First up this year, Cayuga White
Origin: A hybrid of Seyval Blanc X Schuyler, it was developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York starting in the 1950’s.
New York Introduction: Released for commercial planting in 1972.
Atwater Introduction: 1982
Acreage: Atwater Estate Vineyard: 1.0 acres / Total New York: 266 acres
Viticultural Characteristics: Vigorous, moderately hardy vine with good disease resistance, Cayuga produces high yields of large, well-filled clusters.
How we use it: Cayuga can be vinified successfully from dry to sweet. This is a wonderful blending wine and we use it primarily in our Stone Bridge White.
Hudson Valley Wine and Food Festival, Rhinebeck, NY opens its gates this September 6 and 7 anticipating record attendees and participants eager to taste, test and learn about award winning wines, state-of-the-art distilleries and New York State’s growing and trendy food producers. Wineries, distilleries, craft breweries and food artisans from all over New York State will present their wares while everyone from gourmands and oeneophiles to farmers and visitors will enjoy wine tasting and food sampling as well as the demonstrations by well-known chefs. The celebratory atmosphere is enhanced by live music and the anticipation surrounding the judging of the Hudson Valley Wine & Spirits Competition.
Founded 13 years ago by Hudson Valley-based Wineracks.com, the Hudson Valley Wine and Food Fest is held in the Dutchess County Fairgrounds Rhinebeck, New York, a beautiful historic town and area only two hours from New York City by car or train on Metro North and Amtrak. The Hudson Valley Wine and Food Fest is designated as a “New York Farm Market,” which allows the participants to hold tastings and sell by the bottle which is an unusual opportunity for visitors to buy directly from the vintners themselves.
To see if anyone really reads our website posts - mention "A-Team 6" to us at our booth and we will reward you with a special magnetic gift. Thanks and hope to see you there!
Quotes taken from our tasting notes upon the wine's release, the following still holds true today for these twelve year old wines.
2002 Estate Selection Chardonnay $19
"Barrel fermented and aged in French oak for over a year, this wine is reminiscent of toasted hazelnuts, lemon and apples. Enjoy with shellfish, chicken and cheeses."
2002 Cabernet Sauvignon $30 SOLD OUT
"Our second vintage, this wine exhibits notes of black currant, herbs, and cedar. Savor with hearty roasts and rich cheeses."
2002 Pinot Noir $20
"This lovely wine displays notes of cherry, spice, and herbs. Superb when served with game and grilled seafood."
The 2002 growing season was long and seasonably warm, which was excellent for fruit of the Finger Lakes Region, allowing the grapes to ripen until the very last minute before harvest. For a nostalgic look back on the 2002 Harvest, here is an article written by Peggy Haine for Life In The Finger Lakes.
Club members will get the chance to taste and purchase the new 2013 vintages before we release them to the public. We'll be introducing three new Rieslings, two Pinot Gris', a Chardonnay and the return of our Vidal Blanc. We've scored the incredibly delicious talents of Word-of-Mouth Catering in T-Burg and we'll be enjoying live tunes and vineyard hayrides into the night.
Advance tickets may be purchased HERE until May 23, 2014.
Party tickets are limited to 75 attendees.
Club members may purchase (2) tickets at $40 each and guests are welcome at $50 each.
Treat your inner wine-geek and join our winemaker Vinny Aliperti for a focused tasting experience that showcases past and current vintages of Dry Riesling and Cabernet Franc.
Pulled from deep within our wine cellar library, we will dust off and uncork these gems and discuss their differences and similarities due to weather, vineyard location and soils, vinification practices and many other topics. This will be a fun little "time capsule" trip back though several years of pride and joy from our spectacular vineyard site here on Seneca Lake. Maybe you will remember some of them with fondness and nostalgia as we sip and swirl.
Light hors d'oeuvres will be provided for your enjoyment and some selections will be available for purchase - ONE DAY ONLY.
