Sips of Glenora - the official blog of Glenora Wine Cellars

Gene Pierce
November 17, 2019 | Gene Pierce

The Glenora Gazette, Vol. 17, No. 11-19

The sky is clear over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca. The temperature is 21 degrees; however, if you are outside, it feels like 13 degrees - a result of the wind which is coming from the south southeast at 5 miles per hour.

A snow covered vineyard after our first squall of the season.

More weather news: Looking at the forecast for the coming week and for the balance of November it appears we have seen that last of our 50 plus degree temperatures as the weather gurus are telling us to expect daily temperature highs to be in the 40 degree range with lows in the mid 20's and not a lot of precipitation. So the weather conditions appear to be fine for travel for next weekend's Seneca Lake Wine Trail's Deck the Halls event and the Cayuga Wine Trail's Holiday Shopping Spree Event. The forecast seems fine for Thanksgiving travel as well.

In the vineyard: The vineyard teams were VERY HAPPY that harvest had wrapped up the preceding week as this past week brought sleet, ice, snow and wind to the vineyards (and every place else). So in general, this past week was one of gathering up and putting away harvest equipment, harvest bins, and picking trays. The teams have started and will continue to "walk rows" checking for broken wires and posts that will be repaired before winter sets in. They also continue the hilling up project as well as applying potash to the vineyards that are in need of the same. We will also be reviewing the yields from a few of our older vineyards, and perhaps making the decision to retire some of them. Some of that is driven by yields (tons per acre) and some by the marketability and prices paid for the grapes which come from those vineyards.

On the Press Deck: The activity there has slowed significantly with the only activity this past week was the emptying of red fermenters: Cabernet Sauvignon that had been harvested the preceding week. Vice President of Production Tracey will not be wasting any time disassembling the press deck and wrapping up the equipment for winter storage.

In the cellar: With harvest/pressing finished for 2019, the Cellar team has returned to bottling and sparkling wine work on a full time basis. This also includes resuming some of our custom wine projects.

Our cellar team working on a tank of red wine, scraping skins.

Last Saturday's 43rd Annual Nouveau celebration was a success even in spite of the very cold weather (thanks Joel for keeping us warm). The wine, a Lemberger or Blaufrankish (a name that is on the same level as Limberger) was very well received and we heard, for the 42nd time, the comment "best ever". There was, "no best ever" comment for the first wine - for obvious reasons.

Last evening Chef John and his team at the Vineyard Restaurant at Knap presented their November Wine Dinner, "All that Jazz." Each of the five courses was themed around a very recognizable jazz tune, which was performed by a live artist (beats the alternative which we have thought was the case in some situations). Next month's dinner will wrap up the wine dinners for the season and hence is themed "All Wrapped Up" - December 7th.

It was another week or so of winery association meetings as during that 10 day period there were two wine trail meetings, a wine alliance meeting and a marketing/promotion organization meeting (there may have been a couple of chamber of commerce meetings held as well). If there is a common thread, it is that the same people seem to take leadership roles in many of these organizations and have done so for years. In many cases the organizations continue to do the same thing or to offer the same programs year after year after year. They, the organizations, often times wonder why they do not see an increase in support or membership - could it be there are no leadership opportunities/openings for people who are new in the industry, or the organizations offer programs never seem to change?

How much wine for Thanksgiving? Unless your guests or family do not enjoy wine, you might use this guide sent to us by long time Glenora supporter Diane Wolcott. Diane tells us roughly a bottle person - of course you would have several different types which would be shared. The only exception to that rule is that the chef who gets their own bottle of sparkling wine to enjoy will preparing the meat in addition to the wines served with the meal. (And then there should be a bottle or two for the dishwashing team!!)

This coming week the retail teams at Glenora, Knapp and CLR will be decorating for the wine trail holiday events. The trees will be up by Wednesday, the wreaths by Thursday, and wassail bowl out on Friday (we need a recipe). We will start mumming on Saturday evening - all are welcome!!!

Thought for the Week:  Education
"The aim of education is the knowledge not of facts but of values."

Time Posted: Nov 17, 2019 at 10:09 AM
Gene Pierce
November 10, 2019 | Gene Pierce

The Glenora Gazette, Vol. 10, No. 11-19

The sky is cloudy this morning over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca. From the temperature readings it would seem winter has arrived but we still have another month of Fall according to the calendar. The current temperature Is 35 degrees however it "feels like" 27 degrees due to the wind which is coming from the south southwest at 10 miles per hour. Lake temperature: Keuka - 53 degrees.

