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.

Christina Bowe
 
October 6, 2009 | Christina Bowe

Kitty Cats in the Catskills

By Christina Bowe, Wholesale Sales Manager

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure to travel to the Catskills to present wines to stores and restaurants in that area. The scenery was amazing and the leaves were beginning to change. Each winding road had scenery and the climb up and down the mountains was stunning with a little town nestled around each turn. Just when I thought we were beyond civilization, we happened upon the town of Catskill established in 1788.

Our first stop in this quaint little town was Bell’s Café, which I understand has been a long-standing establishment on Main Street, Catskill. While I was there, a woman and her young daughter came in to see what kind of changes had been made. She had frequented Bell’s when she was a girl and wanted her daughter to have the same experience.

The owners Yael and Keith were fantastic. The cuisine is Israel/American food. Unfortunately, it was a little early for lunch, but the smells coming out of the kitchen were incredible. The lunch menu appetizers consisted of duck ravioli with pesto sauce and roasted eggplant with tahini. Lunches also included interesting salads, paninis and burgers. The dinner fare was equally exciting with panko encrusted lamb and Moroccan-style spicy shrimp.

Yael and Keith are committed to local products and being creative with the bounty from the local harvest. Because of Heron Hill’s commitment to this style of living, we all had a lot to talk about and I hope I did not overstay my visit. They were currently carrying out Semi-Dry Riesling and have brought in the Unoaked Chardonnay and Vidal Blanc. Their wine list is very eclectic and Heron Hill is proud to be present.

Before entering Bell’s I noticed a row of colorful cats on pedestals lining the street of antique shops, boutiques and galleries. I asked Amber Dennis, my wholesale representative from Southern Wine and Spirits, what the meaning of all these beautiful cats that made me want to stop my day and spend the afternoon prowling about these imaginative kitties.

This years Quadricentennial Celebration of Henry Hudson’s discovery of the beautiful Delaware river; the Catskill Cats will be decorated in themes depicting the wonder of this great valley they call home. Sixty painted fiberglass felines will be sCATered along the historic Main Street in the Village of Catskill for this summer-long celebration.

On October 4th, all of the cats were auctioned to be adopted into permanent homes, something I wish I could have returned to do.
The rest of my visit was wonderful, exposing Finger Lakes wines to the area stores and restaurants. The Finger Lakes is a relatively unknown wine region in this area and I get sincere gratification when I see the simple smile on their faces and the nods of their heads indicating that “Yes, the Finger Lakes makes some exceptional wines.” 

Christina Bowe
 
August 4, 2009 | Christina Bowe

106th Annual National League of Postmasters Conference

By Christina Bowe, Wholesale Sales Manager

The summer is jam-packed with events, and the State is all “abuzz” about NY wines. Having joined Heron Hill over 15 years ago, you would be amazed that in the beginning many people did not know about Finger Lakes Wines, let alone that Heron Hill was right in their backyard. With all wineries working as a team to make New York State’s wines notable, that is no longer the case. On a daily basis there are great opportunities presented to me; it is deciding which ones to select.

Recently, I received a call from an organizer out of Buffalo, New York who was putting together an event for the 106th Annual National League of Postmasters Conference at the Adams Mark in downtown Buffalo. The theme of the event was all that NY had to offer. The diversity of the City and why Buffalo is a great place to visit. Heron Hill was exclusively selected as representing the NY wine industry.

The organizer, John Dubreville, Director of Sales for Hale Northeastern, had visited the winery and was taken back by the experience and the quality of Heron Hill Wines. His vision was to have the guests coming to the conference to experience it as well. The beauty of the winery and the excellent staff at the winery made it memorable for him and when this opportunity arose, he thought of Heron Hill.

The conference itself was unbelievable. I had the pleasure of being in attendance of the opening dinner on August 3rd. People from all over the country from Oregon to Maine attended with their families. Many of guests had the opportunity to travel North and South of the city and were amazed at the amount of vineyards along the highways. Many people from far away states have the misnomer that New York State is like New York City. Heron Hill was a BIG hit and many of them wanted to visit prior to going home. Unfortunately, the 2.5 hour drive from Buffalo did not fit their agenda.

There were four stations of food, Italian, Polish, Chinese, and, of course, ALL Buffalo with Beef on Wick and world famous Buffalo Chicken Wings. A Grammy-nominated Polka Band played throughout the evening at the Polish Bar, Italian singer at the Italian gondola and the first woman to go over Niagara Falls (and live) at the ALL Buffalo bar.

