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!
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)
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!
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!
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!
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."
The sky is, for the most part, clear over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca. Temperature-wise it is a sweater weather morning - 56 degrees with the wind coming from the south southeast at 2 miles per hour. Lake temperatures: Keuka-77 degrees; Seneca-74.6 degrees. This may be the last time we see these temperatures until 2020!
In the vineyards: The conversation there seems to be mostly about harvest. When will it start? Is the equipment ready? And the remembrances of the last season's sour rot epidemic in some vineyards. Most of the conversation revolves around the dreaded Drosophila melanogaster! This pest is more common than the (also dreaded) spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii. Both of these monsters are fruit flies or relatives of the same, and as the grapes ripen they will (simply put) attach to the grapes causing them to start to sour rot - which can impact the fruit almost overnight. Obviously, the vineyard teams will be on the watch for these pests-along with the birds - because if the birds eat the grapes first, there will be no grapes to rot!
In spite of the weather, last Sunday's Jazz Greats at Glenora was another success for Team Glenora. Although we had to delay the start of the concert for about 20 minutes (lightning off in the distance) the almost 1200 people in attendance saw and heard a great performance by Euge Grove. Even with some light rain during the concert, only a few people melted.
On Monday, we held our annual team member summer picnic with close to 100 team members and their families attending. It was an "old fashioned" summer picnic - Production Manager Tracey was grilling hamburgers, gourmet hotdogs and sides from Burns' Dog Pound (some even had a lobster relish), and there were plenty of smoked grilled ribs. Maintenance Engineer Joel provided many dishes of his famous sparkling popcorn as well. And as always, Joel provided entertainment for the younger folks -balls, bats and kites. It really is great to see and meet the family members of the Glenora Team - out of uniform and fully relaxed!
We were very pleased to see that Chateau LaFayette Reneau was one of three wineries included in an article in Luxury Travel Magazine's August 23rd edition that featured a section on Best Fall getaways. The article noted what we already know - the views from the winery and inn decks are fantastic, along with some great wines!
Last evening, Chef John and his team at Knapp's Vineyard restaurant presented their Seafood and Sunset Dinner -a summer picnic in the vineyards. It was an outside event, and attendees were able to enjoy the sun setting through the vines (and clouds) while enjoying lots of different seafood dishes and glasses of wine. Somehow, the sun managed to set about an hour earlier than planned/advertised. Perhaps it was operating on daylight savings time rather than Eastern Standard Time. Hopefully John and his team will make this event a summer tradition!
For the second consecutive year, the readers of USA Today have named the Finger Lakes Wine Region as the BEST WINE REGION IN NORTH AMERICA! That is quite a feat for an area that less than 40 years ago had less than 15 wineries in the region. Our hats are off to the early leaders of the wine trails who had the foresight to work together to promote and grow the region, and of course to the same to the many tourism and wine promotion groups who have brought attention to the area in recent years.
More vineyard news: Steve and Rachel continue their vineyard sampling project. Again, at this point, it appears that we are still about a week behind last year in terms of grape maturation. This was also noted by information sent from the Finger Lake Grape program in which there was a comparison showing the dates of the start of veraison in several varieties from 2018 as compared to 2019. What this most likely indicates is that the 2019 harvest season is going to be compressed perhaps into aslittle as 6 weeks for most of the wine grape varieties as the season generally ends at the end of October (the end of the growing/ripening season).
And lest we forget, it was another wedding weekend at Glenora and the festivities will continue this morning with a post-wedding breakfast. A busy weekend for the Inn, Events, and Restaurant/kitchen teams!! THANK YOU!
Thought for the week: Books
"A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking."
The sky cloudy/overcast over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca. The temperature is 67 degrees with the wind coming from the south at 4 miles per hour. Lake temperatures: Keuka-76 degrees; Seneca - 75.2 degrees. The forecast for today's concert at the Glenora Vineyard stage is that we will have a cloudy sky, temperatures in the mid to high 80s and a 30-50% chance of getting wet.
In the vineyards: The vineyard teams continue preparing for harvest which at this point is most likely about a month away - of course, Mother Nature could change that. Other projects include monitoring the early ripening vineyards as the birds are doing the same, mowing and some summer pruning. The harvester at Knapp is on the waiting list for a tune-up (sort of like going to the Doctor's office) - we have the folks who are harvester specialists come in to check it over and make any repairs necessary. Another observation: for the month to date we have received .94 inches of rain at our Glenora and Chateau LaFayette Reneau vineyards, while at the Knapp Vineyards we have received 3.47 inches. As the crow flies, the Knapp and CLR vineyards are about 25 miles apart.
