The sky is cloudy over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca on this this second morning of Dosage Your Own Weekend at Glenora. The temperature is 34 degrees, with a feel-like report of 24 degrees which the result of the wind which is coming from the west at 14 miles per hour. Lake temperature; Keuka - 42 degrees, one degree cooler than it was on December 31, 2018 - Global cooling?
In the vineyards: The vineyard teams started the week walking through 8-10 inches of snow, which by mid-week had melted creating some mud. However in certain locations it was dry enough to finish some of our hilling jump project. Of course pruning goes on. We will bring in our documented worker team soon after the first of the year to assist us with the pruning.
One of the biggest events that occurred this past week happened on Tuesday afternoon when James, the Wedding and Events Manager at Glenora, was presented with the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance's "Excellence in Customer Service Award for 2019. This is a significant honor for James as he was selected from the many customer service representatives in the 14 counties in Finger Lakes Region, and there are 100's. Under James' leadership the Inn at Glenora has been awarded or inducted into The Knot's (a premier wedding planning publication) Best Weddings Hall of Fame for 7 consecutive years. The Knots's award is based on the comments and reviews received from brides that have had their weddings at Glenora during the preceding year. The Knot award is not only a tribute to James but also to the entire Glenora Team for their hospitality and customer service. Congratulations to James and all!!
Some interesting numbers from Anne, Glenora and Knapp's regional sales associate: During the period from November 15 through November 27th, Anne and her In Wine Shop Tasting team conducted 20 unique tastings. Those tastings resulted in 967 people trying our wines of which 47% purchased wine - 460 bottles (38.33 cases). It certainly cannot be said that we do not support our accounts or assist our distributor. Thanks go out to Anne and her team!
More reports: Retail Sales Manager, Rachel, reported that she and her team hosted a total of 5469 visitors during the two weekends of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail's Deck the Halls event. She also has told us that she and her team conducted their first ever Cyber Monday event which resulted in 78 orders leaving on Tuesday - another happy day for the FedEx folks as well! The retail shop team is now into their 12 Days of Christmas event - a visit to the retail shop will be very rewarding.
Not to be outdone Missy, Inn Manager, conducted a Cyber Monday event as well which resulted in 211 room nights being sold. Another benefit of the room night sales is meals in Veraisons and visits to the retail shop.
More numbers: The Maintenance team reported that they moved 8 inches of snow during the recent snow storm - everyone has numbers!
Executive Chef Patrick, who is new to Team Glenora team, tells us that he and his team will be introducing their new Winter Lunch, Dinner and desert menus on December 19th - two days prior to the winter solstice!! He also notes that we have 3 openings for guest chefs for our Pasta Night Series. One does not have to be a stellar chef, just have a lot of friends who want to watch you "try" to cook pasta. Also we contribute/donate/give $2.00 (10.55% of the revenue, not of the proceeds which would be much less) for each meal served, to the Chef's favorite Charity.
Words: It is the time of year when we hear "Have a Merry Christmas, if I don't see you before"-what happens if they do see you before? One has to wonder who started that saying and when!
This weekend, yesterday and today is our annual Dosage Your Own event. Lots of folks "creating" their own sparkling wine. Thanks go out to Steve, Rachel, Tracey and Kerry for their parts in making the event a success.
Last of the year: This afternoon we will be hosting a wedding and reception, it may be our last one of the year-but there are still 16 days left-who knows!!
Thought for the week: History
"One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present."
The sky over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca is partly cloudy on the the last day of Wine Trail events for the 2019 season. The temperature is 25 degrees, however the feel-like reading is 14 degrees due to the wind which is coming from the south at 12 miles per hour. Lake temperature: Keuka - 43 degrees. It is interesting to note that it was December 30th last year before the lake temperature reached this point-another indication of the cold weather we have experienced this fall as compared to last year!
In the vineyards: The snowfall earlier this past week did place a halt on our final hilling up operations, however the forecast for the upcoming week may allow the vineyard team to finish that project. In the meantime there are acres and acres and acres of vines to be pruned! And it seems that most of the deer have been harvested.
In the wine cellars: This is the time of year when the winemaking and production teams are racking (wine, not pool balls) and filtering. The wine making teams tells us that they have plans to have our 2019 Rose' ready for bottling by the end of January. This is a wine style that the entire wine world seems to be in a race to see who can get it on the shelf first. It has come to the point that if one (a winery) does not have the wine ready for release by the end of the first quarter of the year they may as well "forget it". Another interesting factor with the wine is its color. Rose' used to be the color of a rose petal -it now needs to be the color or a salmon (a fish) -does anyone care about the taste?
