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.

John Ingle
July 15, 2009 | John Ingle

We are one of the "most spectacular tasting rooms in the world"!

There’s some big news here at Heron Hill Winery. We are thrilled to be named as one of the 10 Most Spectacular Tasting Rooms in the World by Travel + Leisure Magazine! Only two were listed in the US: Heron Hill and Opus One in CA. This is a feather in the cap of the Finger Lakes region and an honor for all of us at the winery. I called the architect and builder and congratulated them on the big news this morning, Charles Warren of NYC was the architect and Chrisanntha Construction Coorporation was the contractor. Cheers to you both!

A big part of our vision for Heron Hill Winery is sunshine, music and being able to enjoy a glass of wine on the terrace. The sunshine we’re working on, the glass of wine we’ve got nailed and the music – that is a key ingredient to any and all Ingle activities. There is a lot going on with Heron Hill and music this summer. There's free, live music every Saturday for Tunes on the Terrace from 12:30 - 4:30. Some greats are playing like PJ Elliott, Brett Beardslee and Bill Brown.

Jo and I have both loved music all our lives, Jo is from Motown, need I say more? I love all kinds of music and have followed “Wilmer and the Dukes”, Rochester’s #1 soul music band through high school and college. We met at the University of Denver when we were youngsters and when I found out that Jo had heard of the Dukes, I knew I had found someone special.

In the past several years the winery has sponsored the Doobie Brothers, Susan Tedeschi, Bob Weir, The Rochester Jazz Festival, Rochester Summerfest and many other music extravaganzas. This year we’re proud to sponsor the music and entertainment tent at the 1st Finger Lakes Riesling Festival in Canandaigua this August 15th and 16th. Some of the bands that will be playing are Shama Lama, Blues Family Show Band, Wild Nik West, Campbell Brothers and Nik and the Nice Guys. We are also sponsoring the RPO ROCks beer and wine tasting event with the The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra this July 24th and 25th in Rochester, NY. The RPO is going to be playing Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, my kind of music!

The highlight of every summer though, is relaxing in the afternoon sitting on the terrace in the sunshine, enjoying a glass of crisp, zestful Riesling and savoring the sounds of one of our great local bands. Be it rock, blues, country or jazz, it soothes the soul and puts a smile on your face. Take some time to visit our “spectacular tasting room” to taste some of our wines and enjoy our local musicians. It’s the simple things in life that please the most and I’ve found one or is that three or four?

Tambi Schweizer
July 9, 2009 | Tambi Schweizer

I've been painting for a month straight!

By Tambi Schweizer, Tasting Hall Manager

WOW…we have been very... busy... busy... busy... here at the winery. We have had a record number of guests here at the facility, I’m so glad that I am finally able to stay at the tasting bar. I love meeting and talking to all the unique people that I get to meet. Just this past week I met a great couple from Pennsylvania; we ended up having so much in common, while talking wine we had a great conversation about all the similar concerts that we had been to in the past few months! (The Grateful Dead Reunion tour, Jimmy Buffet etc…!) It blew my mind how many similar places we had been to. I guess you ever know….!!!

At the winery we have three large pieces of artwork on display that I have produced over the past few months for local benefits. The first piece that is up for auction on Sunday July 12th is the Yates County ARC “Chair-ish Keuka Lake” Adirondack Chair Gala Auction. I donated my artistic talent and time to create a piece to benefit the Yates county A.R.C. (not-for-profit agency with a commitment to provide services to persons with developmental disabilities.) My inspiration for the chair “Hosta”, came from all the plants that grow in abundance in my backyard. They were just coming up in my backyard as I set out all my painting supplies getting ready to paint the chair. So for all you Hosta lovers don’t forget the auction event, wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres on July 12th.

The second large piece of artwork that I finished was my palette for the “Palettes of Keuka”. Heron Hill has sponsored the creation of my painting on a large "Artist's Palette". These palettes will then be displayed outdoors at the winery throughout the summer months from now until August 29th. A map is available that shows where each palette is displayed. The event will close with an auction in Hammondsport. They will all be auctioned off to the highest bidders and proceeds as well as other funds generated by this event will be used to support the arts in and around the area. My palette is actually a double side painting! The first side has two large sunflowers in close-up detail. The second side has sort of a white/light purple fantasy flower with a dark green and black background, finished with a cool splatter detail…very trendy! The auction will be held on the square in Hammondsport on the 29th of August! Be sure to be there to support the local arts in the community.

The third piece of artwork that I just finished was the “Painted Barrel” for Finger Lakes Wine Country. If you like under water scenes you are going to love my barrel, titled, “Underwater Fantasy”. I have incorporated many fantasy fish, with a giant squid which is my favorite animal on the barrel. The barrel would look great in an underwater themed children’s room or playroom. The painted barrels are for an online auction that Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism & Marketing Association is proudly holding from July 3 - October 11, 2009. This regional art exhibit will take place throughout the Finger Lakes and feature painted barrels on display at over 30 wineries and area attractions. All of the barrels will be painted by Finger Lakes artists and showcasing the beauty of the Finger Lakes. Visitors to the Finger Lakes during the exhibit will be able tour the region and stop at the wineries and attractions featuring the painted barrels. There is no cost to view the barrels on display at each venue during regular operating hours. Each painted barrel is available for purchase through a silent auction on their website. Minimum bids start at $100 per barrel; the auction has begun now and will continue until October 11, 2009 at 5:00 PM EST. The proceeds of each barrel are equally divided between the local artists and Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association.

Finally for all the “Techie” gadget folks out there… I have tried a great new product that we carry in the gift shop, the “Vinoglobe”! The best thing about the “Vinoglobe” is the ability to prevent drips from happening when you are pouring wine. I tried the Vinoglobe with our newest release of the 2005 Eclipse Red wine since it is a wine that when first poured is very closed up and has an immense oak aroma. The new 2005 release is very full-bodied and needs some aeration to really be able to taste the great fullness of the wine. The “Vinoglobe” really helped with the aeration of the wine, they are available at our gift shop for $14.99. It is a cool self attached decanter that seems to work very well with full-bodied dry reds that seem to be a little closed up upon opening. It even pours quickly so that is a great bonus for when you are very thirsty, as I occasionally am after a long day at the winery; I need that glass of wine at 5:00!

Stop by the tasting bar, visit, chat and support all my local artwork that is going to be auctioned off to help benefit the Finger Lakes. Be sure to pass this blog onto all your art and wine friends!

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