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Posts Tagged ‘wine’

Federweisser: A Riesling Harvest Celebration at Johnson Estate Winery

In Uncategorized on October 6, 2012 at 11:38 am

PHOTO/ Johnson Estate Winery

The 2012 harvest is underway and the Riesling grapes at Johnson Estate will be picked on Columbus Day with hopes that the sunny summer will yield another delicious, gold medal vintage. Johnson Estate is located in western New York, a region whose climate is similar to Germany’s, with Lake Erie as its “Moselle”. It is the ideal climate for growing high-quality Riesling grapes for world-class wines.

Johnson Estate will celebrate this year’s Riesling harvest in Germanic style by serving Federweisser – a partially fermented white grape juice similar to apple cider. “Federweisser” means white or light feather, referring to the color of this sweet, slightly fermented, pale-colored juice with an alcohol level of roughly 4%-10%, depending on the duration of fermentation. As they do in Germany, the winery will serve the well-chilled Federweisser with a traditional onion tart for the next two weekends, October 6th, 7th, 8th, 13th and 14th. No reservations are required; a generous serving of Federweisser and tart, prepared by CJ’s of Westfield, will be $5/person.

Taste Three Rieslings at the Winery

When at the winery, do taste all THREE Rieslings made at Johnson Estate. The first two are made from Johnson’s 2011 estate grapes and carry the Freelings Creek label. The third, a new release for the winery, is made from Finger Lakes grapes and is a limited production of just two-hundred cases. All three Rieslings were vinified in the classic German Riesling style and range in sweetness from dry, off-dry, to semi-sweet.

PHOTO/ Johnson Estate Winery

Beverage Testing Institute Awards Johnson Estate’s Rieslings GOLD Medals

Winemaker, Jeff Murphy, submitted samples of each of Johnson’s three Rieslings to the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI), an independent rating agency for the quality of wines, liquors, and beers. The two estate wines (Dry Riesling, 92 points and Riesling, 93 points) were awarded Gold/Exceptional medals along with two other vintages: a Vidal Blanc and a Cabernet Sauvignon. The Finger Lakes Riesling was awarded a Silver medal.

Free Shipping for Riesling Sampler or Straight Cases – October Only

During the month of October, in recognition of Johnson Estate’s Riesling Harvest Celebration, shipping will be free on a “Riesling Sampler Case” OR straight cases (12 bottles) of any of the winery’s Rieslings. The Sampler Case will feature four bottles of each of the three Rieslings made by the winery. Johnson Estate is currently licensed to ship to nearly 40 states. Customers may call the winery or visit the winery’s website to place an order.

Johnson Estate Winery, the oldest estate winery in New York State, is a member of the Lake Erie Wine Country (formerly the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail). For more information please visit, or, or call 716-326-2191 or 800-Drink-NY.

Niagara Wine Trail Wins Several Awards at New York State Fair’s Wine Competition

In Uncategorized on July 2, 2012 at 8:09 pm
Even though Eat Drink Local Week is over, we’re still passionate about eating and drinking locally. This is just another reason to frequent out local wineries!

From the Niagara Wine Trail:

The Niagara Wine Trail is honored to announce that our wineries were awarded at the 2012 New York State Fair Wine Competition. The judges and State Fair Attendees tasted New York State wines and fruit juices from across 66 categories. Resulting from the competition, Niagara Wine Trail wineries were honored with a number of Gold, Silver and Bronze awards.

Three of the Niagara Wine Trail wineries were awarded with 18 total medals. Awarded Wineries include Black Willow Winery’s first gold medal Trilogy White, silver medal Bare Cat Blush and bronze medals for Black Widow Berry, Chardonnay, Freyja’s Passion, Odin’s Nectar, Reserve Riesling and Valkyrie’s Lure; Schulze Vineyards and Winery honored with two silver medals for their Chardonnay Reserve and Lotus, in conjunction with bronze medals for Lake House Red, Riesling and Thirty Mile Point Catawba; and The Winery at Marjim Manor with silver awards for their Carondelet Cabernet and Shubal’s Sunset paired with bronze awards on 100 Windows, Gift from the Vine and Starlight.

Awards won may be viewed on the Niagara Wine Trail website ( Comprehensive lists of the winners of the 2012 New York State Fair Wine Competition may also be viewed online (

Post courtesy of Elizabeth Maute, Niagara Wine Trail Coordinator, Spokesperson

Fruit Wines at Freedom Run

In Uncategorized on June 11, 2012 at 5:30 pm

by Michelle Blackley

Freedom Run Winery & Vineyards on the Niagara Wine Trail USA has a philosophy of crafting wines as a true art form. One of their latest creations is aligned with the best wine trend happening.

After harvesting, stomping strawberries last summer, and allowing the wine to ferment in the production room, their Néktars line is now on the shelf at their 5138 Lower Mountain Rd., Lockport, NY location.