More cellar-production area news: Plans are being formulated to install our new chiller system which is used to control the temperature of the jacketed wine tanks and the wines inside of them-the current unit is 30 plus years of age, as well as being underrated for the current production needs. The unit is used to control fermentation temperatures during harvest and then later in the year to assist in cold-stabilizing the wine (reducing the tartaric acid in the wine). So since fermentation is completed and we have a bit of time (a couple of weeks) before cold stabilization needs to start (remember the Rose') now is the time to make the change. However the contractor is claiming that one of our trees will need to be either removed or severely pruned which is not setting well with the editor-we will be meeting to discuss this on Tuesday!
Last evening Chef John and his team wrapped up the Wine Dinner series at the Knapp Vineyard Restaurant for the 2019 wine dinner series season. The theme, appropriately, was titled "All wrapped up" a play on wrapping presents for the holiday season and as well each course was "wrapped" with either puff pastry, filo, bacon, en papillote. Unfortunately, for the editor previous obligations prevented attending. However, if history is an indicator Chef John and his team did an excellent job.
Wine trail events: While many, if not all, of the wineries have events scheduled for the balance of the year (check the wine trail websites) the last of the major wine trail events will be finished at 5 PM today. Over 1300 visitors will have traveled the Cayuga Wine Trail and close to 3400 visitors will have circumnavigated Seneca Lake. These events are great fundraisers for the wine trails (used for marketing and promotions) and a great way to introduce people to the trails and their member wineries. As an aside everyone was thankful the events took place this weekend and not last weekend-the weather!
While the Glenora Gazette editor was "humbugging" them, our Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday promotions were a great success - so much in fact that the UPS and FedEx drivers werethinking of bringing bigger trucks.
This coming week many members of Team Glenora will be gathering to shop and then wrap gifts for our adopted family - a family that might be struggling during the holiday season. We are provided with the number of people in the family and their ages so we make sure everyone receives a gift along with providing many stapes that can be used to create holiday meals, and used at other times during the year. This is all done incognito!
It is gelling close to the end of the year and time to start considering New Year's resolutions. You might not only consider resolutions for the upcoming year--2020, but for the upcoming decade 2020-2029 as well!
Thought for the week: Research
"Research is what is done when individuals/groups don't know what they are doing."
It is a dark, cloudy morning over the vineyards of Glenora and the shores of Seneca on this the first Sunday of the last month of the year and the last month of the decade. With a few flakes of snow in the air the temperature is 27 degrees with a feel like temperature (started to say "reading"-but how do you record "feel like") of 20 degrees, which is a result of the effect of the wind which is coming from the southeast at 6 miles per hour. Lake temperature: Keuka: 46 degrees.
In the vineyards: For part of the vineyard team it was "in the Woods" as they were taking some vacation time to chase deer. We are going to get one of those genetic kits to test Bob as we are quite sure he is related to Daniel Boone or some other previous hunters as he seems to have an uncanny ability to locate dee much to their chagrin-at least for a short period of time.. Those team members not in the woods spent some more time hilling up-that project will end this coming week. After that it will be pruning, although we are giving lots of consideration to removing some of the older vineyards --- some being close to 50 years of age.
On the Press Decks: At CLR Tim and Wally now have all of the pressing equipment in storage-wrapped up for another year. The Glenora team has their equipment in storage as well and will soon have the equipment that is too large to be moved-shrink wrapped, maybe we can get a wrap with color this year.
This coming weekend marks the end of the Seneca Lake and Cayuga Wine Trails special events for the decade. At last report the Cayuga Trail is expecting 1200+ event participants and the Seneca Lake Wine Trail is expecting close to 3400 participants. The Seneca Lake Wine trail did an extensive; in depth survey of past wine trail event participants earlier this year. One of the interesting things, and there were many, is that a significant number of trail event participants are "first timers". Another part of the survey was to determine where people came from and what the demographics of the area where they came from. All of that information helps the trail to market and promote visitation to the wine trail members. Wine trail events, on Seneca, have grown significantly since one of the first trail events in 1991, Fruhling Wein Fest, when Anthony Road, Castel Grisch, Lakewood, Fulkerson, Prejean and Glenora got together to create and present the event. Tickets were $5.00 and participants received a "engraved wine glass", wine and food pairings, AND a Pine tree seedling (we have wonder how many of those are still alive). The event was very successful and by 1994 there were 16 Seneca Lake wineries participating-ticket prices had risen to $8.00, and there was a survey given to each of the participants asking them questions about the event -ironically many of the same questions are still being posed to event participants today-it just costs more to conduct surveys today.
The Veraisons team presented a spectacular Thanksgiving buffet this past Thursday. It is quite amazing to see the preparation that goes into presenting and serving the buffet-three seating's. Our hats are off to everyone who made the event possible == your time and efforts are very much appreciated as are those of the retail shop team who opened the retail shop in order that our Thanksgiving dinner guests had an opportunity to visit the retail shop as well.
