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