Heron HillBlog

Meet our bloggers and find out what's going on at Heron Hill Winery and our other two tasting rooms on Seneca and Canandaigua Lakes! Staff members are writing about the vineyards, what's happening in the cellar, fun events, wine pairings, new releases and more.

Tambi Schweizer
 
November 11, 2016 | Tambi Schweizer

Keuka Holidays Recipe

This year the Keuka Lake Wine Trail's Keuka Holidays event weekends both sold out by early. We are very thankful that so many people have chosen to celebrate the beginning of their holiday season by visiting our wineries. Once again, the ornament you receive at Heron Hill Winery was made by a local craftsperson. I'm also very excited to share the Mushroom Burgundy Soup recipe below from Blue Heron Cafe because it's so easy and so flavorful! 
 

Keuka Holidays wreathINGREDIENTS:
6 cups of milk
3 cups chopped button mushrooms
1⁄2 diced red onion
1⁄2 bunch of diced green onions
1⁄2 cup chicken stock
1⁄2 cup of Eclipse Red
2 tablespoons of garlic
2 tsp of sage Day-old bread (any type)
1 cup Asiago cheese

TO PREPARE:
In a medium-hot pan with olive oil, sauté the garlic until almost soft then add in the red and green onion. Sweat the onions then add in the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms are tender add in the Eclipse Red wine to deglaze. Once the red wine reduces add in the chicken stock and cook for about 5-6 minutes and add milk, leaving on low simmering for about 20 minutes. Add in the sage, salt and pepper to your liking. Once the soup thickens turn off and wait about 10 minutes before serving to cool down the soup. Once cooled top with home style croutons.
TO MAKE HOMESTYLE CROUTONS:
Cut bread into small cubes and toast. Once toasted, toss in olive oil and toss with salt & pepper and top with shredded Asiago cheese.

Time Posted: Nov 11, 2016 at 11:31 AM
Aimee Coates
 
November 7, 2016 | Aimee Coates

Muscat Holiday Recipes

Heron Hill's Classic Muscat is made with Valvin Muscat, a cross of Muscat Ottonel and Melon Muscat. It's very aromatic and slightly sweet with tropical fruit flavors. The current sale price on this wine makes it a great value for holiday entertaining. Here are two holiday recipes utilizing this wine.

Print recipe cards >

Easy Wine Brine for Turkey

1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 quart vegetable stock
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 bottle Heron Hill Muscat

Heat vegetable stock with brown sugar and salt until completely dissolved. Transfer to a shallow pan and chill for 10 minutes.
Mix all remaining ingredients in a very large stock pot or plastic bin (that will fit in your fridge). Place your turkey in the brine and submerge completely. Cover tightly and keep refrigerated for 48 hours, turning once every 12 hours. Remove turkey from brine and roast as you normally would. Discard any leftover brine.

Sweet & Spicy Ham Glaze

2 cups Heron Hill Muscat (this leaves enough for the cook to enjoy while making dinner)
1 pound of dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon of creole spice mix (such as Tony Chachere’s)
½ cup spicy brown mustard
Juice from one can of pineapple rings
Mix in a saucepan and heat on low stirring it every few minutes.

I use a spiral sliced ham to make carving easier but if you like big, rustic slices buy a ham that has not been pre-sliced.
Place pineapple rings on surface of your fully cooked ham and put a maraschino cherry in the center of each securing with a toothpick.
Pour glaze over entire ham and bake (covered) for 3 hours at 300 degrees.
Remove cover (foil or pan lid) and baste with glaze in the pan. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for an additional 25-30 minutes to brown nicely.

Time Posted: Nov 7, 2016 at 9:08 AM
Tambi Schweizer
 
October 21, 2016 | Tambi Schweizer

We're a dog friendly winery

Did you know? More than a third of Americans own a dog, and many of them like to take their furry companions everywhere, especially when they come to the Finger Lakes on vacation and are coming to places like wineries and restaurants. Well, guess what? We at Heron Hill Winery are very dog friendly!