This coming week Joel and his team will be decorating the Inn and Verasions for the Christmas holiday season. It really is very impressive, a huge Christmas tree on the veranda, very large pine wreaths hung over the entry ways to the inn complete with night lighting, Christmas trees in the dinning room, and the editor's favorite the two wreaths hung in the windows in the cupola over the Inn.
Wine bottle deposits - there is legislation on the horizon that would require a deposit on wine bottles (and apparently other spirit bottles). As with many proposals of this type it seem that very little thought has gone into this proposal, with one of the biggest unanswered questions is "who is responsible for the redemption (collection and refunding of the deposits). Hopefully we will be able to make enough money on Small Business Saturdays in the future to cover the costs of yet another government mandate.
Thought for the week: Vision-Ideas
"True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision."
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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."
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
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.
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.
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."
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
Fall is truly a magical time in the Finger Lakes. The landscape comes alive with vibrant colors. The air is scented with the sweet smell of grapes ripening. The wineries, vineyards and farms are abuzz with harvest activity. Fall fruits and veggies become abundant. Tourism is at its peak with visitors coming from all over the world to visit our little slice of heaven. The list goes on. It really can’t be beat!
Here at Glenora, it’s a great time to visit to experience harvest firsthand, especially during the week. You’re almost guaranteed to catch live harvest action and what we like to call the “harvest dance,” where our winemaking team brings in grapes to be crushed and pressed. While you can witness this from our tasting room windows, a cellar tour gets you up close and personal to where the magic happens on the crush pad and in the cellar. If you’re lucky, you might even catch our winemaker Steve D!
While all of the seasons offer something different and exciting, it’s likely that a majority of the Glenora team would pick fall as their favorite season at the winery. It’s one of the most exciting times of year for many reasons, and with that said, we thought it’d be fun to dive a little deeper and ask some of our staff what they love about autumn. Read on to find out!
What is your favorite thing about fall at Glenora?
“Watching the grapes come in, and the process they go through to eventually end up in the bottle is exciting! Being able to ‘show and tell’ for our visitors as the wine is being made, and to be a part of their Finger Lakes vacation memories, is a lot of fun.”
– Stacy Gray, Retail Manager
“The smell of grapes in the air is by far my favorite part! I also love the colors of the hills across the lake, providing a beautiful backdrop for everyone to enjoy. I love all of the fall colors in the vineyard. They add so much to the property. There is something cozy about it!”
-James Merritt, Assistant Weddings & Event Manager
“The smell of ripe grapes in the air!”
-Emily Edsall, Assistant Inn/Restaurant Manager
“Like most people in wine country I enjoy the sights, sounds, smell of the ripening grapes, the color, and visitors that fall brings. Being a vineyardist and winery owner it also marks the end of the season for the vineyards which started over 10 months ago with pruning—ending now with picking of the grapes—we get to see the culmination of work in the vineyards. At the same time it marks the beginning of the winemaking process something that depending on the grape variety and wine type can last from 6 months to several years. Fall marks the end of one part of grape growing/wine production and the beginning of another.”
–Gene Pierce, Owner & President
"What I like about fall are all the autumn vegetables that we start to get at Veraisons. Butternut squash, buttercup squash, kale, parsnips, sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts..the list goes on."
–Orlando Rodriguez, Executive Chef of Veraisons Restaurant
“The fall is beautiful anyway, and with grapes being harvested almost every day, there’s a feeling of urgency in making sure the quality is as good as it can be, and the excitement in converting the crop into some wonderful wines that our customers will enjoy.”
-Steve DiFrancesco, Winemaker
We hope you’ll consider joining us this fall so you can experience the magic yourself!
Upcoming Fall Events:
10/28: Annual Harvest Dinner at Veraisons
Sparkling wine toast + locally sourced five course meal
11/11: Nouveau Celebration
A long-standing tradition celebrating the first wine of the 2017 harvest
11/23: Thanksgiving Buffet at Veraisons
For harvest updates, be sure to check us out on Facebook and Instagram!