Limited to 24 to keep the event intimate, advance tickets are $25 club members/$35 non
Enjoy a self-guided tour around beautiful Seneca Lake, sampling delicious pasta themed dishes paired with wine at 30 participating wineries. Pick up your gift item at your chosen starting winery then start sampling pasta dishes paired with delicious award-winning wines.
Update: January 18, 2014
A snowy start to our event but no delays. Our recipe is savory and delicious and we are pairing it with our Pinot Bubble a dry, carbonated Pinot Noir. A perfect match for our Butternut Squash Lasagna with Goat Cheese, Sweet Sausage, Sage, and Breadcrumbs. Of course we always serve a vegetarian option at all of our events. Simply omit the sweet sausage and use more fennel and onion if you wish better complexity. Enjoy!
Butternut Squash Lasagna with Goat Cheese, Sweet Sausage, Sage, and Breadcrumbs
The combination of sweet-and-savory roasted squash, tangy goat cheese, and fresh herbs brings big
flavor to this lasagna, while the tender pasta keeps things light. Serves 6-8. Delightful paired with our Pinot Bubble wine.
1 large butternut squash (about 3 lb.), halved lengthwise and seeded
1 head fresh garlic, unpeeled
1 sweet onion peeled and cut in half
2 sprigs fresh thyme plus 2 tsp. chopped leaves
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound sweet Italian Sausage, casings removed
1 small bulb of fennel, diced
1/2 cup diced onion
5 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 sprigs fresh sage
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
4 ounces crumbled fresh goat cheese
1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup coarse panko breadcrumbs
Stony Brook Butternut Squash Seed Oil, (optional) drizzle for more flavor in the breadcrumb topping
1 package fresh pasta for Lasagna, we used Wegmans
Roast the squash and garlic. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.
Put the squash cut side up on a large, heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet. Put half of the garlic cloves and 1 sprig of thyme in each cavity. Drizzle each with olive oil and then season each with salt and a few grinds of pepper, lay onion on roaster pan, cover loosely with foil. Roast until the squash is browned in spots and very tender, when pierced with a skewer, 45 to 50 minutes. Turn over if necessary. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Discard the thyme sprigs. Peel the garlic and put in a large bowl with the roasted onion. Scoop the squash flesh from the skins and add it to the bowl. At this point, you can mash it all together or use a food processor gently pulsing till lumps are gone. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
Brown the sausage in a skillet with the fennel and onion until no longer pink. Drain in a colander and when cool enough to handle, use your food processor again pulsing to break the large clumps of sausage into smaller bits.
Melt 4 Tbs. of the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the sage sprigs and cook until the butter is fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Remove the sage and save for the breadcrumb topping. Add the flour and whisk until smooth and golden, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Stir in the goat cheese, 1/2 cup of the pecorino, the nutmeg, salt to taste, and a few grinds of pepper. Set aside 1-1/2 cups of the sauce and mix the rest with the mashed squash.
Melt the remaining 1 Tbs. butter in a small skillet over medium heat. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, reserved sage crumbled, chopped thyme, butternut squash seed oil if using. Add the melted butter and mix well.
Assemble and bake the lasagna. Spread 1/2 cup of the reserved cheese sauce over the bottom of a 8 x10 x3-inch baking dish. Cover the sauce with a slightly overlapping layer of cooked noodles, cutting them as needed to fill any gaps. Spread 1 cup of the squash mixture evenly over the noodles then a bit of sausage. Add another layer of noodles and repeat the layers as instructed above. Spread the remaining 1 cup cheese sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup pecorino. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top is browned and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
New York on Parade
Posted by Holly Howell on January 2014 at 3:30 pm
Atwater’s new tasting room serves statewide wines in Watkins Glen
The Finger Lakes region of New York has become a major bon vivant’s travel destination. There are plenty of spots for excellent boating, fine fishing, invigorating hiking, long-distance biking, sensational skydiving, great golfing, and even championship car-racing. The area is loaded with world-class wineries, tasty microbreweries, mind-blowing distilleries, artisanal cheese dairies, homemade chocolate shops, aromatic coffee roasters, gourmet seed oil producers, bee-loving honey farms, heirloom vegetable markets, and some of the best eateries around. All of this amongst the breathtaking views that can be experienced throughout four spectacular seasons that make cool climate vacations one of the “hottest things going right now.
