We love American wine — and by American wine, we don’t just mean California. Yes, we do have Cali to thank for nearly 90 percent of our country’s vino production, but what about the other 10 percent? Oregon, Washington and even Texas are putting out some stellar-quality wines; though this week, we’re paying homage to the grapes that find their home right here in New York. Between Long Island’s North Fork, the Finger Lakes and even in New York City itself, incredible wines are being made that merit just as much recognition as their Californian cousins. While you might not find them all on the shelves of your local wine store, most New York bottles can be bought online — and let’s face it, most of us are using the convenience of the internet to purchase our toothpaste nowadays; so why not use the same convenience for wine shopping? Check out six of our favorite bottles to put you in an Empire State of Wine:
Glenora Brut NV
Glenora Wine Cellars is on Seneca Lake in upstate New York, claiming the title as the lake’s first winery. Its award-winning wines have won the hearts of many for almost 40 years — ours included. Glenora Brut NV presents a light, fruit-forward palate with yeasty notes, balanced out by crisp acidity and lively bubbles. This Cayuga-Chardonnay blend undergoes bottle fermentation and finishes semi-dry; an ideal (and affordable) Finger Lakes sparkler for any occasion.
Keuka Spring Riesling 2015
Keuka Spring Vineyards is located 20 minutes away from Glenora Wine Cellars, situated on the northeastern tip of Keuka Lake. The Finger Lakes region as a whole is widely known for its stellar Riesling production, Keuka Spring included. The wine presents aromas of tropical fruit, carrying over to a gentle, off-dry palate of stone fruit. Perfect as an aperitif or paired with light salads.
Shinn Wild Boar Doe 2013
Barbara Shinn and David Page, former proprietors of Home, one of the East Coast’s first farm-to-table restaurants, planted their 20 acres of North Fork vines in 1998. Barbara holistically tends the vines using biodynamic farming practices, resulting in pure, healthy fruit. The estate also claims the title of the first alternatively powered winery on the East Coast, thanks to a solar and wind power system put in place in 2010. While their entire range of wines is stunning, the Wild Boar Doe 2013 is not to be missed. The assemblage is Merlot-dominant, blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. The wine is full-bodied and smooth, with a palate of rich, dark fruit. The only thing lovelier than the wines? Barbara and David themselves.
Brooklyn Winery Unoaked Chardonnay 2014
Wine made in Brooklyn? You bet. Brooklyn Winery was founded by former co-workers Brian Leventhal and John Stires, who decided to pursue their passion for wine after becoming tired of their daily 9-to-5 jobs. Winemaker Conor McCormack, a California native, was brought to the team, quickly tripling annual production, and an urban dream was born. The grapes are sourced from 15 vineyards across the country, with 20 different cuvées produced annually. Brooklyn Winery’s Unoaked Chardonnay is one of its bestsellers, with fruit sourced and transported via temperature-controlled trucks from the Finger Lakes. The wine ferments and ages in stainless steel, with no malolactic fermentation, producing a fresh, intense palate of melon and white stone fruit. Acidity is bright and the mouthfeel is smooth, making it a hit for many palates. Prefer other expressions of Chardonnay? Not to worry: Conor also makes a barrel-fermented cuvée as well as a skin-contact Chard for more curious drinkers.
Paumanok Chenin Blanc
Love Loire Valley Chenin? Paumanok Chenin Blanc is the one for you. Bright minerality, zippy acidity and grapefruit aromas carry over to a fresh, clean palate. The wine undergoes slow, cool fermentation in stainless steel. Perfect as an aperitif or with shellfish. Fun fact: Paumanok is the only Long Island winery to produce Chenin Blanc. This bottle is certain to prove any New York wine skeptics wrong.
Ravines Pinot Noir 2013
Ravines Pinot Noir presents a stunning example of what the grape can do in Finger Lakes terroir. This cool-climate wine is very Old World in style, reminiscent of a great Bourgogne rouge. The wine is delicate and balanced, with fresh red-fruit flavors and notes of violets. The grapes start with whole-berry fermentation and are punched down a few times a day, then undergo malolactic fermentation in French oak. Earthy and savory, this wine will please even the biggest Burgundy lovers in your life.