Rave for Ravines Riesling

Being from Toronto, I was familiar with The Finger Lakes Region and their developing wine industry. I was grateful to participate in this sponsored Ravines tasting. It’s been quite some time since I’ve tasted wine from this area, and the 2017 Ravines Riesling was spectacular. 

Many people think that Riesling is a just a sweet wine – it can range from being bone-dry to sweet.

Morton Hallgren, Ravines Wine Cellars oenologist/ winemaker was trained as a viticulturalist in France – he spent a year in Bordeaux, and his family owned vineyards in Provence. When Morton and his wife Lisa arrived to the Finger Lakes Region, there was no extensive classically trained winemaker in the area. Morton’s pioneering of dry Riesling enabled him to hone his craft initially working for Dr. Frank’s vineyards, then cherry picking his own vineyards. He was able to develop the aromatics and mineral profile to his own liking.

Morton’s understanding of how to create a cool climate balanced wine has served him well. These wines are known for being similar to Austrian/Alsatian Rieslings, with the natural acidity levels being similar to Chablis, Burgundy and Bordeaux.

What makes this 2017 Ravines Riesling so delicious is the aroma and taste of freshly cut apples. The vibrant bright acidity with citrus tones and lingering finish make it special. It’s a winner! This wine is left on the lees for 5 months or so making it a softer wine.

I invited a couple of friends over to sample this wine and the 2019 Ravines Pinot Noir Rosé, and the 2017 Maximilien. The Riesling was a good pairing for the smoked salmon pinwheels and some Korean Chicken Wings.

The 100% 2019 Pinot Noir Rosé is made from three vineyards around the Seneca Lake, and Finger Lakes, AVA.  These pinot grapes are not too ripe and have between  3-5 hours of skin contact then bottled in April/May. This wine is light, a soft berry flavour with  refreshing acidity. It paired very well with Artichoke Cheddar Squares which has an egg base.

The 2017 Maximilien is 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and 54% Merlot. This is a dry austere wine similar to a Claret style. I think when the tannins soften after more aging, this wine will be even better!  This paired well with a Margherita flatbread.

The setting of the Ravines winery sure does look inviting.

Until we can travel again, I’ll plan on enjoying these wines at home.