And the village of Watkins Glen, at the southern tip of Seneca Lake, is sitting smack dab in the middle of it all.
For tourists, it is a great location for base camp lodging. For residents, it is the perfectly centered meeting place for activities of all kinds. You might say that it is poised to take over as the central hub of a party that is already well under way.
One local business has brainstormed a much-needed addition to that party. Atwater Vineyards, a winery that lies on the eastern shores of Seneca Lake a few miles north of Watkins Glen, recently opened the ultimate storefront in the midst of this blossoming Finger Lakes capital: The Tasting Room. Located at 204 North Franklin Street, the project focuses on bringing together a constantly rotating selection of the region’s best products, all under one roof. The result is a convenient and friendly one-stop taste-and-shop that relays the strong spirit of commonality and excitement that is rippling through the lakes.
Atwater Vineyards is an award-winning winery that opened its doors in 2000. Their specialties include exquisite sparklers, crisp Rieslings, fragrant Gewürztraminers, surprisingly rich cool-climate reds, and luscious late harvest dessert wines. But perhaps the most special attribute of Atwater is their sense of community and the pride they have for the entire Finger Lakes region.
They have a wonderful rapport with local businesses, and strive to make a Finger Lakes visit the best that it can be. Their Web site (www.atwatervineyards.com) lists information and background on the local grape varietals; a bit of regional history; a link to the wineries of all of the “other lakes;” a list of top local places to stay, eat, and play; and even a live forecast and weather station.
Most wineries open a second tasting room (sometimes called a satellite location) in order to offer another venue in which to serve their own wines. But when Atwater owner Ted Marks came up with the original idea for The Tasting Room he envisioned a place where the visitor could savor a taste of many local wines. In other words, instead of just pouring his own wines, he was inspired to promote the wines that he loved drinking from all five wine regions of New York State: his own Finger Lakes region, as well as Niagara, Lake Erie, Hudson River, and Long Island. He serves local artisanal cheeses and hard ciders as well. Now, that’s a good neighbor.
Ted’s daughter, Katie Marks, will proudly tell you, “Dad has always been very supportive of the local community, and is actually very groundbreaking for a guy in his seventies!”
Yes, Ted’s idea was genius. But even smarter was his decision to put his energetic daughter at the helm. “Make it happen,” he told Katie. And that she did. Her enthusiasm for New York State easily echoes that of her Dad’s, and she is thrilled to be in charge of such a unique and visionary adventure. “It’s all new to me, but that is the fun of it.”
Her first move was to hire a skillful and creative designer. Gideon Stone, from HOLT Architects in Ithaca, “did a fantastic job of putting our ideas into concrete, no pun intended.” Contemporary, clean, and inviting, you can’t help but be drawn to the artistic concrete bar edged with a trough of polished lake stones: terroir built right in.
Next, Katie secured the ideal person to manage. A familiar and favorite face for many who enter the store, Jessica Giles comes with extensive experience in both the local wine and food industries, not to mention a passion for people and the Finger Lakes life in general.
A well-educated staff soon followed, and the doors to the new venture opened in August to the delight of everyone who was waiting in anticipation.
Big thumbs-up was the immediate reaction. And it was two-fold, with glowing reports from outsiders to the region, as well as overwhelming praise from the local merchants. The Tasting Room has been an integral part of every Watkins Glen activity since, from the September Car Classic to Village Christmas to weekly Taco Tuesdays. It’s hard to remember the town without it, and equally obvious that a void was filled when the Atwater mission materialized. Ted and Katie have, um, definitely hit the mark.
When traveling to any great wine region of the world, an astute visitor will carefully plan their stops, keeping distance, consumption, and timing well organized. The general rule is to visit from three to five wineries maximum, and to make sure to have a designated driver. Also, remember that the winery tasting rooms close by 6 p.m. Just like the Napa Valley of California, the Willamette Valley of Oregon, and the Columbia Valley of Washington State, the Finger Lakes of New York excursions should be scheduled as a daytime activity.
