The vineyard is located in the Finger Lakes “banana belt” region, just a quarter mile from the eastern shore of Seneca Lake on a 28-acre parcel. At 700 feet elevation, it gently slopes with Conesus loam soils. Importantly, the vineyard faces water and is open to accept the prevailing winds across Seneca Lake, which maintain a microclimate of regulating temperatures due to it’s deep waters that seldom freeze.
Bud break typically begins in May, with growth sometimes lasting until mid-November. The long time the grapes hang on the vine allows for fruit that develops complex, concentrated flavors.
The original planting started in 1998, which comprised of 8 acres that were hand grafted from California scion and rootstock material developed by the owner. Special attention was given to clone types that would produce great old style wines and small berry cluster for better air flow to lessen the probability of mildews and fungus in the colder wet climate of New York which impacts wine quality. It is believed that small berry size contributes to more skin surface area, which results in better tannin and color extraction and is evident in the wines produced.
Crop levels are managed and thinned to 1.5 2 tons per acre and leaves are pulled in the fruit zone to allow sun and air flow to aid in ripening, concentrating energy into the fruit that is developing. This also helps to ensure consistency and lower pH in the event of an early killing frost. Lower pH leaves more margin to work with higher acids which is the result of fruit not fully matured.