It appears that we will get the new hood system in the kitchen operational this coming week. There were some electrical details that needed to be resolved and Tuesday is the day. Whenthe hood system will be operational, the kitchen will be a much cooler (temperature wise) to work.
Speaking of kitchens: this coming week is Chef's appreciation Week! So please take a moment to let Chef Orlando and Chef John and their teams know how much they are appreciated.
The winemaking/production teams are very busy bottling and disgorging. They have a lot of custom work projects going on as everyone is emptying their tanks for the upcoming harvest, and from what is being reported regarding crop size everyone is going to need lots of available tank space.
It was a double header wedding weekend at Glenora with weddings and receptions taking place on Friday and Saturday. What we're hearing from potential brides is that July is just too hot! We certainly can appreciate weather concerns when planning a winter wedding, perhaps we offer early morning weddings in July and August as the mornings during those months are generally cool, and an added bonus would the sun rising over the vineyards.
Last evening Chef John and his team at the Vineyard Restaurant at Knapp Winery and Restaurant presented their monthly Wine Dinner that featured garlic in every course. Since garlic is reported to "cure what ails you", there should be many very healthy people running about this morning. It will be a double header wine dinner month at Knapp as next Saturday evening Chef John and his team will be offering/presenting a Seafood and Sunset Wine Dinner-sort of a picnic style dinner that will include shrimp, mussels, crab cakes, steamed clams and salmon. Click HERE for reservations.
This past Thursday, August 15th, we posted our grape prices with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. We also sent the same information to those growers from whom we purchase grapes. In the letter sent to growers, we also include the tons that we expect to purchase from them and also our payment schedule. Although it has not occurred recently, it is not unusual for an inspector from Ag. & Mkts to visit us to conduct an audit to make sure we paid the prices posted for each variety of grapes, and that the payment took place as posted. They even look at the cancelled checks to make sure that the funds were actually paid - George Orwell heads up that department.
Our annual Leaves and Lobster event weekend will be occurring on September 14 and 15. Last year this was a sold out event, so if you are planning to attend, make your reservations soon. You can grab tickets HERE.
Thought for the week: Ego
He was like the rooster who thought that the sun had risen to hear him crow
The sky is clear over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca-a fair amount of sun as well. The temperature is 57 degrees with the wind coming from the south west at 5 miles per hour. A temperature feeling reading of 56 degrees-some hints of Fall??!! Lake temperatures: Keuka-77 degrees; Seneca-75.8 degrees.
In the vineyards: Weather-wise it was another "depending on where the vineyard is located" weather weeks. For example, on Tuesday late morning there was a downpour at our CLR vineyards. At the same time, just across the lake at Glenora (perhaps 2 ½ miles west of CLR) the sun was shining! The vineyard teams are touching up their vineyard hedging projects (summer pruning - or vineyard haircuts), applying protective sprays where necessary, and preparing and setting up the bird control devices. While there is not much, if any bird activity in the vineyards at this point as soon as the grape berries start to turn color the birds will be visiting the vineyards - pecking at and eating the grapes. The team at Knapp is moving bird netting from the Vidal vineyard to the Siegerrebe vineyard. The birds seem to really enjoy Siegerrebe as they are one of the first varieties to change color.
This past week the winemaking team, Steve and Rachel, met with production manager Tracey M and the editor. As we now have determined the grapes that we will be harvesting this year, we looked at our vineyard sampling process. The Winery team members go into the various vineyards about every 7-10 days to "sample the grapes". This allows them to measure changes in the sugars, acid, and pH of the grapes. Knowing that, we can determine when to harvest. Since we have a great deal of history on all of our vineyards we can use that to fairly accurately determine harvest dates based on the changes taking place with the vineyard samples. Another example: If we notice that a specific grape variety's brix level is increasing (ripening) at the rate of 2 Brix per week and we want harvest that variety at 22 Brix and the current Brix level is 18 it most likely will be another 2 weeks until we harvest that variety. It is not an exact science but certainly better than the old days. 50 years ago, if the grapes tasted good they were harvested. Although that is still not a bad way to check - after all we will be tasting the final product.
