Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling 2014
About the Region
The second-largest wine-producing state in America, after California (way after California, with an annual output of around 27 million gallons, compared with California's 635 million), New York is also the site of the country's first bonded winery (Pleasant Valley Wine Company in Hammondsport, in the Finger Lakes) and its oldest continuously operated one, Brotherhood Winery in the Hudson Valley, which has been in business for almost 350 years. Though there are other noteworthy wineries in the Hudson Valley, for most of the 20th century, the Finger Lakes region, in the west-central part of the state, was New York's best-known wine country. Because European wine grapes, Vitis vinifera, were difficult to grow in its harsh climate, French-American hybrids were widely planted, and the region's best-known wines were based on varieties like baco noir, marechal foch, seyval blanc, vidal blanc, and vignoles. A transplanted Ukrainian viticulturist, Dr. Konstantin Frank, was able to successfully cultivate vinifera varieties, though is efforts remained controversial. In the early 1970s, though, wineries began to open in the more hospitable climate of eastern Long Island, and today there are more than 40 producers on both the North and South Fork (with the majority on the former), growing cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and many other grapes.