Which brings us to another lovely perk of having a well-connected tasting facility in the downtown area of its heartland city. The Tasting Room is open until 8 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 p.m. on weekends, which offers both visitors and residents a locale in which they can celebrate—and be a part of—the provincial wine scene after official winery hours. You may find winemakers stopping in to deliver some wine, or interested sommeliers traveling through, or restaurateurs checking in on the latest vintage releases, or just animated wine lovers discussing their Finger Lakes visits of the day—the type of public communion that is the essence of great societies.
The easy access to hotels within walking distance only sweetens the pot, and opens up a whole new category of nightlife for a small town that is an intriguing work in progress.
The selections change frequently, with new wines being added to the list every week. A simple tasting fee of $5 includes your choice of six tastes from an extensive list. The $8 wine flights are educational and enlightening, and can be enjoyed by anyone from beginner to seasoned pro.
A typical flight might include a comparison tasting of four different Rieslings, or maybe a lineup of versatile cool-climate reds like pinot noir, cabernet franc, and lemberger (aka Bläufrankisch). The flights change as often as the wines, and you are always welcome to design your own. Or just order your favorite wine by the glass or share a bottle with friends. Comfortable stools allow you to settle right in.
Also on the menu is The Tasting Room Cheese Plate of the Day. I’ve been thrilled to find raw cow’s milk Camembert, aged goat’s blue, and the most creatively flavored cheddars, all made just a short distance away. Alongside, you’ll try some of the regions yummiest fruit preserves and honey. Everything is available for purchase as well, so you can replicate your gastronomical experience at home.
For more information about Watkins Glen’s newest attraction, give them a call at 607-210-4324.
I’ll be seeing you there!
PRESS RELEASE: The Tasting Room by Atwater has opened in Watkins Glen.
The store, at 204 N. Franklin St., will feature tastings and sales of wines from all of New York's wine regions, hard apple cider from Bellwether and other cideries and New York cheeses.
Atwater Estate Vineyards opened their winery in 2000 and have always heard from the hotel and B & B owners that when their customers arrive in Watkins Glen the night before, there is very little to do, no wineries to visit until usually 10:00 AM the next morning. Most of the shops have closed for the evening and quite honestly they are disappointed.
"These are the real reasons we have just opened The TASTING ROOM in downtown Watkins Glen," explains co-owner Katie Marks. "Watkins is starting to realize what potential they have in the thousands of visitors who come to the Village to see the beauty of the Glen, go to the races and visit the wineries each and every day The lake front in Watkins Glen could be one of the most beautiful in the Finger Lakes and just look at all the pictures that feature the break wall and the gazebo on the pier right now."
Ted Marks, also co-owner went on to say: "If the Village of Watkins Glen works with the Village of Montour Falls and remove our odorous and outdated sewer plant, think of the potential for lake development for residences, restaurants and shops. What if we had a museum that recognized the auto racing history that was easily accessible and visible to these visitors? What a service we would be doing for these visitors and for the researchers of America's motor racing history using the International Motor Racing Research Center and Watkins Glen International as the foundations of a museum. I'm excited for Watkins and that is why we opened our shop on Franklin Street."
The designer of the space is Gideon Stone from HOLT Architects in Ithaca in collaboration with Katie Marks. Builders are Dan Bardeen and Bill Hunter. The unique cement bar was crafted by Nate Greenspun and iron work is by Durand VanDoren. The property was purchased from Mrs. Joshua Navone. The manager is Jessica Giles and will be assisted by Mike Atwood and Jennie Cook.
The TASTING ROOM by Atwater will of course feature all the current Atwater wines, but what will be unique in the industry is that it will also sell and taste other New York wines from throughout the nine wine regions, not just Seneca Lake or the Finger Lakes Region. They plan also to carry hard apple cider from Bellwether Farms and other local cideries and a selection of NY cheeses for sale and tasting. Other products from New York farms will also be available, depending on the season.