Our congratulations have been sent to our friends at Six Mile Creek-Winner of the Governor's Cup; and to Wagner Vineyards for being named Winery of the Year. Great honors for both wineries and once again wineries from the Finger Lakes wining the highest honors at the New Wine and Grape Foundations annual wine competition.
An speaking of honors you can vote in/on the USA Today's best wine region in the United States competition! Click HERE to cast your vote for the Finger Lakes.
Next Sunday, August 18, Euge Grove will be on the Glenora Vineyard stage, our last concert of the 2019 Jazz Greats at Glenora season. It seems like the season just started and now it is almost over. On Monday evening after the concert, we will be having our annual summer team member and family picnic. We expect over 100 attendees. Once again Chief Entertainer Joel will be providing activities for the "kids" as well as providing his "Glenora Famous" popcorn. Something new this year -"BYOB": it is not what you are probably thinking, but is "Build Your Own Burger". Production Manager Tracey will don his Grill Masters Apron and grill the burgers - you "build the burger" by adding all of your favorite toppings. Perhaps we should have a "Best Built Burger Contest" -- we will need a prize-ideas.
On Friday afternoon, we received the Farm Credit Benchmark survey report for the first six months of 2019. The Benchmark part is that it compares the first six months of 2019 to the first six months of 2018. These numbers confirm the general feeling, and for us our numbers, that visitation is down - 2.1 percent for the trail. However for us some good numbers: bottles sold per person up 16.5%, total retail sales per taster up 19.7%, retail sales dollars up 5.8%. Certainly we would like to see more visitors - we and the Seneca Lake Wine trail are working on that. We also need more winery participation as only 12 of the 31 Seneca Lake Wine Trail members reported information to the survey. One should not complain about wine sales or visitation if you are not willing to be part of looking for solutions. Something like if you are not part of those seeking a solution to an issue, you may be part of the problem. As you can probably tell, the editor will not be in the running for Wine Trail president!
Thought for the week: Time-Live
"Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you."
We have a somewhat cloudy sky over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca. The temperature is 65 degrees with the wind coming from the northwest at 4 miles per hour. The forecast for later today looks ideal for the NASCAR race this afternoon at Watkins Glen International. Lake temperatures: Seneca-78.4 degrees; Keuka-78 degrees (more on lake temperatures in a bit).
In the vineyards: It was another one of those "it depends on the vineyard location weather weeks". For example: on Tuesday evening between 6-7:30 our Glenora vineyards received 1.71 inches of rain - 1.97 total inches for the day. That amount of rain in such a short period of time is what the ole farmer would call "a gully washer," except this has happened so much recently that there is nothing left in the gullies to wash out. Meanwhile during the same time frame, our Knapp Vineyards received .77 inches of train and 10 miles north of Knapp and 25 miles north of Glenora the research station at Geneva did not get any rain. The vineyard team at Knapp is reporting that the Siegerrebe grapes are starting to soften (showing signs for early ripening) and that we can expect to see some veraison (the grape berries getting some color) taking place next week. Once that starts to take place, the bird wars will be on. The birds start to eat the grapes once they change color (ripen) as even birds do not like sour grapes.
More on temperatures - Before all of the Keuka residents move to Seneca seeking warmer water, some explanation: the Seneca lake temperature is recorded by Hobart and William Smith colleges. The temperature is taken at a buoy located off Clark's Point with the water temperature being taken hourly at a depth of 3 feet (actually 1 meter). The Keuka Lake temperature is recorded daily by the Village of Penn Yan Municipal Water Department. That temperature is taken at the inlet to the water plant which is at a depth of 20 feet. At which level do most people swim, tube, or waterski?
More information: http://fli-data.hws.edu/clarkpt/ https://www.keukalakeassociation.org/charts/keuka_lake_temperature.php
If you are a history buff, there will be Military re-enactors representing American soldiers from the Revolutionary War to World War II at the Seneca White Deer Park at the former Seneca Army Deport on Saturday, August 17 .The reenactment will present a living time of that period The editor observed something similar to this at Fort Niagara a number of years ago-realistic, educational, and enjoyable.
Moscato, our newest wine release, seems to be a success. While it was scheduled to be released on August 1, we did a prerelease in the retail shop and during the first 10 days 229 bottles were sold. The wine will be in retail shops, statewide, starting on Tuesday!