In the vineyard: The 2019 harvest at Glenora, Knapp, and CLR is finished with the CLR team "wrapping it up" on Monday when the Mason Road Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Petite Verdot at CLR were harvested. We certainly appreciate the efforts of the vineyard teams in bringing in all of the grapes. The season starts out with short sleeved shirts and ends up with sweatshirts, heavy jackets, and Carharts! There is always a lot of moving parts to the harvest season, and depending on the vineyard, the winery and the weather the picking schedule needs to be flexible. For people who need a structured work day/week the harvest season would be very stressful. Thanks go out to Chaz, Jeffery, Bob, Brent, and Corey - the harvest team!

With harvest ending this past Monday, the Vineyard teams quickly "changed gears" as they power washed and greased the harvester, making notes of all of the items that will need attention before harvest next year. They rounded up all of the bins that seem to grow legs during harvest, power washing them as well and making repairs as needed. There is one winery where we deliver grapes that seem to play "bin bumper cars" when they unload and empty the bins - they also fail to risnse the bins which is and has been a winery courtesy since the beginning. The teams also started "hilling up" in several of the vineyards. Hilling up consists of pushing soil up and over the graft at the base of the vine to protect it over the winter.

Frozen Vidal grapes in bins, waiting to be pressed into Iced Wine.

On the press decks: While the harvest (picking) finished on Monday the press deck teams stemmed, crushed and then placed the Cabernet in red fermenters on Monday. They also started to press our "iced Wine" grapes on Monday, however that was cut short by a "stripped gear" on the Wilmes Press's motor. So a quick trip was made to Knapp where we have an identical press. Thanks to the efforts of Tracey, Chaz and Brent, the motor on that press was removed - quite a project has it had been in place for over 40 years with several coats of paint on the nuts and bolts that held it in place. However with some prayers (or were they cuss words?) the motor came off and the "Iced Wine Grapes" were pressed and the juice is now in the tank. A side note - pressing "Iced wine Grapes (frozen) gives us a yield of 45-60 gallons per ton as compared to 170-175 gallons per ton from the same fruit that was not frozen.

Yesterday marked the 43rd anniversary of a Nouveau Wine Celebration at Glenora. The event was first started at the end of harvest in 1977 to celebrate our first year of harvest/winemaking. It was a rather small event at which we invited all who had helped us establish Glenora during the year of 1977. We had started the year with a site on which an old barn had stood, and by years end we had 4500 cases of wine in the tanks-10 months. The event was original called Foch Nouveau as Foch grapes were the grapes used. It has now become "Nouveau" because we no longer make a Foch wine although the vineyard is still alive and well. One tradition did end this year and that was Henry the Hogg was not roasted on a spit or smoked - he was cooked in an oven. That decision was made when the weather forecast came out earlier in the week. Starting the smoker at 6 AM and standing by it when the temperature is 25 degrees for 6 hours is no longer considered fun - even when fortified with a glass of two of brandy. Thanks go out to Joel and the Maintenance team for keeping us warm, the kitchen and restaurant team for the great food, and to the administrative team for all of the organization.

Our event tent, set up for our Nouveau celebration, with a light snow covering the grounds.

Bob, who assists us with marketing and sales, returned from the American Wine Society meeting in Florida carrying a plethora of medals won by our wines, including one for the best white Vinefera wine in the commercial wine competition (wineries from across the US) - our 2019 Select Harvest Riesling! While all of our wines are the efforts of our entire cellar/production team, Winemaker Rachel took the lead on this one -Congratulations Rachel!!

While 2020 is 7.5 weeks away, plans are being made or finalized for some of the early years events which include Pasta Night, Fish Fry Fridays, Steak and Potato, the Bridal show and the early year Wine Trail events. There are several "twists" in store for these events. We also will have a new program - a monthly signature wine. More to come as we do not want other readers of the Gazette to plagiarize it.

Thought for the week:  Thought-Ideas
"True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision."

Time Posted: Nov 10, 2019 at 9:57 AM
Gene Pierce
November 3, 2019 | Gene Pierce

The Glenora Gazette, Vol. 3, No. 11-19

The sky is partly cloudy on this the first Sunday of the 11th month of 2019. The temperature is 36 degrees with a feel like reading of 30 degrees - a result of the wind which is coming from the west south west at 3 miles per hour.

