Sips of Glenora - the official blog of Glenora Wine Cellars

Gene Pierce
July 28, 2019 | Gene Pierce

Glenora Gazette, Vol. 28, No. 7-19

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.     

A beautiful sunny sky, with large white clouds,  over Seneca lake       

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 catered dinner at Boundary Breaks, with white linens, silver buffet service, and a stunning view of Seneca lake

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. --       

Thought for the week:   Success
            You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need."

Time Posted: Jul 28, 2019 at 9:00 AM Permalink to Glenora Gazette, Vol. 28, No. 7-19 Permalink
Gene Pierce
July 21, 2019 | Gene Pierce

The Glenora Gazette, Vol. 21, No. 7-19

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!

A wine cellar lunch set up in our production facility

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.

An industry tasting set up in our barrel room for our international guests

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.

Blue bottles of our 2018 Moscato, capped with yellow, on display in our retail store. The label features a mandala like design in pinks, yellows, greens, and white.

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

Time Posted: Jul 21, 2019 at 9:00 AM Permalink to The Glenora Gazette, Vol. 21, No. 7-19 Permalink
Gene Pierce
July 14, 2019 | Gene Pierce

The Glenora Gazette, Vol. 14, No. 14-19

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.

a close up shot of young grapes on the vine

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!!

A bottle of Knapp Gin, with frosted glass and a black label.

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.

The freshly lined main entrance to Glenora, marked with red and green flags on either side.

Thought for the week:  Thoughts-Words   (Which might explain some e-mails)

            "The pen is the tongue of the mind."

Time Posted: Jul 14, 2019 at 10:02 AM Permalink to The Glenora Gazette, Vol. 14, No. 14-19 Permalink
Gene Pierce
July 7, 2019 | Gene Pierce

The Glenora Gazette, Vol. 7, No. 7-19

We have a cool (temperature wise), with a partly cloudy sky, morning over the vineyards of Glenora and along the shores of Seneca. The temperature is 64 degrees with the wind coming from the north northwest at 6 miles per hour. Lake Temperatures: Keuka - 77 degrees; Seneca - 72.9 degrees. We are approaching the time of year when the wind and wind direction will cause the lake temperatures (surface temperatures) to fluctuate by as much as 3-5 degrees daily.

In the vineyards: For all intent and purposes, bloom is over and most of the flower caps have disappeared. In general, it appears that we have a good fruit set- meaning the individual berries on the clusters of grapes have pollinated and therefore will start to develop (into grapes). The vineyard team is on the lookout for downy mildew and potato leaf hoppers, next week it will be the grape berry month. They use several forecasting models which help tell us when certain diseases and insects will be a challenge. Using those models we can apply protective sprays accordingly. This is much different than what was done during the editor's early grape growing career when we would apply protective sprays every 7-14 days, just because (well, there was more logic than that but we did not have the forecasting models we do today).

Some Sparkling wine news (history) from Winemaker Steve: Steve recently went to our sparkling wine cave to catalog its contents. While it appears there may have been some visitors there over the years Steve notes that there are 19 different sparkling wines there which cover a 21 year period. He also notes that there may be more to be discovered.

It has been and is another wedding weekend at Glenora. There was a wedding and reception yesterday; we have a wedding breakfast this morning, and a wedding later this afternoon. The restaurant, kitchen, and inn teams do a great job of keeping things flowing (as well as the wines).

The summer super busy season starts next weekend as all three wineries will be at the Finger Lakes Wine Festival in Watkins Glen. The Festival is a one night (Friday), two-day event (Saturday and Sunday) during which thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, will be attending the festival. It is a great event for us. It takes a lot of coordination and organization to take part in this festival. There is the planning, staffing (at least 50 people will be staffing our booths), set up-take down, wine movements, permits, trucks. lunches, and more. It seems that to a degree, almost everyone is involved in one way or another. Fortunately for Team Glenora, the Wine Festival does not conflict with our July Jazz concert this year - that has happened in the past.

This coming week Production Manager Tracey M. will enter into the final phases of planning our 2019 harvest schedule as he determines the grape varieties that will be needed to maintain and increase our inventory without creating inventory excess or shortages. He will be looking at current inventories, sales projections, and also checking with our retail shop managers and regional managers to learn their needs. Once all of that is in place, there are the reports that will be coming in from the vineyards teams which will give us crop estimates. Once we have all of that information, we can then make our final harvest determinations - how many tons of each variety will be harvested. While it may seem early but by the end of this coming week, we will only be a month away from antiquated, infamous, NYS specific August 15th grape price posting date.

This coming Tuesday we, Glenora, Knapp, and Chateau will be taking part in the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance's Riesling Road Show as it travels to Buffalo. On Tuesday evening the participating wineries will be hosting a trade and consumer tasting which will feature Finger Lakes Wine Alliance members Rieslings. The event provides an great opportunity for Buffalo area wine shops, restaurants, and consumers to learn about and taste the unique characteristics of Finger Lakes Rieslings. These Rieslings are truly unique in that there is no place else in the world where Riesling grapes are grown along the shores of glacier-carved lakes, which provide a unique terroir and a growing environment - and it is our backyard!

Chef Orlando reports that our first Tapas Tuesday was very successful. The Veraisons team has added yet another option whereby you can now order two tapas and also get a bottle of limited supply wine-951 pesos ($50.00).

And a big thank you to the team members at Chateau, Knapp, Glenora and the Windmill who spent the 4thof July serving our guests-it is very much appreciated!!

Three types of bottles - one filled with red, one filled with white, and another made of blue glass - lined in a sales rack with the sun streaming through them.

Time Posted: Jul 7, 2019 at 7:26 AM Permalink to The Glenora Gazette, Vol. 7, No. 7-19 Permalink
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