Field & Fork Network

Archive for January, 2012|Monthly archive page

Niagara Wine Region Ranked Top in the Nation

In Uncategorized on January 27, 2012 at 11:46 pm

By Michelle Blackley

The Niagara Wine Trail is elated to announce that their very own Niagara Region has been named #7 in the Weather Channel’s “Wine Region Travel Top 10” list.

“We are proud to be ranked in this list among world-renown wine regions such as Italy’s Tuscany and France’s Loire Valley,” said Elizabeth Rose Maute, Niagara Wine Trail Coordinator.

The only other regions from the United States to be represented in the Top 10 are in California and Oregon. The Niagara region includes the Niagara Escarpment AVA and spans across the Niagara Frontier in New York and into Canada.

Click here for the section of the article on the Niagara Region from the Weather Channel’s website.


Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market Announces Annual Poster Competition

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2012 at 8:51 pm

2011 winner

The Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market Board of Directors is holding its second annual poster contest to promote the outdoor market’s 2012 season. Entries for the poster competition are due by 5 pm Friday, March 9. Whether you’re a student studying the arts, a professional graphic designer or just someone with a creative streak, you’re invited to submit your design for an 11×17-inch color poster that accurately reflects the feel of the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market.

All entries should contain—but are not limited to— he following copy content:

Taste & Tradition

Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market

May 12 – Dec. 22, 2012

Open Every Saturday, 8 A.M. to 1 P.M.

Always Fresh, Always Seasonal, Always Local

• Fruits • Vegetables • Baked Goods • Organics • Fresh Meat • Cut Flowers • Wine • Eggs • Dairy • Honey • Cheese • Much More

Corner of Elmwood & Bidwell, Buffalo

The art and concept should reflect the overall values of the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market. It’s important to remember that all products sold at the market are grown or produced within the eight counties of Western New York.

All entries must be submitted electronically to: Entries will be judged by the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market Board of Directors, and the winner will be announced on the market’s website ( and Facebook page.

The winning artist will receive a $100 cash prize. The winning entry will also be on display at the market throughout the 2012 season.

Cold Spell of 2012 Welcomed

In Uncategorized on January 7, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Western New York has enjoyed quite a mild winter so far this winter. Lake Erie is warm, without its usual encasement of ice and snow, and plows, accustomed to heavy duty in December, have been silent. But there is one place where the recent cold wave is being welcomed with open arms and with wine presses at the ready. Along the shores of Lake Erie, the makers of premium ice wines were beginning to worry that there would be no harvest of ice wine grapes, as true ice wine grapes must be frozen naturally and it simply has not been cold enough.

Early morning start of a snowy harvest of Chambourcin ice wine grapes, overlooking Lake Erie

Last week, for a brief, but important period, the weather was perfect for ice wine harvest: nice gray skies with temperatures hovering between 14 and 16 degrees Fahrenheit and a tranquil layer of snow on the ground. At Johnson Estate in Westfield, NY, a hardy band of about twenty hand-harvested nearly seven tons of excellent quality Vidal and Chambourcin grapes, air-stacking the perforated crates in the vineyards to take advantage of the seven degree evening forecast which would insure that the grapes were icy marbles prior to pressing. With forecasts of warmer weather to come, this harvest took advantage of a small, but critical, window of harvesting opportunity, for if not harvested when frozen, ice wine grapes thereafter are mushy and not usable.

Generally it takes 48 hours of temperatures in the teens to fully ready the Vidal and Chambourcin grapes still hanging on now leafless vines for this unique winter harvest. The frozen grapes are pressed, leaving behind much of the pure water in the form of ice crystals, and producing a nectar-sweet, complex juice that is fermented into a delicious and expensive dessert wine. Ice wines have a long tradition in Austria and Germany and the technique was brought to North America by the Canadians in the 1980’s. Today, Johnson Estate produces two types of ice wines, one from Vidal grapes and a rare, red one from Chambourcin grapes. Both types of wines regularly win awards from different competitions as well as ratings of “Exceptional” (2007 Vidal) and “Highly Recommended” (2009 Chambourcin) ratings from the Beverage Testing Institute.

Johnson Estate Winery, New York’s oldest estate winery, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011. It is located two miles of Westfield, NY and its renovated tasting room is open year-round. During January and February, the tasting room is open from 10-5 pm during the week and 10-6 pm on Friday and Saturday. The winery specializes in award-winning cold climate wines, including ice wines, Riesling, and other vinifera and American grape wines. More information is available at or by calling 800-Drink-NY (800-374-6569).