Wine 101: America: The Finger Lakes

This episode of “Wine 101” is sponsored by Barefoot Wine. When it comes to Riesling, the Finger Lakes are known to produce crisp, dry, and refreshing-tasting wines. Barefoot’s Riesling maintains those traditional qualities via California grapes with an extra bit of sweetness — consider it your sign to live on the sweeter side of life.

The Finger Lakes — all 11 of them — are located in the far reaches of upstate New York. Given their location, this region gets pretty cold, so the standout grapes tend to be hardier varieties with short ripening periods. That being said, the lakes provide temperature moderation year-round while the slopes around them create prime air circulation and drainage, allowing vines to thrive.

Despite its reputation as a young, blossoming wine region, Finger Lakes viticulture dates back around 200 years. And before Prohibition, Cayuga Lake was the second-largest sparkling wine producer in the country. The Finger Lakes’ own Pleasant Valley Wine Company even brought home the gold in 1873 when it won the sparkling wine category at the World’s Fair in Austria. When Prohibition ended, a vine-planting frenzy ensued, and a number of grapes took hold — mostly high-acid hybrids. In 1976, New York passed the Farm Winery Act, allowing wineries to sell their own wine without having to work through a wholesaler. Thus, the wine scene here exploded.

The region is known for its Riesling and Cab Franc, but winemakers here are starting to think outside the box, planting lesser-known grapes like Albariño and Saperavi — a Georgian variety that yields a beautiful hot pink rosé. Today, Keith Beavers is joined by Kyle Pallischeck, executive director of the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, to talk about the wonderful wines of the Finger Lakes. Tune in for more.

Listen Online

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

Follow Keith on Instagram @VinePairKeith. Rate and review this podcast wherever you get your podcasts from. It really helps get the word out there.

“Wine 101” was produced, recorded, and edited by yours truly, Keith Beavers, at the VinePair headquarters in New York City. I want to give a big old shout-out to co-founders Adam Teeter and Josh Malin for creating VinePair. Big shout-out to Danielle Grinberg, the art director of VinePair, for creating the most awesome logo for this podcast. Also, Darby Cicci for the theme song. Listen to this. And I want to thank the entire VinePair staff for helping me learn something new every day. See you next week.

E. & J. Gallo Winery is excited to sponsor this episode of VinePair’s “Wine 101.” Gallo always welcomes new friends to wine with an amazingly wide spectrum of favorites, ranging from everyday to luxury and sparkling wine. (Gallo also makes award-winning spirits, but this is a wine podcast.) Whether you are new to wine or an aficionado, Gallo welcomes you to wine. Visit today to find your next favorite, where shipping is available.