Yesterday, I visited:
Hermann J. Wiemer purchased 140 acres on the west side of Seneca Lake (Finger Lakes, upstate NY) in 1973 and released his first vintage in 1979. He’s originally from Bernkastel, in the Mosel region of Germany and his family has a winemaking history of over 3oo years.
He’s considered one of the pioneers in this region and was one of the first to focus on planting vitis vinifera grapes – this is the species of all the wine grapes you’ve heard of before; Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc. Previously, most plantings in this area had been vitis labrusca – think concord grapes and Welch’s grape juice.
The cool climate and gravelly soils in the Finger Lakes reminded Wiemer of his family’s vineyards in the Mosel. His dedication to old-world style winemaking and the quality of the wines he’s produced have not gone unnoticed – just this past week was a great mention in the New York Times where Eric Asimov focused on Complex American Wine at an Easy Price to Pay. Click here to see what I sampled