Wine lovers feel at home in the Finger Lakes

TRV_W41_FINGER_MAIN

In the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, there’s a growing excitement, literally. Grapes! Wine grapes, to be more specific. The sloping hillsides, lake breezes and a steady summer sun have always provided the picturesque Finger Lakes region with a healthy grape-growing climate. But until recently, the land was primarily used to grow local Concord grapes that were sold to juice companies.

In recent years, younger generations have taken over the family farms and begun experimenting with wine grape varietals. While the yield can be more profitable, the arduous and artistic process is all the more intensive and comes with a higher risk factor. But with continued growth and a respected product that has gained praise and earned prizes all over the world, the shift seems to be working. Now with 109 wineries, the Finger Lakes have helped make New York the third largest wine producer in America.

Even though the area is known for its cabernet francs, chardonnays, pinot noirs and ice wines, it’s riesling that reigns supreme. With a climate similar to its German origins, the varietal has found a second home here. Ranging from dry to sweet and anywhere in between, each vineyard in the area produces at least one style of Riesling — some make several — and many have won worldwide Gold Medal honors.

A Frank history of the area

The very existence and continual growth of vineyards in New York state can all be attributed back to the bold and successful experiments of Dr. Konstantin Frank. Emigrating from the Ukraine to avoid Stalinism in 1951, Frank revolutionized sustainable growing methods for vinifera (vines imported from Europe) in the 1950s and proved that the region’s crops could not only survive the extreme winters, but could also produce a world-class wine year after year. Opening Dr. Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars in 1962, the family-run business is celebrating its 50th anniversary and is heralded as New York state’s most award-winning winery.

Camaraderie over competition

With a wine trail marked by road signs, vineyard tours and tasting rooms, tourism in the Finger Lakes is increasing. And with several wineries adding inns and high-end restaurants to their properties, many are calling the Finger Lakes the next Napa Valley. Vineyard owners in the area, however, are quick to point out a monumental difference — a unified sense of community. Here it’s camaraderie, not competition, since in this region the vineyard owner is often the farmer, the marketer, the salesman and sometimes even the deliveryman.
“If someone needs a forklift, we let them borrow ours,” says Ted Marks, proprietor of Atwater Vineyards. “And they would do the same for us. People come from all over the world to work here and can’t believe that we want to help each other succeed. We do what we do well. And we do it without pretension.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…