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Taste Vintage 2016
February 8 @ 10:30 am - 5:00 pm$10
We invite you to an informal library tasting of different varietals from the 2016 vintage, which is considered to be one of the best vintages in recent years. Taste from six varietals- Riesling, Dry Riesling, Dry Vignoles, Unoaked Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Merlot. No set time, just walk in and ask for the Vintage Tasting. ($10.00)
Here is a vintage report from the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance-
2016 was a successful vintage in the Finger Lakes. White wines exhibit typical pure, clean Finger Lakes fruit flavors and balance and red wines are bold and ripe. Wine quality is high and wine volume varies from normal to 10% – 20% below normal depending on varietal and producer.
The 2015/2016 winter was much warmer than normal – with a one-day exception. Feb 14th. Temperatures dropped precipitously and some producers experienced bud damage in a few varieties. With the complex landscapes and vineyard aspects, the impact varied with vineyard location and variety. Given the developing labor shortages in the region and the generally very warm winter, many producers had started pruning. Those that had not started or were not completed made adjustments by leaving additional canes with buds to facilitate a full crop.
The spring was cool (no frost episodes) with lower than normal rainfall. May and June growing degree days (GDD) were slightly above normal and dry.
The summer was the driest and warmest in 50 years – and drought conditions developed in many vineyards. GDD at 2854 for the vintage was 15% above the 40-year average. Drought stress contributed to less vigorous canopy development and lower berry size and weight. Rainfall at 15.7 inches was 31% below normal. The combined effects of the Feb 14 cold snap and the dry conditions mitigated the impact of the heat such that in general, grapes were harvested without the excessively high sugar levels. In most instances, grapes were surprisingly close to average Brix levels.
The drought-affected young vineyards and they required irrigation. Many producers dropped some or all fruit in such vineyards especially those that were stressed. Since the majority of vineyards lack irrigation, this was accomplished at great effort, manually. Vineyards on shallow soils (a minority in the FLX) also suffered from reduced production.
The dryness and lack of moisture considerably reduced disease pressure and provided an ideal condition for growing and harvesting clean fruit of high quality. In some vineyards, the volume of a few varietals was reduced by 10% to 20%.
In 2016 full flavor development was delayed in some vineyards. However, the harvest started about a week earlier than usual (since some canopies were shutting down) and was completed (mostly) by Oct 17 – 19 when the rains came. With half the month over, October still experienced 7 inches, more than twice the long-term average rainfall for the month.
In general, the vintage produced high quality, clean grapes with close to average sugar levels, slightly lower acidities, and slightly higher pHs. Some winemakers made slight acidity adjustments to some fermentations. Flavors are clean and pure – since little or no disease was present. It is early days yet, but 2016 is looking like vintage with good white and exceptional red wines.
This report was compiled from information provided by the Finger Lakes Grape Program, supplemented by commentaries from members of the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance producers and winemakers.