New York State wines have always been at the edge of my consciousness; learning about wine meant reading about the states’ developing wine industry. I learned early about the potential of its cool-climate varietals grown in the Finger Lakes and Long Island, primarily Riesling and Cabernet Franc. Now, as a resident of Manhattan, I see New York wines on lists for wine bars and restaurants all over the city. The time is long past for me to share some of my New York finds.
Silver Thread is a little 10 acre vineyard located in the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York, founded at the eastern shore of Seneca Lake in the 1980’s by Richard Figiel. Due to its eastern location by the water mass, the site enjoys a microclimate where cooling breezes wash over the vineyards in summer and warm air blankets them in winter, extending the growing season while keeping temperatures ideal. Sustainable farming and green technology also feature prominently in the winemaking process: geothermal and solar energy are used for temperature control, and water is gravity fed into the winery from a spring by the vineyard. All of this careful labor results in artisan wines showing minimal processing, and thus exquisite finesse.
Their 2007 Gewurztraminer blew me away. A delicate straw color in the glass with slight green hues, clear as forest spring water in a romance novel. Incredibly fresh aromas of lychee fruit, peach, and hints of roses and spice. Based on the nose, it first comes across as a dessert wine, but it is bone dry in the mouth, richly fruity and a soft mouthfeel but lean with acidity that quivers like a taut wire. Long finish, intense, delicious, mouth-watering. Begs to be enjoyed by itself or with rich poultry dishes, baked halibut or quiches.