News and Notes

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A server pours wine for a group in the tasting room.
© Charles Harrington

Our White and Red Flights are popular for comparing wines side by side and providing enough time and wine to contemplate the differences. Both Flights consist of varietals as well as blends, demonstrating the art of wine-making.

The Select Dry White Flight consists of the 2013 Chardonnay, 2014/15 Chardonnay, 2015 Riesling, and 2015 Grüner Veltliner. The methods we use to make our Chardonnay are similar from year to year, the primary difference being the growing seasons. In fact, the 2014/15 is a blend of 2014 and 2015 as we felt the sum of the two vintages was greater than the parts. It is particularly interesting to see exactly how different vintage years can be.

The wines on the Select Dry Red Flight are our 2013 Proprietor’s Reserve, 2014 Chambourcin, 2013 Pinot Noir, and 2017 Barrel-Select Maréchal Foch.

Our deck is better than ever!

Seated and standing guests enjoy wine and company on the deck, with Cayuga Lake in the background
A private tasting and tour. Time to relax on the deck.

All was pretty quiet on the home front last year—until nature paid us a surprise visit last mid-November. The previous several years had been quite mild and, lulled into complacency, we left the canopy up longer than usual. Alas, the steel and canvas structure that shaded our deck for 17 years could not withstand a foot of snow, rain, and wind.

Whoops.

Not to be defeated by nature we took the opportunity to build something bigger, more open and more welcoming!

Cork vs. Screw Top (Stelvin)

Is one better than the other?

Four wine bottle corks with the Frontenac Point WInery logotype
Example of a Stelvin top (a wine bottle screw top)

To give you a glimpse inside the Finger Lakes wine industry, the general consensus among larger wineries is that Stelvin is a superior closure for any wine—even the venerable reds that we are told to age for 5 to 10 years.
The reason is simply economics; cork-closed wines have an average 5% rate of going bad whereas Stelvin has a much, much lower rate of failure, which means fewer unlucky people who might complain or bring bottles back to be replaced.

And the reason you might still see those larger wineries use corks for their full-bodied red wines? The answer is again economics. The perception that these red wines need corks to allow for bottle-aging lingers on in consumers’ minds, and the screw top closure just doesn’t seem to inspire the people who are interested in buying such wines. So what about us here at Frontenac? Well Jim is a staunch old guard vintner who really likes his corks and so you will continue to see them here for the foreseeable future. The rest of us? The convenience of a screw top is just too nice to pass up so we have used Stelvin closures for some of our white wines.

Seneca White Deer

Two Seneca White Deer stand together, turning their heads toward the foreground.
© Dennis Money

After more than 70 years of isolation, a portion of the former Seneca Army Depot is open for visitors to see the world’s largest herd of white, white-tailed deer, learn their fascinating story, and see the intriguing remains of the U.S. Army’s former weapons storage facility.

A 90-minute, guided tour features not only the deer but also bald eagles, and other birds and mammals in their natural habitat. Rounding out the tour are a visit inside one of the earth-covered storage igloos (they are eerie) that once stockpiled all types of weapons, a trip through a personnel shelter, and hearing about the Depot’s military history.

The tours start at the Deer Haven Park Welcome Center on Route 96A, about 30 minutes north of Frontenac Point Vineyard & Estate Winery. This is another reason to visit the Finger Lakes; other areas of the world have wineries, but only the Finger Lakes in New York has the herd of White Deer!
Visit the Seneca White Deer website for reservations.

Jazz and Boots

Vineyard dogs Jazz and Boots resting on the Winery deck
Jazz (left) and Boots

We adopted our 13th and 14th vineyard dogs, Jazz and Boots, from Paws of Valor Animal Rescue in Tennessee in 2017. They were together for more than five years growing up in Detroit. Their story is amazing, as is their first owner who surrendered them because of a personal health issue but wanted them to stay together. Here they are enjoying life on the farm as they wait to go out to the vineyard.