Lake temperatures: The Seneca Lake recording buoy located at Clark's Point (Roy's Marina, or east of Vonnie's and Port's restaurant) has been removed for the season, hence no more Seneca Lake temperatures until 2020. Keuka, where the water temperature readings are taken at the municipal water plant in Penn Yan is recording 57 degrees. It has been interesting to follow the graphs that show the water temperature on Keuka. Ever since the middle of June the water temperature has been lower than it was at any given time in 2019 - a reflection of the weather pattern this year. It was cooler which also is an indicator for the lower Brix and higher acid levels in the grapes this year. Last year it was November 14th before Keuka reached 57 degrees.

In the vineyards: Another monsoon week, or at least the later part of it when we received 1.48 inches of rain on Thursday evening at all of the vineyard locations. That was followed by "hurricane type wind" (at least it seemed that way) on Thursday evening and most of Friday. The Knapp Team wrapped up their 2019 harvest by picking their Catawba on Wednesday afternoon. CLR harvested Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and had plans to harvest the Mason Road Cabernet on Friday as well as Petit Verdot at CLR, but the rain and wind stopped that. The Mason Road Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard is on a bit of a slope, good for air drainage, but not good for harvesters, tractors and bin trailers after an inch and a half of rain. Those grapes will be harvested on Monday and that will finish the harvest season - November 4, 2019

A golden glow on the vineyard immediately to the north of Glenora Wine Cellars

The vineyard teams will be winterizing equipment this coming week as the forecast is for temperatures declining to the lower 20's on Thursday and Friday, with 2.7 inches of snow on Thursday. Sad news for any grapes still not harvested (and there seem to be quite a few) unless they are planned to be used for ice wine.

In the cellar and on the press deck: This past week, the press deck team emptied the red fermenters that contained Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Lemberger. The grapes had been in the fermenters close to a week (color extraction) before being pressed. This coming week, the Cabernet Sauvignon from Mason Road will be put into the tanks. Given the predicted cold temperature we are very glad our red fermenters are jacketed and can be warmed.

Associate winemaker Rachel preparing an oak barrel for our nouveau wine.

On Thursday, Kerry, Mitchell, Rachel, and the editor met to review plans for Deck the Halls number one. This will be the first Deck the Halls event for Mitchell and Rachel. The wine trail has sold tickets that will bring 3100 people to the trail. Historically we see 87% of them which would be approximately 2700 guests. We will be serving a holiday gourmet soup to each visitor - a half of a cup or 4 ounces. When multiplied by 2700 potential visitors that equals 10,800 ounces of soup or 84.375 gallons of soup. We will make 90 gallons as woe would be us at the next wine trail meeting if we were short of soup by few ounces - a public wine trail flogging! We also discussed staffing - 22 team members will be needed on Saturday which is the busiest day.

It was yet another double header wedding weekend at Glenora with weddings and receptions taking place on both Friday and Saturday. Today, Sunday, we have a group of 55 people who will be joining us for lunch and then a tasting. As part of the tasting, the editor will be giving them a brief history grape growing and wine production in the Finger Lakes viticultural area and at Glenora.

a wooden basket press loaded with lemberger; pressing wine for our nouveau celebration.

Finally the power of social media, websites, etc.. Several of the folks (many were millennials) who attended last Saturday's "Flannel and Foliage Dinner" at Knapp's Vineyard Restaurant had found the information by viewing the Cayuga Wine Trail website and then the Knapp Wine site. Almost all of the attendees were from outside the area-Philadelphia, Boston, etc. and had been looking for something to do while visiting Finger Lakes Wine Country - we have several new friends!

According the weather gurus the dress code for next weekend's Nouveau event at Glenora may include Carharts! But not to fear, as Maintenance Engineer Joel and his team have plans to bring in portable heaters-the ones that meet all of the building code (in this case tent) specifications.

Thought for the Week:  Laughter
"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."

Time Posted: Nov 3, 2019 at 9:42 AM
Gene Pierce
October 27, 2019 | Gene Pierce

The Glenora Gazette, Vol. 27, No. 10-19

It is a damp morning on this the last Sunday in October in the vineyards of Glenora and along the shores of Seneca. The temperature is 54 degrees but feels like 48 degrees due the wind which is coming from the south southeast at 17 miles per hour. The wind and the wet weather are starting to end the colors of Fall. Lake temperatures: Seneca - 56.6 degrees; Keuka - 58 degrees. Last fall must have been warmer or quieter (less rain and wind) as it was November 9th in 2018 before Keuka reached 58 degrees.

