When the location of next year’s Wine Blogger’s Conference, the Finger Lakes AVA, was announced I was thrilled. This area south of Lake Ontario in central New York is home to 115 wineries with 9200 acres of grapes and produces Gewutztraminer, Pinot Gris, sparkling wine, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Lemberger, Chardonnay and Ice wine along with its signature variety, Riesling. I’ve not yet traveled to the Finger Lakes and look forward to my summer 2015 visit to learn and taste wines that are receiving plenty of buzz.

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The Finger Lakes were created hundreds of thousands of years ago by glacier formations. These deep fresh water lakes and soil deposits are “gifts to modern winemakers”. During the winter, air drains from the sloping vineyards to the lakes. The cool spring air surrounds the vines and delays the start of the growing season so that young shoots are not affected by late frosts. The warm lakes in the fall help prevent early frosts and extend the growing season. The Finger Lakes run north to south with vineyards on their eastern and western slopes. Because of the various elevations and distances from the water, unique sites and soils affect the range and complexity of the wines.

To help satisfy my craving for the onset of the trip, I was fortunate to be included in a recent Twitter chat highlighting many of the outstanding Rieslings of the area. Follow the link to the text of the online chat where other wine bloggers and I shared tweets about winemaking techniques, palate profiles of the wines, our total enjoyment of the Rieslings received as samples, and more. The four wines reviewed below were sent to me by the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance whose mission is to “increase the visibility and reputation of the Finger Lakes AVA, its wines, and wineries”.  I’ll be taking an extra large bag with plenty of wine sleeves next summer so that I can take home bottles of these terrific wines!  And you can be sure that I’ll be writing about my experiences upon my return in mid August.

If you haven’t yet enjoyed Rieslings from the Finger Lakes consider purchasing a bottle at an incredibly reasonable price and begin your discovery of this cool climate region…one sip at a time.

**Chateau LaFayette Reneau Dry Riesling 2013 – Pale yellow, almost transparent, aromas of pear, apricot and salinity wafted from the glass. Dry with tastes of more pears, green apples, hint of grapefruit, and citrus were light and tart. There were intense tastes of green apple on the long finish. This elegant, balanced wine would be perfect with sushi or spicy Thai dishes. Cost is $13.

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**Hosmer Dry Riesling 2013 – I loved the depth of the juicy citrus, tropical and stone fruit, pear, lemon, and lime aromas. Zesty flavors of citrus and Fuji apple, spice, and more lemon and lime were crisp and lasting on the finish. Mouthwatering with a bracing acidity, each sip provoked a “wow”! Cost is $15.

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**Glenora Dry Riesling 2013 – In the glass, this lovely medium dry Riesling was a pale lemon color with aromas of pear, apricot, stone fruit, lemon, and lime. Bright with lively acidity, the intense flavors of ripe white fruits were balanced and crisp…absolutely delicious. Cost is $15.

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**Swedish Hill Riesling 2013 – One whiff of the peaches, grapefruit, and tropical fruits in the glass was all I needed to be enticed to take my first sip of this fresh and rich wine. On the palate, the fruit profile continued along with a subtle dash of minerality. Creamy and bold, this Riesling had more depth than I expected. Pair this Riesling with a fall meal or fresh fruit. Cost is $16.

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 Cheers~ Cindy

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