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The Finger Lakes: World-Class Rieslings from North America’s Premier Cool-Climate Wine Region

History • 17th century with Dutch and Huguenot plantings in the Hudson Valley • 1862 first bonded winery in the US - Pleasant Valley Wine Company in Hammondsport • Dr. Frank promotedVitis vinifera in New York – hired by Charles Fournier (French Champagne maker) and president of Gold Seal • 1962 Vinifera Wine Cellars founded • New York Farm Winery Law passed in 1976

The Numbers Add Up • • • • •

102+ wineries 9200 acres of grapes 700+ acres of Riesling 100,000 cases of Riesling Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc • Cabernet Franc

North America’s Premier Cool Climate Wine Region • Small, specific producers • Wine that reflects place and personality • Strong regional aromatic whites with a focus on Riesling • Producers make 2-3 styles of Riesling • Home to over 200 Riesling brands

Winegrowing • • • • • • •

South of Lake Ontario Lake effect micro climates Glacial soils North – South vineyards East & west facing aspects Elevation and distance from lake effects Growing season 190 – 205 days

10,000 Years In the Making • A unique geography carved out by glaciers two miles thick • 11 long, narrow, roughly parallel lakes, oriented north-south • Keuka, Seneca, Cayuga, Canandaigua • Among the deepest lakes in North America 450 to 600 ft deep.





The Real Dirt • Due to ancient glacial activity flooding, the Finger Lakes Region features mostly acidic shales and silty soils. • Optimum pH levels for wine growing.

Lake Effect: The Cool Difference • Because of their great depths, the lakes provide a beneficial “lake effect” to the vineyards that flank their shores. • Warmer minimum temperatures in winter • Cooler maximum temperature in summer • Variation in ripening – elevation, distance from water.

What It All Means • The Finger Lakes Region is ideally suited to the production of world-class and truly distinctive Rieslings and aromatic white wines.

Riesling 101 • Noble and versatile • Growing at 9% (Wine Business Monthly) • Reflects “terroir” of soil and climate

Finger Lakes Are In Good Company • Classic Riesling Regions Alsace, Germany, Austria, Australia • United States Finger Lakes, Washington, Michigan • Finger Lakes Fresh, energetic, vibrant, balanced Quality, value, local

Making Riesling • “Keep It Long, Low And Cool” • Cool climate that allows for a long, slow ripening. • Vineyard management to keep the yields low and the flavor concentrated.

International Riesling Foundation’s Riesling Taste Profile • A quick way to understand balance • Voluntary participation to inform and educate • Ratio of residual sugar/acidity • Adjusted for extreme pH

The International Riesling Foundation’s Riesling Taste Profile

Vintner Agree

The Finger Lakes is North America’s Premier Cool-Climate Wine Region.

Finger Lakes Wine Alliance  

Finger Lakes Wine Alliance presentation with maps, pictures, and key points regarding the Finger Lakes wine region.

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