Mike, a friend of mine, recently chided his wife for selecting a bottle of wine for their Saturday night dinner because she liked the label. With the fall grape harvest completed, the Finger Lakes Wineries are busy sampling their wines to the many thousands of visitors who enjoy taking a fall tour around the Finger Lakes. And the rush will only get more frenzied as we near the holiday season.
We’re fortunate to have the Wilhelmus Estate Winery near our home (click here). Karen Kuenen will be exhibiting at the Chriskindl Market in Canandaigua this weekend (click here) on Nov. 11, 12, and 13. I’m sure that there will be other wineries represented so the event will be a great opportunity for you to get to know some wines by their taste.
But sometimes when you’re in a hurry, it’s the label that attracts you to the bottle, and the wineries around the Finger Lakes spend a great deal of time developing and registering their wine labels. Hazlitt’s 1852 Vineyards (click here) bought out the old Widmer Winery in Naples, NY at the southern end of Canandaigua Lake. Their most popular wine is Red Cat and they are already using the facilities in Naples to produce Red Cat wine made from the pink Catawba grape. Sure, it’s a party wine but who cares as it is their largest selling brand and hopefully next year, they will be opening their tasting room in Naples.
The winery at Naples is one of the few places in the Finger Lakes where you can get a lovely tour of how wines are made and also see some of the old ways of wine making such as fermenting in oak casks which were brought over from Europe by steamship a long long time ago.
I also blogged on the wines and the labels made at Bully Hill Winery in Hammondsport, NY (click here). Walter Taylor was an artist and co-founder of Bully Hill Wines. He loved to paint scenes around the Finger Lakes. He was fired from Taylor Wines when they were bought out by the Coco Cola Company and forbidden to use the Taylor name on his wines. He started a campaign to sell his wines with a picture of a goat on the label as he triumphantly pronounced that “you may get my name, but you will never get my goat!” So, I guess it’s not so unusual for folks in the Finger Lakes to make their wine selections by the label. I like to sample before I buy a bottle of wine, but usually it’s the amount of money that I have in my pocket that makes the final decision!