Fruit wines have traditionally been popular with home winemakers in areas with cool climates such as North America, and France. The Niagara Wine Trail is now producing fruit wines to keep up with the demand.

Néktars Strawberry is full of what Freedom Run winemaker Bryan Calandrelli promises. This wine is bursting with explosive strawberries on the nose and very tart on the palate. A fruity wine that gives the senses an effervescent experience, and is best served chilled, making it an excellent summer wine.

Consumed as an after-dinner cordial, or on its own, there are a few ways to enjoy Néktars Strawberry. It can also be used in a vodka martini, with equal parts vodka and Néktars Strawberry. Also recommended for before or after a meal.

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Instead of the usual brunch drinks, try Néktars Strawberry Bellini. Recommended with Golden Sparkles Lake Erie Traminette Sparkling Wine from Johnson Estate Winery (Lake Erie Wine Country) a three-quarter champagne flute of bubbly topped off with Néktars Strawberry. The combination dulls the tartness and powerful strawberry flavor, making it bright and fruity. The sparkling wine on its own is reminiscent of a Rosé wine, with passion fruit and guava on the nose. The palate is smooth with hints of citrus and lychee followed by a clean finish.

Be sure to make it to Freedom Run soon, for there are only two cases of Néktars Strawberry left. Calandrelli said more would be available in the fall, complete with a recipe booklet.

Read more about fruit wines in the summer 2012 edition of Edible Buffalo magazine.

International Addition at Merritt Estate Winery

In Uncategorized on June 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Each year, Merritt Estate Winery uses their busy summer season as an opportunity to provide an educational and professional experience for those looking for internships in the wine industry. Many of these interns have been chosen from area colleges including SUNY Fredonia and the University of Buffalo. This year, the winery has decided to expand their geographical reach as they welcome Julie-Agathe Roussey from Burgundy, France.

Over the past few years, Merritt has focused on choosing interns in the Marketing or Public Relations fields to help out with festival planning and preparation. Julie will be taking on a different aspect of life at the bustling winery. She will be spending six weeks of her summer learning how to make wine.

From fermentation and aging to bottling and labeling, Julie will take on each and every aspect in the winemaking process. She currently attends university in France and has been studying the different aspects of wine for five years now. She is proficient in the diverse tastes of wines, allowing for a better understanding of the winemaking process in the United States. Her general knowledge of how the different grape varieties taste will give her a familiarity with the assortment of wines that the winery produces on a daily basis.

Studying the process of wine making abroad is required in the program that Julie is currently enrolled in at her university. She applied to become an intern at 700 different wineries throughout the United States and Australia. While many responded to her inquiry on an informal basis, Merritt was able to offer the professional experience she was seeking. Many colleges in the United States will help in the process of finding internships for students. This is not the case in France, as Julie sought out each and every winery on her own using the internet.

While the winemaking process is unbiased in nature, Julie does have a personal favorite when it comes to the type of wine she likes to drink. She likes an aged, dry red wine which is much more commonly found in her home town of Burgundy. When asked what she misses most from home, her family is first on her mind. However, when asked what she likes most about living in the United States her answer is right to the point. “I like the weather and the people,” said Julie. “Everyone is very nice.”

For more information on Merritt news and events, visit or find us on Facebook at

Merritt Estate is located in Lake Erie Wine Country, the largest grape growing region of New York State located along the shores of Lake Erie. The grapes and wines produced by Merritt rival the quality of premium vintages throughout the world.

Post courtesy of Jessi Luke, Merritt Estate Winery

Niagara Wine Trail named on 8 Great American Short Road Trips list

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm

The Niagara Wine Trail was named as a pit-stop in’s best short distance road trips.

Whether traveling cross country or a backyard tourist, American travelers have a desire to drive to their vacation destination. According to a recent Expedia poll, 25 percent of men and 33 percent of women have “not but always wanted to drive across the US.” Highlighting shorter road trips, named the Niagara Wine Trail number 7 on its “8 Great American Short Road Trips” list, showcasing some of the best scenery and wide-open spaces America has to offer. Often referred to as “The Other New York”, this part of the Empire State belongs to the Great Lakes region. Eighty-nine miles from the Lake Ontario Parkway to Youngstown and Lewiston, NY, consists of mellow beauty — forests, meadows, orchards, and vineyards.

“Once you hit Niagara County, be on the lookout for the many tasting possibilities along the growing Niagara Wine Trail. And of course, just up the escarpment, there are some falls that you may have heard of.” —

The Niagara wine region includes the Niagara Escarpment AVA (American Viticultural Area) and spans across the Niagara Frontier in New York and into Canada. For more information on the Niagara Wine Trail and its 16 member wineries, please visit

To read more about America’s best short distance road trips, please visit

Post courtesy of Michelle Blackley, from the Experience Niagara USA Travel Blog.


The Goob vs. The Rube – Which Do You Prefer?

In Uncategorized on April 6, 2011 at 7:36 am


Vote now….