D’Amato & Szabo: Wine Thieves – Episode 33: Finger Lakes Riesling

FLX Riesling

The Wine Thieves’ weakness for riesling compels them to tarry a little longer in the Finger Lakes region of New York (FLX). Riesling has become a signature grape of FLX, home to 85% of all the riesling planted in New York State. Here it delivers electric, laser-sharp wines the way we like them, bone-dry to sweet, from steep, lakeside slopes on gravelly, shaley, and loamy soils. In this episode, the Thieves get to the bottom of why riesling grows so well here, explore the divergent styles, discuss diversity vs. commonality of wines, and audaciously ask winemakers whether they think riesling should be the only grape variety planted in the Finger Lakes. You may be surprised by their answers!
John and Sara welcome four FLX riesling rangers who showcase the camaraderie and bonhomie they’ve come to expect from New York winemakers: Rick Rainey of Forge Cellars, who focuses on vineyard-designated, bone-dry rieslings with a less-is-more winemaking approach, Oskar Bynke of the biodynamic Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard with a legacy that dates back to the ’60s and the earliest days of vinifera plantings, Peter Bell of Fox Run, a Toronto-born terroir skeptic yet riesling fanatic, whose 1984 plantings are located on the east-facing slopes of Seneca Lake, and Bruce Murray of Boundary Breaks on Seneca, who doesn’t discriminate when it comes to styles of riesling and has time for them all. Lastly, and importantly, learn why the sight of Canadians on bicycles  is one of the most dreaded in all of New York wine country. You won’t want to miss this very entertaining episode of Wine Thieves!