2008 Seyval Blanc (Hunt Country, Finger Lakes, NY)

22 07 2009

On a recent trip to the Finger Lakes, I stopped at Hunt Country winery to escape the rain. Hunt Country is usually a pleasant enough winery to visit, but recently their wines have been a bit too sweet for my palate–I don’t think it’s a major change in their production, just a change in my taste buds.

The 2008 Seyval Blanc stood out when I tasted it as a more refined wine that my very picky husband might like, and it was on sale for $8.99 on site.  Score.

Seyval Blanc is a French hybrid grape known for its resistance to the cold, which explains why it grows well in the Finger Lakes region.  It is often compared to white Burgundies and is a fair alternative to some Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blanc varietals.

This particular Seyval Blanc has a lot of white Burgundy (typically Chardonnay) characteristics, such as the tropical fruit nose and flavors like pineapple and honeysuckle with some grapefruit and vanilla thrown in.  It does lack minerality and there is no stoniness or edge to this wine, which most white Burgundies would have.

The wine has a moderate acidity and you can tell that it’s been held in the barrel for a while due to the oakiness in scent and flavor.  And just FYI, most French white Burgundies start at $20-$25 a bottle and can cost as high as $300.




Finger Lakes Wine Country

22 08 2008

If you live in the Northeast and California is a little bit of a hike, try wine country in the Finger Lakes.  The wines are not going to be as high caliber as some Napa and Sonoma wineries, but there are some diamonds in the rough, it’s very beautiful, and just a lot of fun.

A favorite is Dr. Konstantin Frank, who makes award winning Reislings and charges nothing for a tasting.  The staff is very knowledgable and will go out of their way to show you that Dr. Frank means quality, in all aspects of their customer service and wine making.

Award-winning Reislings.

Next on our tour was Bully Hill. We mainly go there for lunch and for the “show.” Lunch is always lovely, sitting out on the deck with views of the lake. The tasting is like a carnival. The wines are horrid, but for $2 you get to see at least one of the pourers make fools of themselves, pouring wine, cracking jokes, and trying to get people to buy their glow-in-the-dark underwear. What a hoot.

The last winery of the day was Hunt Country. I love Hunt Country because they pour some very decent wines for very decent prices, but they specialize in Late Harvest and Ice Wines that you have to order in advance.   Always very laid back and friendly, the tasting experience is a delight, and as an added bonus, they are open until 6:00–later than other wineries in the region.

There are hundreds of other wineries in the Finger Lakes region–I’ve just introduced you to a few of my favorites. Find out more at the official Finger Lakes Wine Country website.