Finger Lakes gaining ground at home

Producers in New York state’s Finger Lakes region are experimenting with styles and site specifics as their wines find a larger audience both at home and abroad.

New YorkSpeaking to the drinks business at the London International Wine Fair, Bob Madill, president of the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, said that many producers were consciously making sweeter “kabinett” styles with lower alcohol.

“They’re trying different styles – a kabinett idea – and they’re extending the range of the vines.

“Ten years ago it was, ‘dry or sweet?’, now there are more categories, producers are trying to find new expressions for their Riesling.”

“There are also a lot more single vineyard wines and some are trying to do barrel fermentations – though in old, old oak.”

Madill explained that this experimentation was being driven by an increasing popularity in New York City among other places.

“It’s being driven by sommeliers in New York and we’re starting to gain traction. Single vineyards are appearing because consumers want to see it and it’s good for the on-trade.

“We’re starting to get the market. We’re so close.”

As for the UK, Madill said that the progress had been encouraging so far for such a small region.

“It’s not thousands of cases but it’s enough for a palette or two,” he explained.

“Even Pennsylvania took six palettes of wine recently which was huge for us. Altogether we only make 2.5 million bottles or so – we’re very small.

“The thing we’ve got going for us though is New York City. Brand New York. It might be a little clichéd but people know it.”

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