In the vineyards: It was another damp/wet week, but no monsoons! Tuesday was the "wet day" with Knapp receiving .54 inches, while CLR and Glenora received .36 inches - we did not harvest on Tuesday! The Knapp team harvested Cabernet Franc, Lemember, and Vidal (about 5 tons of the Vidal where hand-picked for "iced wine"). The CLR team finished their Riesling along with Merlot and Syrah, and the Glenora press deck team saw Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Lemberger arrive.

If all goes well, and it should, we will finish harvest with the Catawba being harvested at Knapp and Varick, and the Petite Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon being harvested at CLR. As well, we plan to remove the Vidal that are in the freezer at Lakewood and press them for "Iced Wine". So it does appear that the 2019 harvest will run into November.

On Wednesday we (Tracey D. Kerry, Peter, input from Tracey M. and the editor) conferenced with our distributor, Empire North, to review year to date numbers, tweak plans for November and December, and to discuss, briefly, plans for the first quarter of 2020. We learned that, to date, the tariffs that have been imposed on imports to the United States have not had much of an impact on wine - more impact on spirits. It was also interesting to see the impact that "The Milennials" are having on/in the marketplace, especially pertaining items such as packaging (bottle size, labels), brand loyalty, and canned products. Along the canned line: Regional Sales Manager Anne sent a message noting the coffee is now being canned, and with a kick - read about here. Perhaps, as Anne suggests, we should introduce a wine based coffee!

It has been another double header wedding/reception weekend at Glenora. Our hats are off the restaurant, kitchen, and Inn teams. Back to back weddings during fall foliage season add even more intensity to the weekends (which they handle very well). And, they are doing this with a very lean staff. Thanks to everyone, you are appreciated!!

Last evening the Team at Knapp Winery Inn and Restaurant presented a themed dinner, Flannel and Foliage. Guests, most of whom had some flannel clothing, arrived to have cocktails (wine based of course) and wine on the Vineyard Restaurant's patio, then enjoyed at seasonal dinner, followed by the opportunity to go back outside to make smores. Enjoyable, unique and fun!! One has to wonder what is next?!!

The Great Debate: At Friday's Glenora managers meeting, there was discussion revolving around how Henry the XLIIIrd (that is 43rd for the non-Romans) would be prepared. Traditionally Henry "The Hogg" has been roasted, or in some cases burnt or destroyed (too much brandy??) over an open fire on a spit or on a smoker. The discussion-debate revolved around "should he be smoked, or roasted in an oven?" It seems that the group was leaning towards the oven - breaking a 42 year tradition. Time and weather will most likely dictate the venue for Henry. All of this will take place during our 43rd annual Nouveau wine celebration which will be held on Saturday November 9th - all are welcome

The editor was reminded last week that in addition to tickets still being available for the Cayuga Wine Trail's Holiday shopping Spree event and that there are still tickets available for the Keuka Lake Wine Trail's Keuka Holidays event. Lots of wine trail holiday opportunities!!

Finally tomorrow, Monday, is world Champagne Day - celebrate with a glass of Glenora's finest!

Thought for the Week:  Hope
            "He that lives upon hope will die fasting." Ben Franklin

Time Posted: Oct 27, 2019 at 9:31 AM
Heather Eriole
October 7, 2019 | Heather Eriole

Another Successful Leaves & Lobster on the Lawn!

Our annual Leaves & Lobster weekend proved to be another total success – hundreds of hungry visitors enjoyed stunning views, great live music, and totally drool-worthy New England-style lobster bakes. Check out our breakdown below, along with some great photos taken by staff and fans alike!


On Saturday, guests grooved to the sounds of Bob's Brother's Band, who played hits from across the decades.


On Sunday, guests were treated to not one, but TWO separate performances- headlined by perennial L&L favorite the Diana Jacobs Band.

Though both days saw the chance of inclement weather, both Saturday and Sunday ended up the perfect day to enjoy fresh lobster and perfect views. All in all - the numbers don't lie. Check out the stats from this year's celebration!


And with that, we put another year of Leaves & Lobster behind - we're already thinking ahead to next year's event, the warm sunshine of late summer, and the taste of fresh and delicious lobster from Maine Harvest. See you next September!

