of Long Island USA ($50): Crafted of 50% Merlot, 37$ Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot; deep ruby; medium+ aromas of ripe black cherry, blackberry, baked plum, black currant, violets, baking spice, toast, vanilla; loads of tart fruit on the palate; medium tannins and acid, full-body, medium finish; Click here to purchase.

2010 Lenz Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon North of Long Island USA: Crafted of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc; medium+ ruby; medium aromas of red cherry, black berry, plums, currants, dried herbs, baking spice; medium+ body, medium tannins and acidity, medium finish; Click here to purchase Lenz wines.

2014 Whitecliff Vineyard Sky Island Hudson Valley USA ($31.95): Crafted off 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot, and 3% Malbec; medium ruby; medium aromas of black cherry, raspberry, plum, currant, green pepper, white pepper, baking spice, minerality; medium body, medium tannins and acidity, medium- finish; Click here to purchase.

2013 Brooklyn Winery Cabernet Franc North Fork of Long Island USA ($35): Crafted of 91% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon; medium+ ruby; medium+ aromas of dried roses, dusty earth, cherry, black berry, green pepper, plum; smooth mouth-feel; medium body, tannins, acidity, and finish; Click here to purchase.

2016 Lakewood vineyards Cabernet Franc Finger Lakes USA ($18): Crafted of 100% Cabernet Franc; medium- ruby; medium aromas of roses, cherry, black berry, red currant, green pepper, white pepper, minerality; tart red fruit palate, medium- body, medium- tannins, medium acidity, medium finish; Click here to purchase.

2013 Chateau LaFayette Reneau Cabernet Sauvignon Finger Lakes USA ($22.99): Crafted of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon; medium ruby; medium aromas cherry, black berry, black currant, white pepper, eucalyptus, dusty earth; smooth mouth-feel, red fruit palate, medium body, medium tannins, medium+ acidity, medium finish; Click here to purchase.


6 responses to “Exploring New York’s Wine Regions”

  1. Always nice to read about New York wines – thanks for the heads-up on a few bottles to look out for. The Society of Wine Educators annual conference takes place in August, this year in the Finger Lakes region. Really looking forward to that!

  2. I meant to write “Two of my favorites (are) Paumanok & Lenz.” I push the reply button way too fast. Hehehehe…

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