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.

Mark Patterson
 
October 27, 2014 | Mark Patterson

Our House...Is A Very, Very, Very Fine House.

A very fine place...to pick some, fine estate-grown Riesling from the vineyards overlooking beautiful Keuka Lake.
This past week saw everything shift into Hi gear, with the Vineyard in front of the winery being picked.  First up was a small crop from our oldest Block with some amazing, raw floral and fruit notes, and a little bit of minerality even at this early stage.  There was a little bit of 'good' Botrytis cinerea in the mix, which should manifest itself in some apricot notes post-fermentation.
The next day we picked the rest of the Vineyard, which mainly consists of some younger Riesling vines.  Crisp acidity.  Lovely fruit flavours. And, as an added bonus, yields were higher than we anticipated.  Don made the call early in the Winter to leave a few extra buds on the canes prior to pruning to compensate for the Polar Vortex that had already been gripping the Northeast and it paid off with a bit more fruit then expected.  Bonus.
Saturday saw the arrival of the first of the Bordeauxs.  We accepted delivery of some nice, handpicked Merlot which now rests comfortably in a tank and several bins for fermentation.  We looked to be picking our own Cabs form Ingle Vineyard early next week as the jump to Lightspeed continues.

Time Posted: Oct 27, 2014 at 3:00 PM
Mark Patterson
 
October 20, 2014 | Mark Patterson

Simply The Best!

We were honored to host our Harvest Sweepstakes Winners this past week.  Chad and Jen from Portland, Maine had the pleasure of helping pick and process the first lot of Ingle Vineyard Riesling this year, as well as enjoying lunch with John and a Library Tasting with Bernard later on.  Congratulations, Chad and Jen!
We're well into it now, with Riesling coming in from 3 different lakes in the past few days, and looking very nice.  We should be getting more Ingle Vineyard fruit in the coming days, although a glance at this week's weather forecast is not very promising.  The vineyard at Heron Hill will likely be on hold until early next week, with the Reds coming in in short order afterward. 

Finger Lakes vineyard lunch at Heron Hill Sweepstakes Harvest at Ingle Vineyard Heron Hill winemakers with sweepstakes winners

Time Posted: Oct 20, 2014 at 5:00 PM
Mark Patterson
 
October 13, 2014 | Mark Patterson

Once. Twice. Three Times A Lady!

But I'm not sure I love you when you show up 3 hours late with the first load.
Today was already expected to be a pretty busy day, with 3 loads of Chardonnay from the eastside of Seneca Lake expected to arrive starting at 10am.  Equipment issues at the Grower's end lead to a delay in arrival, with the 1st truck finally showing up at just after 1pm, so 3 hours later than planned.  Oh well, these things happen during Crush, and you just have to roll with it. 

We were pleasantly surprised to find out that we were receiving more grapes than we had requested, which will definitely help alleviate some future supply issues down the line. The Chardonnay graped came in at normal Brix levels for Cool Climate Chardonnay, although the berries were a bit smallish.  We should see some good results from theses grapes next Summer when we begin to release 2014 white wines.
The delay allowed us time to catch up on a few other things around the Winery and in the vineyards, with some housekeeping, tank cleaning, mowing, paperwork and miscellaneous other duties all being done while we waited the arrival of the grapes, so the time was not wasted.  On the slate for tomorrow -- pressing of the Ingle Vineyard Pinot Noir.  Time to put that Baby to bed!

Time Posted: Oct 13, 2014 at 7:30 PM
Mark Patterson
 
October 10, 2014 | Mark Patterson

I Washed My Hands In Muddy Waters!

Well, it wasn't really mud.  And I'm not sure that water is an apt descriptor either, but there was likely SOME water amongst all the other detritus I pulled out of the screens leading to the drains.  Ah, the glamour and romance of harvest life!
Anyway, the Chardonnay from Ingle Vineyard started coming in today. A very acceptable 21.5 to 22 degres Brix with pH's in the 3.2-3.3 range, and some fabulous flavours and aromas -- lemon, melon, a bit of green apple and some grass.  Should make a couple of excellent single vineyard wines, or possible a Reserve wine, in the coming months and years.  Once again, tonnage is an issue.  The vines on the west side of Canandaigua Lake didn't necessarily like last winter too much.  Last year was also a bumper crop from these vines, and yields tend to be cyclical -- abundant one year, not as much the next.  The weather conditions the previous year during the period when these vines were setting buds for this year also plays a part.  
The last few days saw us moving a lot of juice off lees in the Cellar to prepare them for fermentation.  We also spent quite a bit of time inoculating some juices that were ready to go and managing some fermentations that were already started.  The Ingle Vineyard Pinot Noir is pretty much done fermenting and is undergoing a bit of a longer maceration to extract some extra flavour and aromas.  Wonderful berry fruit and rose petals or aromas of violets are coming through on the nose.  We will likely press it out early next week.

Time Posted: Oct 10, 2014 at 6:30 PM
Blog Archives
Our Writers