TVP: What is your winemaking philosophy
VINNY: I am not sure I would consider having a personal winemaking philosophy per se but rather a dogged determination to do what is necessary to make sure the precious cargo I am in charge of handling is properly nurtured and inevitably steered toward a life of consequence. To summarize, I tend to pick a bit early, sort when necessary, instigate fermentations, gas head space, top barrels religiously, eschew fining and sterile filter only when necessary.
Winemakers Vinny Aliperti and George Nosis and intern Kaleb Harp
Mr. Pinot keeping birds away from the grapes
Delivering grapes from the vineyard to the winemaking area
We are excited to welcome the advent of this year's harvest season! Our first crop to be processed is cayuga grapes. Vinny Aliperti, head winemaker, observed, "Though we've had another roller coaster season of early season record rainfall and a prolonged late season cool down, the grapes are now enjoying a beautiful stretch of warm sunny days at exactly the right time in their maturation. If the weather continues to cooperate, I expect we are looking at another successful vintage." Bob Tomberelli, vineyard staff, added that the heavier than normal rainfall has led to bigger bunches of grapes, as well as greater leaf growth. The leaf growth removal is a labor intensive process but required to allow the grapes access to sun and air and to keep disease pressure down.
Keep watching our blog for more harvest news!
Machine harvested from our vineyards on September 25 at 21.6 brix, these lovely grapes were fermented on their skins in open top bins for seven days with QA23 yeast and without temperature control. After pressing, the juice was placed in American Oak (neutral barrels) where it will stay cellared for a few months.
A video by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, filmed on location in the Finger Lakes AVA. This introductory video to the wine region includes interviews with Anna Lee Iijima, Contributing Editor at Wine Enthusiast; Thomas Pastuszak, Wine Director at The NoMad; Meaghan Frank, fourth generation Manager at Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars; and Vinny Aliperti, Winemaker at Atwater Vineyards.
The New York Wine & Grape Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation promoting all wineries and grape-growers in New York State. The Foundation's strategic goal is to have the New York grape and wine industry recognized as a world leader in quality, productivity, and social responsibility. New York ranks third in wide production nation-wide and the wine industry contributes $4.8 billion annually to the state's economy.
The relatively dry and frost free conditions have allowed us to pick what is ripe and allow more time for the late season varieties to mature. This week we brought in the last of our Riesling, Ravat and Vidal Blanc, with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot still hanging. The weather next week is looking superb with temps in the 60's and 70's with full sunshine. Perfect for our reds. Our yields are good and the brix are right where we need them to be.
The crew is working hard on the bottling line again today. Our 2013 Pinot Gris from Saw Mill Creek Vineyards is going into the bottle today.
Fun Fact: By the end of today George will have lifted 27,600 pounds of bottled wine from the last two days of bottling. Someone has to put all those bottles into the cases!