We offer many doggie treats for sale for your pooch at the winery and love to have them come into the winery as it offers a fun distraction for the staff. For our dog treats, Kiley’s Canine treats, locally sourced from here in the Finger Lakes region offers all-natural gourmet (non-alcoholic) bone-shaped dog biscuits. Don’t think we left out the kitties as well, since they are equally as important, we sell kitty treats for them too!

At the Blue Heron Café on Keuka we love to have the pooches and their owners come dine with us. We have different size water bowls for all size dogs to borrow as they lounge on the patio. We realize that by offering dog owners a place to eat with their pet, we can benefit both you as the consumer and the winery too by having a place to relax with your dog!

In addition to being a dog-friendly location, we work with 2 local animal shelters here in the Finger Lakes region with a couple donation boxes on our front counter. You would be amazed by the amount of money we collect here at the winery during our busy season. The dog shelters have both collected thousands of dollars from us over the past year. We love to support all the animals at the local shelter. Don’t forget to drop your leftover change in the boxes after buying your wine when you stop by with your pooch.

Here are some of the labs that help around the vineyard and winery:

 

Time Posted: Oct 21, 2016 at 1:00 PM
Erin Rafalowski
 
August 29, 2016 | Erin Rafalowski

13 Wines Win 13 Medals

Heron Hill Double Gold Red Blend Double Gold Winning White Wines
 

Heron Hill Winery submitted thirteen wines in the 2016 New York Wine & Food Classic, and we were proudly awarded thirteen medals!

Double Gold:
Ingle Vineyard The Chosen Spot red blend 2013
Ingle Vineyard Riesling 2014 (SOLD OUT)
Reserve Pinot Blanc 2015, Morris Vineyard

 

Gold:
Classic Semi-Sweet Riesling 2014


Silver: 
Ingle Vineyard Unoaked Chardonnay 2014
Classic Dry Riesling 2014
Classic Semi-Dry Riesling 2014
Classic Pinot Noir 2013 (SOLD OUT)
Classic Cabernet Franc 2013
Reserve Chardonnay Unoaked 2013 (not yet released)

Bronze:
Ingle Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2013
Save the White Deer blend

 


 

Time Posted: Aug 29, 2016 at 10:44 AM
Barry Tortolon
 
June 17, 2016 | Barry Tortolon

Here Comes Summer and 2015 New Wine Releases

As we approach Father’s Day and the first day of summer, we at Heron Hill are putting our first wines of the 2015 vintage into the bottle along with some others wines as well. So far, I'm very pleased with the 2015 whites.  From last vintage we have the Save the White Deer wine that is a blend of Riesling and Chardonnay mostly from Ingle Vineyard. Reserve Pinot Blanc 2015 has made it into the line-up after being sold out for 6 months. It is a dry, elegant wine sourced from Morris Vineyards on the west side of Seneca Lake.  The 2014 Ingle Vineyard Riesling has also been released. Although fairly dry, it can be both enjoyed on its own or definitely with food. Classic Chardonnay 2015 is now in the bottling room awaiting last minute tweaks and will be bottles next week.  We are also preparing to bottle the 2014 Eclipse Red…all year we’re celebrating 25 years of this signature Heron Hill red blend and we are looking forward to the celebration party this summer on August 25!

Time Posted: Jun 17, 2016 at 10:02 AM
Erin Rafalowski
 
May 27, 2016 | Erin Rafalowski

Blaufränkisch Takes Root at Ingle Vineyard

John Ingle selected a slope near where he planted Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot over 15 years ago to clear a site for planting Blaufränkisch (also known as Lemberger). What looks like barely a nub peaking out, is supported by a much larger root system buried in the soil, and should produce grapes in 3-4 years.  It’s important to keep the new planting covered with dirt as much as possible to hold the moisture.

Heron Hill’s history with Blaufränkisch goes back to 2007 when the winemaker at the time, Thomas Laszlo who had live in Hungary, had a fondness for the variety. Since that time Blaufränkisch has developed a following among Heron Hill’s returning visitors and Heron Hill only produces the wine select years bottling it under the Reserve label.  Stay tuned for updates on the progress of this new site!

vineyard sites at Ingle Vineyard Ingle Vineyard soilnew vineyard site spring buds on vines

“Buds is the word!” exclaimed John Ingle this week. 