Time Posted: Oct 7, 2019 at 12:00 PM
Gene Pierce
September 29, 2019 | Gene Pierce

The Glenora Gazette, Vol. 29, No. 9-19

The sky is overcast over the vineyards of Glenora and along the shores of Seneca on this the last Sunday morning of September 2019. The temperature is 56 degrees but feels a bit cooler as the wind is coming from the north at 7 miles per hour. While the forecast for the beginning of the upcoming week looks great -warm and dry- it appears that will change by week's end-cold and wet!

In the vineyards: Another great weather week for ripening and harvesting. There were a few showers, heavier in some locations, but not enough to stop the harvest. Not at all like last year when as the ole farmer would say-"we are mudding it" to get through the vineyards. For the Knapp harvest team, it was Vignoles at Knapp and Varick. At CLR, the Club Seneca Pinot Blanc were harvested, along with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Although the CLR team has more Pinot Noir to harvest, it appears that it is going to be the largest Pinot Noir crop to date there. The Knapp Team also did some custom harvesting-Valvin Muscat, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay.

On the press Decks: At Glenora the team saw Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Vignoles arriving at the press deck. The CLR team brought in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Press deck creativity or the Ol' Farmers creativity in action: Late in the week the vacuum pump on the larger press at Glenora decided to retire (quit). The pump is critical as it pulls the air away from the bladder that is used to press the grapes. This is done by the pump creating a vacuum (suction) on what was the pressure side of the bladder. Without being able to relieve the pressure, the press is useless (could the press be human?). Since vacuum pumps that fist the press are not something one finds at the general store it needed to be special ordered -days, possible weeks. This is where the genius of ol' farmer who has fixed many things with baling wire comes in. We needed to create a vacuum-how does our shop vacuum cleaner work - by creating a vacuum to pull in the dirt!! So with a little baling wire (or in this case duct tape) the shop vacuum was hooked to the press and we were back in operation!!

While the weather over the past 2-3 weeks has been great for ripening the grapes we, or the grapes, still have a ways to go as the brix levels are lower than we would like and the acid and pH are not at the levels we would like to see. Looking at the longer range forecast it appears Mother Nature is about to enter her fall temperature mode as later this coming week the temperature highs are forecast to be in the 60's and the night temperatures in the mid to lower 40;s. Those temperatures will slow down ripening. If there is any positive to the lower temperatures they will slow down the fruit flies who like to attack grapes when their sugar content gets above 15 degrees Brix.

There are other things happening besides harvest. This weekend and into next week both CLR and Glenora are taking part in the New York Wine and Grape Foundation's "NY Drinks NY program. This is a program where wine industry people - retailers, restaurants and influencers, mostly from the New York City area - visit the Finger Lakes Wine Region to learn more about the industry. They will be visiting the wineries to get hands-on experiences - we are told they want to get their "hands dirty". We certainly look forward to satisfying those wishes for them. The experience of getting a blister on your hand and the getting grape juice in or on it will be something they will always remember. We aim to please!! Steve, Rachel, Peter and Tim will be representing us at several of the events. Shawn and Wally are in charge of the "dirty hands" adventures.

If you visit the Glenora retail shop you will, or should, notice that we have a new flat screen TV there. The TV is "hooked" to a camera that can be moved about to show various activities taking place at winery. Currently the camera is focused on the press deck which allows visitors to observe activities there. Later in the year we may place the camera in the bottling room so that visitors can see/watch the bottling operations. It has been decided that we will not include audio at this time!

It has been and is another wedding event weekend at Glenora. A rehearsal dinner on Friday evening - not sure why it is named that as it should be named the "dinner after the rehearsal; they are not rehearsing the dinner. In any event, a wedding and reception yesterday and a wedding celebration breakfast this morning!

Thought for the week:  Mistakes
"A life where mistakes are made is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."

Time Posted: Sep 29, 2019 at 8:28 AM
Gene Pierce
September 22, 2019 | Gene Pierce

The Glenora Gazette, Vol. 22, No. 9-19

The sky over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca is mostly clear as we celebrate Hobbit day and mark the first day to Tolkien Week. The temperature is a relatively mild for this time of year, 65 degrees, almost 80 degrees later today. The wind is coming from the south southwest at 6 miles per hour. Lake temperatures: Keuka-69 degrees; Seneca-67.5 degrees.

In the vineyards: The weather has to be part of the story this week, as it has been almost "picture perfect" almost all week long with lots of sun and warmer temperatures. Both of these are great for ripening the grapes, as up to this point ripening has been a bit behind "normal". The Knapp vineyard team harvested Seyval and Baco this past week. Plans are to harvest Cayuga on Monday and then Vignoles on Thursday and Friday with some custom harvesting taking place in between.

