D’Amato & Szabo: Wine Thieves – Episode 30: Finger Lakes, New York

Episode 30

The Wine Thieves continue their journey through New York, venturing into the best known wine region of the 4th largest wine producing state in the USA, the Finger Lakes AVA. Encompassing 11 slender, glacially carved, finger-like lakes running roughly north-south, this diverse region may be best known for its riesling, but John and Sara discover just how many more grape varieties are actually planted. From widely-praised cabernet franc, to delicate pinot noir,  stony chardonnay, plus grüner veltliner, blaufränkisch, saperavi, rkatsitelli and many more,  Finger Lakes vintners have not finished experimenting just yet. We’ll turn back time to the earliest days of vinifera plantings in New York State by stubborn visionaries Dr. Konstantin Frank and Hermann Wiemer, delve into the importance of site specificity, as keen here or even more so than anywhere else on planet wine, and open the discussion of hybrids (and native American vines) and their sustainable merits, among other enlightening subjects.
The Thieves welcome a round table  of special guests: Kelby Russel of Red Newt, Meaghan Frank of Dr. Konstantin Frank Wines, Dave Breeden of Sheldrake Point and John Wagner of Wagner Vineyards to help navigate the waters of the surprisingly vast Finger Lakes AVA (1 million acres!) and its sub-AVAs, Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. The Loire, Alsace, Mosel and Burgundy are all referenced in attempt to contextualize Finger Lakes wine styles. Sara and John also tap into some historical similarities to the neighbouring Niagara wine region of Ontario. You won’t want to miss this week’s acid-driven episode of Wine Thieves!