Saturday, May 19, 2007

New York and Niagara Bound

In the coming week, Kathy and I will be heading up to the Finger Lakes Region of New York for a little R&R and, of course, winetasting. Then, after half a week there, we're driving to the Niagara region where we plan on exploring some of their terrific ice wines.

Of course, I'd love to blog as we go. But I've already learned we'll have no Internet connectivity at our B&Bs. I'll be on the lookout for Internet cafes, but if that doesn't work out there will be plenty to blog about when we get home.

I've long been a fan of Niagara ice wines and am really excited about indulging in some new labels. But I'm really intrigued to learn more about the wines of the Finger Lakes Region. While we have explored Long Island wineries several times, we have never ventured out to western New York to see what the many Finger Lakes wineries have to offer, mostly because...well, I didn't think I'd like them.

The few Finger Lakes wines that I've tasted, courtesy of friends who have been there, have been simple and sweet. For some time I thought this was all the Finger Lakes produced. But for years now I've been reading very favorable things about their dry and off-dry rieslings, gewurztraminers, Burgundian-style chardonnays and even, now and then, pinot noirs. So, it's time we checked it out for ourselves.

Turns out, from my pre-reading, there's lots I didn't know about the Finger Lakes. Did you know that it's the largest American wine-producing region outside of California? News to me. Why have these wines remained either unknown or the victim of mischaracterizations? Tom Pellechia over at VinoFictions has a few interesting ideas on this subject, such as a lack of promotional savvy and the mistaken belief, on the part of many, that Finger Lakes wines are made mostly from "foxy" tasting American hybrid grapes. You should read his post on that subject.

Whatever's going on out there, we hope to learn for ourselves exactly what these wines have going for them. And, I plan to share in the very near future.