On the press deck: The Glenora press deck team had Pinot Noir (for sparkling wine), Seyval and Cayuga arriving at their press deck. Another non-grape arrival was the new chiller and cooling tower that will soon be installed. Our old chiller and cooling tower were first installed in the mid-80's making them over 30 years old and like most things today, parts are no longer available. In addition, we have added several jacketed tanks (for controlling the temperature or the wine) over the years which the system was not really designed for. In the pre chiller and pre jacketed tank days -1977 to 1987- we attempted to cool the wine in the tanks by running water over them-cold water running from the top of the tank down the side. This was not the most efficient way to cool the wine and it put a strain on our water and waste disposal systems -aah, the good ole days!

The CLR press deck team (Tim and Wally) started their season this past week as well as they brought in Baco on Thursday and Friday!

This coming week will be busy for both the harvest team (the harvester) and the press deck team as we will have harvesting taking place every day, and the press deck will be busy those days as well -the season is here! Everyone is welcome to come and observe.

On Wednesday evening Chef John and his team conducted an off-site catering event as part of the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce's Business After Hours program. The event was special as it marked the opening of the newly updated marina at Sampson State Park. There were over 100 people in attendance - Knapp's wines were part of the festivities as well. There were lots of very positive comments regarding the food, the service and the wine. Perhaps we should consider a Catering/Food truck!!

On Thursday afternoon, the Chateau LaFayette Reneau Team hosted their new wine distributor Empire North. This is the first time that CLR has had a distributor since its inception in 1985. The benefits will be a much larger sales team in the field and a much broader range of distribution. Peter, who has been single handedly overseeing that responsibility (with a little help from the team at CLR) will work with the Empire folks during the transition.

Last weekend's Leaves and Lobster event was a very successful event for us. Accounting Manager Tracey D. reported that wine sales were the most that had ever been recorded! Another note about Leaves and Lobsters, and for that matter our Jazz Greats at Glenora concert series as well. These events are all organized, managed, and conducted by the teams at Glenora (well the Boy Scouts help with parking). The point here is that these event happen because the teams at Glenora that have full time responsibilities during the week put in the extra efforts on nights and weekends to make the events possible. This often times means 60-70 hour weeks which sometimes are 12-14 days in length. Glenora has a great team and they are very much appreciated. There is not a single department that does not contribute in some manner.

Windmill report, otherwise known as "The Mill": The team there keeps on rolling -to date their sales are up 34% over last year-and we get lots of positive reports from customers at "The Mill" as well as compliments from the management there. Thank you ladies!

Thought for the week: "Dragons"
"It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him." JRR Tolkien

Time Posted: Sep 22, 2019 at 8:14 AM
Gene Pierce
September 8, 2019 | Gene Pierce

Glenora Gazette, Vol 8, No. 9-19

The sky is cloudy over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca on this the second Sunday of September (it is going fast). The temperature is 58 degrees with the wind coming from the west at 4 miles per hour.  Lake temperatures: Keuka-73 degrees: Seneca-71.2 degrees. There is lake fog rising from Seneca almost every morning - another sign of pending Fall.

In the vineyards: The date has been set as plans have been made to start harvest at Knapp this coming Wednesday, September 11th! Plans are to harvest the seedless grapes that will be used for distilling - eventually becoming either brandy, Limoncello, Limeoncello, Cucumber Vodka, or Lavender infused Gin - all Knapp products. We do use a bit of it to fortify our Port at both Knapp and Glenora. The other grape that will be harvested will be the Siegerrebe thus depriving the birds of their daily ration of grapes. The first day of harvest is always exciting as it marks the beginning of the culmination of a year's work in the vineyard and the start of a year, or longer, of work in the winery. Another part of the excitement this year is that for Knapp Vineyard Manager Chaz will be his first year atop (operating) the harvester. He has been doing lots of "road tests," but the first trip down a row of grapes is always exciting.

Winemakers Steve and Rachel are checking different blocks of grapes on an almost daily basis. Rachel has her planned visits listed on our company Google calendar so everyone can see what she are Steve are up to as far as vineyard sampling. Perhaps we could put a GPS chip on them and then we could really track them - no more stops at "Big Johnsons" or if there is they will be documented!!