On Friday morning, we held another meeting to review the wine production needs and consequent grape needs from and for 2019. This always is a bit of a moving target as we review our current wine inventories (which we know), look at projected sales for the balance of 2019 and 2020 and with some varieties 2021 (which is an estimate-but well-calculated), and the projected vineyards yield (which at this point is also an estimate). Knowing (or estimating) all of this we will finalize the wine production needed by variety, and in instances where we may have extra grapes begin to look for buyers. In the event that we may need grapes we will advise those who grow grapes for us what we will be needing. Next steps: Winemakers Steve, Rachel and Tim will be heading to the vineyards to start to gather samples to check on the status of ripening.
This past Thursday we hosted Mass in the Vineyards at Chateau LaFayette Reneau. It wast special for those attending as Sarah, our assistant retail shop manager, sang "Ave Maria." Sarah has a beautiful voice which she is very willing to share - Thank you Sarah for making the Mass a bit more special. When we are visited at CLR by World War Two veterans, we see many due to our location close the former Sampson Army/Navy base Sarah will often sing songs to them from that era-lots of moist eyes!!
A reminder that the Knapp Vineyard Restaurant Team will be hosting a unique dinner on August 24 when they present their Seafood and Sunset picnic-held outside next to the vineyards. For more details and reservations (they are going fast) CLICK HERE. We have arranged for the sun to set at 7:56 PM, and twilight will end at 8:25 PM (in other words, it will be dark at that time.)
Thought for the week: Prattle
"Blessed is the person, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact."
The sky is mostly clear over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca on this the last Sunday of the seventh month of 2019-July. The temperature is 69 degrees with the wind coming from the south southwest at 7 miles per hour. Lake temperatures--both lakes have water temperature readings that are higher than our current air temperature (ambient). Seneca-76.9 degrees, Keuka: 77 degrees=-Keuka did record 80 degrees earlier this past week-most likely earlier in the week as a result of the very warm temperatures last weekend.
In the vineyards: It does appear that the warm weather of the past couple of weeks is bringing the growing season (degree day accumulation) closer to a normal year, however there is still a ways to go. General observations: Downy mildew can still be found in many vineyards-not a significant amount but it can be found. The same can be said for powdery mildew, again not significant but both bear watching and should be controlled if needed. The invasion of the Pacific Rim beetles has been significantly slowed by the application of protective sprays and they (the beetles) may yet have another opportunity to "taste" the protective sprays yet again.
We continue to get some early crop estimates and most seem to indicate a larger crop size than last year. We should have much better estimates during the next couple of weeks. However, it the number of phone calls from folks wanting to sell grapes is an indicator of either wine inventory or crop size (or both) there will be plenty of grapes available from the 2019 harvest.
Last Sunday's Jazz Greats at Glenora was yet another successful event. Mother Nature lent us a hand as well - a warm day, no rain, a slight breeze and some cloud cover. Between ticket sales and the number of people needed to "make the show happen" we had over 1400 people near our vineyard stage last Sunday afternoon. As always this could not, would not, happen with the efforts of Team Glenora- Full Time, Part Time, Seasonal, and Day-of Team members -- it is a well-oiled machine. Thanks go out to everyone.
All of the Regional events (FLXcurision, NY Drinks NY, The Foundations Export Group) that took place last weekend seemed to go very well also. Some of these events brought visitors, growers, wine buyers, retailers, wholesalers, and consumers from around the world - great exposure for Finger Lakes Wines and the Finger Lakes Wine Grape Growing region. We certainly appreciate all of the work that the organizers did to put these events together.
While there were not many visible Zydeco dancing lines at last evening's "Louisiana Boil" wine dinner at the Knapp Vineyard Restaurant it was evident that the wine, food, and music were enjoyed, thanks to the efforts of Chef John and his Team.
We may have to purchase a van, at Knapp, for Chef John and his Team as it seems they are having more opportunities for off-site catering. This past week they catered a very large business group at one of our winery neighbors-Boundary Breaks. If you have not been to Boundary Breaks make the time to do so. It is beautiful setting- buildings, vineyards, wine, and a great view of Seneca Lake and the western shores of the lake (a great place to watch the sunset).
A reminder that tickets go on sale on Monday for Glenora's 2019 Leaves and Lobsters Festival. You may recall that last year's event was a sellout. As we have to advise our Lobster boat captain(s) at least 10 days in advance, once we give them an order based on ticket sales what we order is what we get-hence waiting to the last minute to order tickets is risky!