1) Take a Cellar Tour
There’s no better way to experience harvest in the Finger Lakes than with a cellar tour. Learn about the ins and outs of winemaking and catch live action. The cellar is abuzz with activity, offering a unique opportunity to liven up your senses as you witness the sights, sounds and scents of harvest! Learn more
2) Taste the first wine of 2016 at our Nouveau Celebration
Our annual Nouveau celebration began in 1977, the year we were established as a winery, as a way of celebrating our first harvest and we’ve continued the tradition every year since, much like the Beaujolais nouveau celebrations in France. Each year, our Nouveau wine undergoes a quick primary fermentation before being racked and put in a wooden cask to be enjoyed at our celebration. Mingle with our winemaker Steve DiFrancesco and taste this intensely fresh and fruity wine straight from the cask, all while enjoying live music & hearty hor d’oeuvres by Chef Orlando on November 12th! Learn more
3) Join us for our annual Harvest Dinner
If you love all things fall, our Harvest Dinner on November 19th is a must! Served outside at our communal harvest table overlooking Seneca Lake, the menu is packed full of fresh, local ingredients and fall flavor. It’s the perfect way to immerse yourself in all things Finger Lakes during harvest time, both on the plate and in the glass, and celebrate the wonderful bounty that surrounds. Rumor has it the Hogwarts theme from last year’s harvest dinner is resurfacing, for any Harry Potter fans out there! Learn more
4) Book a Fall in the Finger Lakes package at the Inn
For a quintessential fall weekend in the Finger Lakes, try our newest package at the Inn. Start with a tasting and cellar tour at the winery, followed by a picnic along the vineyards with an assortment of local cheeses and a bottle of Glenora wine, and leaf peep to your heart’s content around our property. End the day at Veraisons for a delicious locally sourced meal! Learn more
5) Taste Fall in our Tasting Room
If you love fall drinks, we’ve got options! Warm up with our Mulled Wine made from Jammin’ Red, try our Trestle Creek Hard Cider, or opt for our fan favorite Audacious Apple, our newest fruit wine. We’re certain one will please your palate!
Written by Stacy Gray, Tasting Room Manager
Your BFF is getting married! Your sister is turning the big 3-0! What better way to enjoy a day out in the beautiful Finger Lakes than to charter a limo or bus, gather up all your besties, and check out these amazing wineries you’ve heard so much about!
Ok… so… where do you start?
What IS a wine tour, anyway? A wine tour is an excellent opportunity to sample some wines in order to choose your favorites to bring home with you – in a beautiful setting with friendly staff to help you along the way! It’s best to aim for 3-5 wineries in a day, with a planned stop for lunch along the way.
The first thing you’ll want to do is choose a lake to visit. There are many great wineries surrounded by beautiful scenery throughout the Finger Lakes, so you may want to pick the lake closest to home, or one with a wide variety of wineries. Or maybe, like many of our guests, you have a favorite must-visit winery and plan your tour around that area.
Ok, great! Next, it’s a good idea to do a little research about the wineries you’d like to visit. Check out their websites for group tasting policies, amenities, and events. You may discover a winery has live music, a unique restaurant, or any other number of things going on. One thing to check for is “Wine Trail Events” – this is something you may want to participate in, or, you may want to avoid the crowds! At Glenora you can reserve a special Chocolate & Wine Experience, or a cellar tour to see how the wine is made. You can also plan to have lunch at our restaurant, Veraisons, or even stay overnight with us at our Inn!
Next, you will want to pick a date – aiming for at least a month out is a good idea. An insider tip – Saturdays are the busiest day by far along the trail, so if you’d like a little more personal attention without fighting the crowds, picking a Sunday or weekday is a very smart idea! Here at Glenora, through the end of August, our reward members get double points on Wednesdays and Fridays… just sayin’! Not familiar with our Rewards Program? Learn more here.
Once you’ve decided on a lake and a date, you can start calling your chosen wineries to make reservations. The folks at the wineries are eager to help arrange your visit and are happy to answer your questions. Keep a notepad, a pen, and a credit card for deposits handy when you call. Most wineries have a cut off time in the afternoon for larger groups, so try to reserve your first tasting right when the first winery opens – usually 10am. Glenora’s tasting room opens at 9am during the summer months, so make a point to see us first!
Of course, you’ll want to hire transportation or designate a driver for your adventure. There are many options for limos, buses, and even a company that will drive you around in your own vehicle. It’s well worth the peace of mind to know you have a safe, sober, experienced driver at the wheel. The transportation companies and drivers are knowledgeable and can make suggestions for must-visit wineries, restaurants, and best routes to take.
A few other tips for a successful wine tour:
When traveling with multiple friends, it can be hard after a while to remember who bought what wine bottles once they start accumulating in the trunk. A great idea I have seen, is folks bring along different colored stickers (for example, garage sale price stickers), and each person has their own color to put on the top of the bottles they buy. Super easy and super smart!
Something you might want to bring along is water and snacks, or even a packed lunch, if you don’t plan to stop at a local restaurant. Our tasting room cheese cooler is always stocked with local cheeses, charcuterie and crackers if you need a pick me up during the day and we have many picnic tables around our property, perfect for taking in the view of Seneca Lake while snacking on some local wares. Many wineries offer the same throughout the wine trail.
Another bit of friendly advice, wineries need to abide by the law, which means they are prohibited from serving folks who are intoxicated. Making sure your group is aware of this is always a good choice!
We hope you’ll include Glenora on your next wine tour! We offer a wide variety of wines to please any palate, friendly staff, an incredible restaurant and inn, and the most stunning views of Seneca Lake! But wherever you end up, I hope this post has been helpful and informative, and that you all have a great time here in Finger Lakes Wine Country!