Friday was a very busy day at all three wineries as we hosted events at all the wineries in conjunction with the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival, which is part of the United States Grand Prix Festival (one of the largest vintage car festivals in the United States). Glenora hosted the 26th running of the famous Glenora Run (limited to vehicles manufactured before 1986). Glenora's Maintenance Engineer Joel took part in this as he was the navigator for one of the entries. Knapp hosted the Sporting Roadsters Rally, and CLR hosted two groups who were part of the Founders Tour- open to all vehicles but a preference given to smaller vehicles. The events are always exciting - lots of interesting cars, lots of interesting people, and lots of cooperation from Mother Nature this year. We have been producing a special labeled wine for these events since the inception of the Grand Prix Festival 26 years ago. On Saturday morning Joe Serphillips, Glenora wine presenter extraordinaire, brought in a bottle (empty of course) that was sporting a label celebrating/noting the 46th Anniversary of the first running of the US Grand Prix -the first running taking place on October 2nd 1948. The label celebrates the 46th running of the event-the year 1994 which was the second year of the Watkins Grand Prix Festival-lots of numbers and history. If you would like to see the cars that left Glenora on Friday check on the Glenora Facebook page as marketing director Heather posted a live feed on the page - it will give you an idea of the event and the cars.

This coming week is National Housekeepers Week. The Glenora Housekeeping Team is an exceptional group of ladies. Unlike many of the various team members at Glenora, they generally are almost invisible (even their office is hidden) as they travel up and down the halls of the Inn spending lots of time cleaning in the rooms - but the results of their efforts is very visible. Thank you, ladies!

It has been a wedding weekend at both Knapp and Glenora. Chef John and his team at Knapp's Vineyard Restaurant hosted two (yes two) rehearsal dinners on Friday evening and then a wedding and reception yesterday. At Glenora, it was a wedding and a reception on Saturday, and today the Glenora team will be hosting a group of 50 AAA members from southern New Jersey.

Chef Orlando has placed the Lobster Order - 750. However, we can order more (and most likely will) as ticket sales for Leaves and Lobsters are coming in at a steady pace. He also tells us that the clams that will be served are "free-range clams" as compared to "farm-raised clams". The free-range clams apparently taste better and live longer. Perhaps we could have a clam tasting (similar to a wine tasting). Are there clam bloggers, clam writers, clam critics? If not there are a plethora of all those types that are self-appointed wine experts - perhaps they could learn a new trade.

Thought for the week: Education
"The aim of education is the knowledge not of facts but of values." (Hopefully)

Time Posted: Sep 8, 2019 at 8:21 AM
Gene Pierce
September 1, 2019 | Gene Pierce

Glenora Gazette, Vol 2, No. 9-19

It is a cloudy morning over the vineyards of Glenora and along the shores of Seneca on this the first Sunday of September (there are five Sundays in September this year). The temperature is 56 degrees with the wind coming from the south southeast at 4 miles per hour.

Lake temperatures: the temperature decline has started - Keuka-73 degrees; Seneca-72 degrees. There was lots of lake fog rising from Seneca earlier this week-a result of the no wind, lake temperature being 73 degrees at that time, while the air temperature was 58 degrees. The effect makes for some great photos!

Fog over a marsh near Seneca lake.

In the vineyard: One of the sounds of the upcoming harvest season is resonating throughout many Finger Lakes Vineyards-the "booming" of bird control cannons. The cannons do not blow birds out of the air (we have other devices for that), but the cannons create lots of noise that is intended to scare the birds - the keyword being intended! There was lots of news in the last issue of the year of the Finger Lakes Grape Program's Finger Lakes Vineyard Update. While it was the last for the season, the program will be sending their Veraison to Harvest newsletter next week. The hot topics, or interesting articles, included a listing of prices that will be paid by of the Finger Lakes wineries (15 submitted information). Our wineries accounted for 20% of the submissions. In general there is very little price variation between the wineries, if there is a difference is usually a result of the focus of a particular winery puts on a certain grape variety. The prices ranged from a low of $230 per ton for Concord to a high of $1825 per ton for Sangiovese. The average price per ton for Concord was $295 and the average price per ton for Sangiovese was $1825. Other interesting articles included more information on fruit fly eradication, and the fact the all employees need to have received their Sexual Harassment training by October 9th - George Orwell is the enforcement officer!!

The vineyard teams gathered on Wednesday to review and finalize harvest plans. The equipment is ready, the bins are ready, the trucker is ready - if there is anything lacking, it is help (finding help has been a challenge all year). It is going to take a lot of coordination to accomplish harvest this year!