This coming Thursday evening, August 1st, Chateau LaFayette Reneau, will be hosting Mass in the Vineyards. The service, presented by Father Steve of St. Mary's of the Lake (Watkins Glen), is designed for vineyard and winery folks who find it challenging to attend Sunday services. The service is open to everyone- after which there is a social time-conversation, food, and wine. Chef Orlando provides the food and our friend Joanne is in charge of decorations and dressing the altar. Generally there is live music (appropriately, no heavy metal) as well.
Have you ever wondered what is at the bottom of Seneca Lake or what it might look like? Here is your chance to find out during the annual meeting (open to the public) or the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Assoc. -- https://senecalake.org/event-3444097?mc_cid=a77b019e07&mc_eid=fdd14b9bf5
Thought for the week: Success
You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need."
The sky is partly cloudy and somewhat overcast this morning over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca-the weather gurus tell us there could be thunderstorms. The temperature is 75 degrees but feels like 80 degrees due a humidity reading of 89%. The wind is from the southwest at 4 miles per hour, Lake temperatures: Keuka-79 degrees; Seneca-77.6 degrees.
In the vineyard: It has been a warm (hot) week there with temperatures in the high 80's most days and even into the 90's during a couple of days-the humidity made those temperatures feel even warmer. We have seen, in some of the vineyards, an invasion of undocumented aliens -"Pacific Rim beetles" who enjoy eating the newer foliage. Also, we noticed traces of powdery mildew in a few locations. Needless to say, the vineyard teams were out and about applying protective sprays. Knapp Vineyard Manager, Chas, even cut his vacation short to return to combat the alien Pacific Rim beetles-Thanks Chas. The teams also continue with summer pruning and hedging-the idea being to keep the fruit exposed for ripening and protective sprays. Side note-the editor learned this past week that there are a few patches of posion ivy in the vineyards-but not for long!!
Last Sunday evening brought about the return of the Finger Lakes Wine Festival teams. For the festival teams that was the last gig of the season as we now roll into the concert and Leaves and Lobster seasons. As always there are observations from the wineries who attend the event, most of which are related to their sales. Our sales exceeded last year-great wines and a great sales team!! Speaking of the Festival, the editor had the opportunity to chat with Susie and Doug Knapp founders of the Finger Lakes Wine Festival in 1993. Doug, Susie and their team operated the festival during the years of 1993 and 1994 before selling it the folks at Watkins Glen International. The WGI folks did not hold a festival in 1995 as they wanted to "learn the ropes" as their primary business at that time, and still is, a venue for automobile racing. WGI opened the Festival Gates in 1996 and consequently just finished the 23rd Wine Festival Season there. So if one adds the two years of the Festival under the management of Susie and Doug to the 23 years that WGI has operated the festival -The Finger Wine Festival has 25 years in its glass-we have participated in all of them! Today there are wine festivals almost every weekend however the Finger Lakes Wine Festival was the pioneer Festival!
As mentioned last week this is a busy weekend for team Glenora, Knapp and Chateau as we will be participating in The New York Drinks New York program, the New York Wine and Grape Foundation's Export Program, and the FLXcursion program. These programs started yesterday and will be running through Monday. For Team Glenora this is addition to hosting two weddings and the Jazz concert. All of this takes a lot of planning, coordination and implementation. Today at Glenora alone there will be or have been well over 125 team members taking part in activities -kitchen, restaurant, Inn, housekeeping, retail, concert, parking, traffic directors, setup, cleanup, wine and food sales at the festival tent, and more.
Executive Chef Orlando reports that the new hood and exhaust fan system is being installed in the kitchen. This is a unit located over the stoves and fryers that draws out cooking fumes and heat. When the installation is finished the hood and fans will keep kitchen much cooler which obviously benefits those working there, along with less heat stress on the other equipment. Unfortunately the installation is taking a bit longer that anticipated -a some confusion on the part of the seller about 110 vs 220 volts. If one thinks ii has been hot outside this past week you should have been in the kitchen. You may have heard of the saying= "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" -our kitchen team has stuck it out!! Thank you!
Don't forget, like the editor did as he showed up for the wine dinner last evening at Knapp, that the dinner is next week when Chef John, and his Team at the Knapp Vineyard restaurant will present their monthly wine dinner which is themed Louisiana Boil, and as usual will be accompanied by Chateau LaFayette Reneau, Glenora and Zugibe wines. A special twist was will be live Zydeco music-dancing in the vineyards??!! Next month the Theme is "The Garlic Wine Dinner" The 2019 garlic harvest will have been completed and Chef John celebrates that event with many unique garlic dishes. This dinner, like most of the Wine Dinners, sells out so if you want to take part sign up soon.