Christina Bowe
 
May 27, 2009 | Christina Bowe

Upcoming festivals and events

By Christina Bowe, Wholesale Sales Manager

With the warm weather comes the days of festivals and outside events for Heron Hill Winery. It’s amazing how many different venues and requests I get to taste and display our award-winning wines.

When thinking about my upcoming blog entry; I thought about some of the interesting adventures you might want to look for over the Summer.

By Water

Old Forge Lake Cruises, which sails out of Old Forge, NY will be kicking off their season on June 5th for their first wine and food pairing. Heron Hill will be on board to cruise the Fulton Chain of Lakes and give the history of the winery along with a wine and food pairing experience. Check out the website at www.oldforgecruises.com. This is going to be a unique adventure and should be loads of fun! We will be returning in the Fall for a foliage cruise.

 

The Mary Jemison which leaves out of the Cornhill Dock, in Rochester, NY cruises the canal with a local restaurant and winery on board for a scenic cruise with a food and wine pairing. This not-for-profit organization has another boat (The Sam Patch) that leaves out of Pittsford in Shoen Place. Schedules have not been made yet for 2009, but we’re hoping to be back on board this season.

By Rail

Adirondack Scenic Railroad kicked off their wine trains last year and has been a huge success. This nonprofit organization offers passengers an unlimited New York wine tasting, New York State cheeses and light refreshments as well as a complimentary Uncork NY wine glass. The Adirondack Scenic Railroad offers many different scenic excursions departing from Utica's beautifully restored Union Station, which is an impressive station in itself. Heron Hill wines can be purchased for an additional fee by the glass or share a bottle with your friends, while you sit back and view beautiful scenery while riding the rails. Last year’s events included a Blues Train that departed from the Thendara Station in Old Forge. Check out their website at www.adirondackrr.com.

By Car

The Rochester Public Market has been in operation since 1827, making it one of the oldest continuously operating farmers' markets in the nation. Heron Hill is proudly the first Finger Lakes winery to be displayed, tasted and sold at the market for the past 15 years. Over the years new wineries have come and gone, however, Heron Hill remains a constant on Saturdays from May 1st until the last weekend of the year. Come taste some wine or buy that special bottle for dinner that evening.

Sterling Renaissance Festival is always an exciting thing to do for the summer. It is conveniently located just to the left of the Gift Shoppe as you enter from the parking area. Each weekend the Festival's wine tasting booth will showcase 4 wineries, which means that over the course of the 2009 Festival season, you could sample great wines from 28 separate vineyards. You'll be able to purchase wine by the bottle.

Festivals

Over the Summer and the Fall there are many festivals which bring the New Wines together with New York products. These food and wine festivals are a fantastic way to support your local farmers, wineries and food purveyors. Check for any local events, and check them out, they can be a lot of fun! I am still looking for the event aboard a private jet or a cruise in the Caribbean, but haven’t been contacted yet.

To be kept up-to-date on Heron Hill’s upcoming events, sign up to be our friend on Facebook (which is updated regularly) or check out our webpage at www.heronhill.com. Have a great Summer and I hope to see you on the road…..
 

Christina Bowe
 
March 18, 2009 | Christina Bowe

On the road and miles to go before I sleep

By Christina Bowe, Wholesale Sales Manager

One of my favorite poets since I was in high school was Robert Frost, and my favorite poem was “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”. Little did I know at that time, my career would take me to my favorite verse.

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP, And MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP.”

My life with Heron Hill began many years ago, more than I want to admit too. I never realized how huge NY State really is and how beautiful and diverse it was until 2006, when I began my current position as Wholesale Sales Manager, (aka, road warrior) representing the Heron Hill throughout the State.

When I first began in the early 1990’s, you would be astonished at how many people I came in contact with, that did not know where the Finger Lakes were let alone that it was producing amazing wine.

Times have changed in the past few years. The Finger Lakes wine region now has over 11,000 acres of wine growing grape and is the largest wine region in NY State. The wines coming out of the region are of excellent quality and receiving accolades from all over the world. People are actually seeking this excellent wine, which has made my job easier.

Recently, the sustainable living has become a conscious way of life, and with our owners John and Josephine Ingle’s life-long commitment to sustainable farming, paired with Thomas Laszlo’s superb cool-climate winemaking skills; this has made our Ingle Vineyard Series a sought after product. In these economic times, “buying local and eating local” is a slogan of many customers as well as consumers. More and more restaurants are popping up throughout the State creating sustainable local economies with a strong connection between farm and table.

As I travel this beautiful State representing one of the premier wineries in the Finger Lakes Region, I am thankful for the beauty of our State, the commitment Heron Hill has for quality, and the wonderful customers I meet in every corner from Jamestown to Lake Placid.

Blog Archives
Our Writers