A brilliantly colored hummingbird, in tones of red and white, captured while feeding from pink flowers.

On Tuesday, the members of the GOB (Good Ole Boys) gathered for their quarterly (more of less-mostly less) luncheon. In order to qualify for membership, one has to have had involvement in the grape/wine industry since the 1960's. If one wants to know the history of the industry, from those who have actually experienced it, not heard about it or read about it, the GOB club is the place to go. What we have learned over the years is that often times fiction when repeated enough seems to become fact!

Also this past Tuesday, there was a tasting of several vintages of sparkling wine which was held at Veraisons. We will be posting more information on the event and the results of the tasting as soon as they are compiled. The vintages tasted ranged from 1986 through 1998-what were you doing during the 1986 harvest/vintage?

Speaking of history: on Friday afternoon we gathered to celebration Cellar Master Shawn Andrews' 25th year at Glenora. It was interesting, and a bit eye-opening to listen to Shawn tells us about his experiences over his 25 years. The production/winemaking/cellar team at Glenora has many years of experience - Production Manager Tracey Miller has been on the team for 28 years, Sean with 25 years and Winemaker Steve DiFrancesco 24 years. Lots of experience, history, and stories!

While most are celebrating the Labor Day weekend there will be, or have been, two wedding celebrations at Glenora this weekend as well - one yesterday and another today. An August bride and a September bride - both during the same weekend!

A gorgeous purple sky and paper luminaries captured outside of Knapp

If you are a fan or cars, racing, and history you should be in Watkins Glen next Friday, Saturday and Sunday as 26th Annual Grand Prix Festival will be taking place there. As well we, Glenora, Knapp and Chateau LaFayette Reneau will be hosting over 480 cars and 960 drivers and passenges at the various winery locations on Friday morning and midday. Every one is welcome to come to the wineries to see tha cars and to chat with the owners. If you are a Gearhead, Track Rat, or a car Fan(atic), these will be the places to be! Our thanks go out to Watkins Glen Promotions, the sponsors and the over 100 volunteers who make this happen.

Thought for the week:    Destiny
We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours."

Time Posted: Sep 1, 2019 at 8:06 AM
Heather Eriole
August 9, 2017 | Heather Eriole

Meet the Lovely Jazz Ladies of August

For the second concert in our 2017 Jazz Greats series, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome two first timers to our Vineyard Stage: Lindsey Webster & Grace Kelly. We like to call them the “Lovely Ladies of August” and talent is something they have no shortage of.

Kicking things off on the 20th will be Lindsey Webster and her soulful voice.   From the first note, Lindsey, a native of Woodstock, N.Y., captivates listeners. Her rich voice enchants a dedicated following who connect with the raw emotion she shares with them. As a Soul R&B artist, she combines an admirable natural talent with a genuine, accessible stage presence. Her voice has been compared to R&B royalty Sade, Mariah Carey, and Anita Baker.

In 2016, her soulful, vocal-driven single “Fool Me Once,” off of her second album, hit #1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz charts, an otherwise instrumental chart, and remained for four weeks, beating out a previous record of three weeks for a vocal-fueled song by Sade.  In the history of the radio airplay chart, the two songs are the only all-out vocals-fueled entries to hit the top.

Our second Lovely Lady is the exuberant Grace Kelly. As a saxophonist, singer, and composer, Grace plays with the heart and passion of an old soul yet with the genre-bending zest and energy of a 24-year-old. She has been a regular with Jon Batiste and Stay Human, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’s band, and recently released her 10th CD as a leader.

She wrote her first song at seven years old, recorded her first CD at 12, and has taken the music world by storm ever since, garnering many awards along the way, including “Jazz Artist of the Year” at the 2016 Boston Music Awards, among others.

In efforts to bring jazz to a younger audience as well as to bridge music, cinematography, and her joyful personality, Grace launched a new weekly video series called “Grace Kelly Pop Up” on social media in February 2017.

It’s going to be an unforgettable afternoon of Jazz overlooking Seneca Lake!

Tickets are $30 and are available online, by phone 800.243.5513, or at any Wegmans store across New York state. We hope you enjoyed learning about our Lovely Ladies of August and we’ll see you on the 20th!

For more information or for tickets, click here. 

To visit Lindsey’s website, click here.
To visit Grace’s website, click here

Time Posted: Aug 9, 2017 at 8:57 AM
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