Other lots at Ingle Vineyard look good for this point in the year – we’re counting strong numbers of 40+ healthy, lively buds per vine across Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. Interestingly, the vines at Ingle Vineyard are a bit further along with larger buds than the Heron Hill Keuka Lake estate vineyards.

Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon at Ingle Vineyard have experienced much damage after the past three harsh winters. However, we’re seeing more Pinot Noir buds already this year than the last three year total. Although it’s early in the season and even the smallest things such as wasps can have an impact on harvest, John Ingle is hopeful that we’ll see an increase in Pinot Noir yields this year at Ingle Vineyard

Time Posted: May 27, 2016 at 12:46 PM
Erin Rafalowski
 
March 28, 2016 | Erin Rafalowski

Rave Reviews for Heron Hill Rieslings

As we happily hit spring in the Finger Lakes, Heron Hill is pleased to continue the tradition of making world-class Rieslings. Since the beginning of 2016, we've received some excellent score in top wine publications and wine competitions.  Each year Heron Hill’s winemaker makes a full range of Rieslings from dry, single-vineyard wines to sweet, ethereal dessert wine.  What most excites Heron Hill’s owners & staff is when we meet people who have found a favorite style of Heron Hill Riesling and that wine has become their go-to Riesling to pair with certain foods or for particular occasions. Scores and medals still have meaning and we certainly appreciate judges & wine reviewers that have made tasting wine a life's passion. It will always be about people just enjoying our wine and choosing to share Heron Hill wines with their friends & family!

  • 91 points Ingle Vineyard Riesling 2012, Wine Enthusiast
  • 90 points 'Best Buy' Classic Dry Riesling 2013, Wine Enthusiast
  • Best of Class 'New York' Classic Semi-Dry Riesling 2013, Grand Harvest Awards*
  • Double Gold, Classic Semi-Sweet Riesling 2014, Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

Grand Harvest Awards Best AVA Top scoring Rieslings

*At the Grand Harvest Awards, judges taste wines with other wines of the same appellation. Established in 1990, it is the only wine-judging event in North America that is based on Terroir

Time Posted: Mar 28, 2016 at 10:27 AM
Nicolette DeAngelis
 
January 4, 2016 | Nicolette DeAngelis

2016 Wedding Season

What a glorious 2015 season…and now I look forward to what 2016 will bring! I want to take this opportunity to introduce Nicolette DeAngelismyself. My name is Nicolette DeAngelis and I am the new Wedding & Events Coordinator for Heron Hill Winery. I have been a part of the Heron Hill team for nearly two years. I began working behind the tasting bar and interning while I finished my Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Mansfield University. Upon graduating this past May, I spent some time on the road working in wholesale selling Heron Hill wines. I transitioned to assisting with events in mid-July under the mentorship of the previous event coordinator, Elke Schmitt. I am so excited for this wonderful opportunity and to bring couples’ visions to life at this breathtaking venue in the Finger Lakes.

Here are some of my favorite wedding details from the past season:

The First Look
     One of my favorite aspects of weddings is the star-struck reactions couples exchange when they see each other for the first time on their special day. It is an overwhelming moment and absolutely irreplaceable. The “First Look” is when couples actually see each other before the ceremony and specifically take time to photograph this special moment. It makes the moment more intimate and allows for crisp and precise pictures, then the couple uses less of their time during the reception for picture taking.

lighting on the lawn Heron HillLighting on the Lawn
     The Heron Hill lawn adjacent to the main event tent is a stunning aspect of the venue with its lush colors and dangling greenery. Some couples this past season brought in extra bistro lighting and tables for the lawn so it could be utilized after dark. It brings a romantic feel to the area and is the cherry on top of an already beautiful outdoor landscape.

