Uncork the Forks: 6 reasons for North Forkers to visit the Finger Lakes

I’m working on several stories after my recent trip to the Finger Lakes — but in the meantime, I wanted to share my latest column for the Suffolk Times, which can be found online on northforker.com Over the past several years, my family has fallen head-over-heels in love with the Finger Lakes region of central New York. It’s a stunningly beautiful part of the country that offers spectacular sunrises and sunsets, fishing, boating, wine tasting, great food and farmer’s markets, a relaxed pace and plenty of relaxation. In some ways, it’s a lot like the North Fork — except it’s…

New York #Tastemaker: Peter Becraft | Anthony Road Wine Company

“Tastemaker” is a term typically used to describe a person — either a sommelier or writer in the wine world — who decides what is good, cool or otherwise interesting. With our new #NYTastemaker profiles, I’ve decided to usurp the term to mean someone who actually makes the wines, ciders, spirits, etc. that we love. A “tastemaker” should make something, after all. Over the course of my nearly 12 years writing about wine, I’ve only had a few hands-on grape harvest experiences. One of the most memorable (and immersive) was with Johannes Reindhardt and Peter Becraft at Anthony Road Wine Company several years…

Orange Wines in the Finger Lakes: What Was Old is New Again

Across the Finger Lakes, creative winemakers like August Deimel, Katey Larwood, Steve Shaw, Peter Becraft, Vinny Aliperti and others are employing traditional techniques with well-known grape varieties to produce innovative, new wines. Frequently referred to as “orange” or “amber,” these new wines are challenging establish perceptions of mainstay wines made from varieties such as chardonnay, gewurztraminer, vignoles and even riesling — the iconic grape of the region. What the wines have in common is that they are white wines that utilize extended skin contact during maceration and subsequent fermentation. This approach represents a major deviation from winemaking practices commonly employed…

Thoughts on the Finger Lakes’ Sh!##iest Vintage Ever

“No reserve wines in 2009 due to shittiest vintage ever.” It was one of the greatest tweets I’ve ever read, because it came from a winery employee. The tweet is long since deleted, but that is close to a word-for-word recollection. How could I forget it? I admired it instantly. Wine and food writers are often sifting through spin, and this was unvarnished. That was the summer that wasn’t, as my wife calls it. Almost never sniffed 90 degrees, and spent most of July in the low-to-mid 70s. Ripening was slow, and when frost came in October, it was, for…