On Friday our newest wine release appeared in the tasting room at Glenora-our 2018 Moscato. It arrived in a bright blue bottle and with a very distinctive label. Lots of time was spent in the creation of this wine and its packaging-once again thanks to all involved!
Thought for the Week: Inspiration-Attitude
"If fear is cultivated it will become stronger, if an idea/belief is cultivated it will achieve mastery
The sky is clear over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca. It seems that it will be another great weather day for the Finger Lakes Wine Festival. The temperature is 64 degrees with the wind coming from the west-northwest at 5 miles per hour. Lake temperatures: Keuka-77 degrees; Seneca-73.8 degrees.
In the vineyards: There does seem to be a bit of calmness appearing there! Although there is still a lot going on, but many of the early season work pressures seem to be a bit lighter. Currently, the vineyard teams are applying protective spray, doing summer pruning on some varieties and of course the ongoing mowing. It will not be long before they will head to the storage barns and shops to start bringing out the harvest bins, the bin trailers, and the harvester all to be fine-tuned in preparation for up coming harvest-perhaps in six weeks. The reports that we receive from the Finger Lakes Grape program seem to be indicating that we are catching up on degree-day accumulation, and while no one makes crop size projections it does appear that the crop should be of a "normal' size. The scales at the wineries will tell us for sure.
It has been another busy week at the Inn and Veraisons with conferences and seminars taking place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and a wedding and reception yesterday. It is great to see the parking lot full.
All three wineries - Glenora, Knapp, and Chateau -- are at the Finger Lakes Wine Festival which is being held at Watkins Glen International this weekend. We understand that this is the 23rd year that the festival is being held there. For the history buffs, the Festival got its start when Doug and Susie Knapp (the founders of Knapp Vineyards) came up with the idea in the early 1990's and started the first festival which was held at the New York State Chiropractic College grounds near Seneca Falls. The first event was relatively small (Glenora was there) but very successful. The event grew to a point where it needed more time dedicated to it than Doug and Susie and their team could give to it (remember they were operating a winey, vineyard, and restaurant at that time as well). So consequently, they looked for other venues to host with the festival consequently winding up at Watkins Glen International - a bit of a leap of faith for WGI as they are a racing facility not, at that time, an events promoter. We are quite confident that many of the other venues who had the opportunity to host the festival but turned the opportunity down are now having many second, third, and fourth thoughts. A great example of Risk and Reward!
In any event, thanks go out to our teams who are there this weekend!! It is very intense in terms of preparation, set-up, selling and take down. Between our three wineries and the two days of the event we will have over 60 different team members taking part at some point. And while that is taking place -- all three tasting rooms will be open and functioning, the restaurants will be serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, a wedding and reception will be/was held, the Inn will be full,and the Windmill team will be at "The Mill" selling. Thanks go out to all.
This coming weekend July 20-21, and a day or two on either side of the weekend, will be a four ring circus for us as we will be participating in the NY Drinks NY program, the FLXcursion, an export program (visitors from off shore for a tasting and lunch), and our Jazz Greats at Glenora. Fortunately, we have events traffic controllers (Kerry and Heather) similar to air traffic controllers who will keep us all going in the right direction and at the right time. What makes this even more exciting is that it seems, other than the Jazz Greats at Glenora event, the planning and implementation for some those events is still is a state of flux-lots of last-minute e-mail requests with very short deadlines (we need this tomorrow, or by 5 PM today) but as usual our events traffic controllers are on top of it!! Thank you!!
The Knapp Team -Rachel, Belinda and John - released their newest product on Friday - a lavender and citrus infused Gin. The Gin was made from grapes grown in the Knapp vineyards, then fermented and distilled. The packaging is a bit unique in that the Gin is packaged in a frosted bottle and has a Stelvin closure (screw cap). Early reports are that it adds a unique taste/flavor to that Summer Time favorite, gin & tonic.
There may be yet another new package type coming from our wineries in the future. Definitely not a can, as our motto is "Don't Get Canned - Bag It". Another project!!
Did you know Glenora has its very own highway department? Have you noticed the recent addition of paint striping on the entrance/exit of our southern driveway? Thanks to a great job by Joel and his team, hopefully we'll have no more lost cars.
Thought for the week: Thoughts-Words (Which might explain some e-mails)
"The pen is the tongue of the mind."