“Pick a seat, not a side”
     Typically, seating for a ceremony is split between the “Bride’s side” and the “Groom’s side.” Some couples chose to have everybody blend together and veer away from labeled seating. This brought a special synergy to ceremonies as well as avoided the confusion of guests figuring out on what side to sit. 

There are a few aspects of my job that make me love it so much. My absolute favorite part is the relationship I gain with couples. In order to envision exactly what they want their wedding day to be, I get the opportunity to get to know who they are and what is important to them. Every couple is dramatically different and that is my second favorite part of this job. The event tent has different ambiance every single weekend. It keeps me intrigued and challenged to execute unique weddings every week. My third favorite part of the job is seeing the connection that happens at weddings. There is nothing quite like seeing the love in couples’ eyes throughout the evening…a tearing up during a father-daughter dance, or a maid-of-honor gushing over how much love she has for the couple. It is an event where everybody sees the bigger picture about how important it is to love those close to us, which can be overlooked in the day-to-day shuffle.

Overall, I have such a passion for this job and creating memorable experiences is my number one priority. I am ecstatic to see what 2016 brings...there are sure to be many beautiful weddings and exciting new experiences!

Time Posted: Jan 4, 2016 at 8:47 AM
John Ingle
 
November 24, 2015 | John Ingle

Thanksgiving at the Ingle home

Thanksgiving at the Ingle home is a perfect opportunity to share the Ingle Vineyard lifestyle with family and friends. Being an avid gardener as well as a grape grower, Thanksgiving is all about homegrown. The festivities begin with Ingle Vineyard Chardonnay unoaked, our favorite wine! Crisp and refreshing with complex flavors of apple and lemon, it satisfies the palate. As we move into the dinner mode our thoughts turn to turkey and a versatile red such as the just released Ingle Vineyard Merlot Reserve 2013. A bright and juicy wine with medium body and a silky mouthfeel that will nicely complement the assorted organic homegrown delicacies such as sweet peas, mashed potatoes, whipped sweet potatoes (yes, all from our Finger Lakes garden) and stuffing made with our carrots, celery, herbs and raisins. Traditional and time-tested flavors. For dessert we look forward to our organic apple cider pie paired with a delicious Ingle Vineyard Icewine 2010. This is a luscious wine that has an intriguing aroma of glycerine followed by creamy sweet flavors of quince and pear – nice foil for the pie.

John Ingle with produce from his garden Heron Hill Reserve Merlot for Thansgiving

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because it’s all about family, sharing, counting our blessings and enjoying our home. All recommended wines are available at our three tasting rooms and online at heronhill.com. Enjoy!

Heron Hill Winery, Heron Hill Tasting Room at Bristol, and Heron Hill Tasting Room on Seneca Lake are closed on Thanksgiving Day, however please join us for Small Business Saturday. Visit any one of our three locations on November 28th for storewide wine discounts and holiday cheer.

Time Posted: Nov 24, 2015 at 9:00 AM
John Ingle
 
October 15, 2015 | John Ingle

Harvest 2015 plods along in the Finger Lakes.

The harvest season plods along, day-to-day, vineyard-to-vineyard, weather report to report -- it’s hurry up then wait. This convoluted vintage of freezing winter, wet summer, hot September and now cooperative October weather has brought in some beautiful grapes. The scant harvest (1.2 tons) of Pinot Noir brought exciting brix (sugar) levels and great jammy flavors.  The Chardonnay, again a scant quantity (8.5 tons) was declared "perfect" by winemaker Barry Tortolon.  Now we are into the Riesling. Finally good quantities to go with exceptional quality. The 7.5 inches of rain we had in June helped to develop Botrytis (the "noble rot"). We hope this block of Riesling brings a very interesting dessert wine. Next will be Merlot, then Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, late harvest and icewine.

 

Barry Tortolon winemaker with chardonnay harvest time at Ingle Vineyard Riesling bunches from harvest 2015 Heron Hill
Winemaker Barry Tortolon inspecting Chardonnay from Ingle Vineyard; checking Brix in the early morning; clean & ripe Riesling from Keuka Lake.

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Time Posted: Oct 15, 2015 at 7:04 AM
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