Friday, June 21, 2013

Some Words on Terroir

Here at Fox Run Vineyards, we have a deep appreciation of the complex interplay between our estate vineyards, management of the vines, the cool-climate of the Finger Lakes - with its levels of sun, wind and rain, and our winemaking process. When we think about terroir, we consider all of the factors that contribute to the wine that we ultimately produce.

Soil plays a primary role in all of this and the soils of our various sites are varied and unique in their composition and configuration. Ancient river deltas and lake shorelines lie under our Lake Dana and Hanging Delta Vineyards. Lake Dana's shale and stone is now hidden by a thick layer of sandy loam. The resulting well-drained soil is ideal for the ripening of Riesling vines. And the Hanging Delta Vineyard Block, once a river outlet, presents alternating bands of clay and sand. The Riesling grapes produced on both of these parcels are so distinctly different; we created the Geology Series to showcase these vines.

And yet, after twenty years of cultivating our estate vines, we have seen extraordinary Rieslings coming from other parcels, clearly due to the particulars of a singular year - therefore that element of surprise is there from year to year.  And such is true for our other estate varieties: Chardonnay, Lemberger, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir. The positioning of parcels on the slopes leading down to the shores of Seneca Lake, the fine differences between parcel soil composition, our rigorous work in the vineyards and sensitive treatment of vines that receive varying levels of rainfall from season to season, together create an interactive system that we define as terroir, but that which includes the cellar decisions made after the precise timing of the harvest and grape selection. 

Scott Osborn, Proprietor

Friday, April 26, 2013

At Our Winery Café, Chef Tony Gullace Creates Garlic-Infused Tapas Menu for August

Every August, we celebrate the local artisan garlic harvest in a serious way – hosting our 2-day festival of all things garlic, by bringing together garlic growers and experts, farmers, specialty food producers, artists musicians, and thousands of visitors. All of this fantastic garlic action takes place in a village square atmosphere we create for the occasion, on the spacious lawns behind our winery.

This winter, brainstorming with my good friend, Chef Tony Gullace, we can up with the idea to extend the celebration with a garlic-infused tapas menu, and feature it throughout the month of August at our winery café. Tony Gullace is one of Rochester’s iconic chefs – and he and I have been friends for over 20 years. His acclaimed restaurants in downtown Rochester are hugely popular, sought-out culinary destination points and include: Max of Eastman Place, Max Chophouse, Max Sushi Noodles and Max at the Gallery. His passion for cooking is equally fueled by the utilization of topnotch local ingredients.  He has prepared the menus for several Fox Run Garlic Festivals and for the numerous garlic dinners we used to have on the Saturday night of the festival. We don’t do the Saturday dinners any more – getting too old for those late, late nights - as many of you famously remember. But Tony has returned for recent festivals to create great garlic-infused dishes for the Glorious Garlic weekend. We are so fortunate to have Tony’s culinary stamp on the festival.
With local garlic as the star ingredient, Tony created a short but varied tapas menu for the Fox Run café - featuring a chilled tomato-garlic soup - middle eastern sampler of hummus, tabbouleh and babaganoush - Lively Run goat cheese (one of his absolute favorites) with roasted garlic and roasted red peppers and finally, an assortment of olives and mushrooms in a garlic-parsley sauce. All of these small dishes have been meticulously paired with our estate wines. Tony is writing up all the recipes for the home chef and has added a litany of tips for preparing and working with cool-climate garlic.
Our August visitors will also be able to purchase local hardneck garlic in our market everyday. Detailed descriptions for each type will point out the rather incredible differences in flavor these varieties offer and the interplay between wine and bulb.
Scott Osborn, Proprietor

Monday, February 4, 2013

Find Out What Makes A Cool-Climate Wine Tick

"Clouds and Water" by Arthur Dove, Geneva's Foremost Artist

Our very first Wine Symposium of the Finger Lakes, which takes a serious, global view of cool-climate winemaking, is slated for March 23. I’ve been actively involved with the conceptual planning of this event and currently serving as an advisor. We have a great line-up of seminars, led by top-flight experts and a five-star lunch planned. Here’s a breakdown of the day’s schedule:

Overall, the event is aimed at the serious wine enthusiast ready to learn more about this great American region, and stellar regions abroad, famous for their cool-climate bottlings.  The event is a terrific collaboration between Geneva Growth and the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, with support from the New York Wine and Culinary Center, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the City of Geneva and the Geneva Area of Commerce. Held at the beautiful Scandling Campus Center at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, it’s a great opportunity to really delve into what makes a cool-climate wine tick. Iconic wine expert Dan Berger and New York sommelier Thomas Pastuszak will demystify northern reds and whites, including those from Italy, France and Germany.  We will also mix it up with classical and innovative wine and food pairings, led by James Treadwell, one of Canada’s top sommeliers, and co-owner of Treadwell Farm-to-Table cuisine in Port Dalhousie, Ontario.

In the early afternoon, awards will be presented for the Finger Lakes AVA Riesling Challenge.

Following the ceremony, a culinary star from the White House, Chef Walter Scheib, together with five top chefs from the Finger Lakes, will present a five-course luncheon menu, expertly matched with wines selected  by our team of wine professionals. Chef Scheib will also share his personal experiences at the White House, over a span of 11 years, and serving under two presidents.

The day will end with a Finger Lakes Grand Tasting, offering up exciting new releases from the area's finest wineries. Winemakers and proprietors will be on hand to give an in-depth look at their wines and technique.

And fitting to have it all take place in Geneva, an historic lakeside city, that well-known wine writer Alice Feiring (recent Wine Personality of the Year from Imbibe magazine) referred to as the future Napa of the East Coast. With its historic districts and sweeping views of Lake Geneva, home to the early modernist artist Arthur Dove, and the Smith Opera House, one of the oldest operating theaters in the United States, it’s a city experiencing a renaissance.

Tickets and further information can be found at:

Scott Osborn, Proprietor

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tierce Goes to Washington

Tierce Goes to Washington

Yesterday was such a super day for all of us at Fox Run Vineyards. At Century Liquor and Wines in Rochester, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that Tierce Riesling 2010 will be served at the Presidential Inaugural Luncheon on January 21, 2013. Senator Schumer, Chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, informed us that it will be served along with the first course. Thank you Senator Schumer!  We are so proud of our senior winemaker Peter Bell and his winemaking team.

For those who are not familiar with Tierce (Latin for “third’) - this is a collaborative wine created by our senior winemaker Peter Bell, with winemakers, Johannes Reinhardt of Anthony Road and Dave Whiting of Red Newt.  A limited production wine, with approximately 300 cases made each year, this innovative, “shared” venture brings into play complexities and nuances that set it apart from all other bottlings coming from single wineries – making it uniquely Finger Lakes.  Says Peter, “It's a one-third each blend of Riesling lots from each winery. It's all done by a series of punishing tastings. And ultimately we're looking for an austere style. We talk about minerality, electricity and tension. Can you quantify them? No, but we know what we're looking for.” Since the first vintage of Tierce, in 2004, it has gone on to be recognized as one of the iconic wines of the Finger Lakes wine region.

As Jim Trezise, President of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation pointed out - "The Inaugural Luncheon is the ultimate power lunch in the world, with the President hosting his Cabinet, leaders of Congress, Supreme Court justices, diplomats, and others who wield global influence--and who will experience the fine wines and foods New York now produces."

I’d like to extend a very special thanks to Jim Trezise, for making this all possible. And Jim stated it so well. “The 2010 Tierce has won awards and accolades around the world, and is symbolic of the spontaneous cooperation among Finger Lakes wine producers.”

Other outstanding producers from across this great state will be represented at the luncheon as well,  including Bedell Cellars 2009 Merlot, from the North Fork of Long Island, to Rochester’s Crown Maple Syrup and apples from Golden Harvest Orchards in Otsego, NY. “The luncheon menu reflects Schumer’s choice of a theme for the 57th Inaugural Ceremonies. Faith in America’s Future commemorates the United States’ perseverance and unity and marks the sesquicentennial year of the placement of the Statue of Freedom atop the new Capital Dome in 1863.”

A great day, a great achievement – and what a superb way to start the New Year!

The "Tierce Brothers" with Senator Schumer, from left to right: 
Peter Bell, Dave Whiting and Johannes Reinhardt.

 Peter Bell and I listen to Senator Schumer announcing the great news.

Scott Osborn, Proprietor