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Must Drink Wines

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

As you tour New York wine country, you will find a vast assortment of native and classic grape varietals being produced into wine. From single-variety wines to blends, each grape has its time and place. There are two grape varietals that stand above the rest in regards to their awards/accolades and there ability to be produced into a great bottle of wine within our climate.

Finger Lakes Riesling Grape


By far Riesling is the Finger Lakes signature grape, being planted and produced all over our wine region. We stand alongside Alsace and Mosel as one of the world's finest producing Riesling regions!

It's not just SWEET. This grape is extremely versatile in a range of taste profiles, from a dry to a super sweet dessert wine. Riesling is widely recognized as a grape that loves to express the land and soil (terroir) from which it is grown. Typically, it is fermented in stainless steel barrels and is an excellent wine for aging.

  • An acidic grape, medium in alcohol and medium in body

  • Expresses a vibrant nose with a wide range of fruit and floral characteristics

  • Should be served at approximately 45 degrees fridge temp

  • Pairs nicely with spicy dishes, duck, fin fish, and non pungent cheeses

Wineries produce a wide-range of styles, making it possible to enjoy a tasting of just Riesling. I recommend sampling a Riesling from various regions, lakes and even vineyards to compare/contrast winemaker styles and expressions of this versatile grape!

Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc Grape

Cabernet Franc

Probably best known for its pairing in famous Bordeaux blends, this grape is becoming increasingly popular as a stand-alone wine. As the parent grape to Cabernet Sauvignon, it's easily recognizable due to its spicy, peppery finish. Expert Tip: Tone down the natural spiciness by decanting for 30 minutes prior to enjoying.

Cabernet Franc presents a medium body, it's a bit less tannic and has an elevated acidity. It's a fantastic wine to pair with spicy dishes, alongside a range of meats and sauces.

  • An acidic grape, typically medium plus in alcohol and medium in body

  • Expresses red fruit -- strawberry, raspberry, bell pepper and chili pepper

  • Should be served at room temperature (60-68 degrees)

  • Pairs nicely with vinegar based sauces, tomato dishes and it loves fresh herbs

For red wine lovers, this is truly a gem of a wine that excels within our climate and terroir. Purchase a bottle and enjoy!

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