Harvest Prep: Jim from Walker Road Vineyards

I was lucky enough to catch Jim Frey, owner of Walker Road for a few minutes before his crazy busy season started. We chatted about Harvest and what his pre-harvest traditions are over at Walker Road Vineyards.

How do you get ready for harvest? “We start by harvesting our Marquette grapes.”

The Marquette grape is the grandson of Frontenac and Pinot Noir. This grape creates a wine that is complex, ruby red in color, and very flavorful. The wine has notes of cherry, berry, black pepper, and baking spices. A delicious red wine.

Any other fun harvest traditions? Harvest snack/food of choice?

“Our friends and family always come over and help us harvest the grapes. It is a great day to share with everyone! After harvesting during the day, we crush in the evening (a little cooler) and have either pulled pork sandwiches or chili.”

Visiting Walker Road Vineyards:

Visiting Walker Road is like stepping into a “Vineyard Oasis”. Enjoy your wine tasting in their 150 year old barn overlooking their gorgeous vineyards. Owner Jim Frey just received the “Wine Person of the Year” award for CT and he truly deserved it. The vineyards are managed meticulously and the wines are exquisite. Jim and his wife are normally behind the tasting bar serving guests as they mingle and enjoy the scenery. Make sure to stop by and enjoy delicious wines, great stories, and great people!

Winemaker: Jim Frey

Location: 11 Walker Road, Woodbury, CT (Visit)

Tasting Hours: Sat-Sun 12-5, May through mid-December

 

Arielle of Balderdash Cellars gives me a few tidbits on how she preps for harvest!

Before winemaker Arielle from Balderdash Cellars jets off to Italy for Harvest, she gave me a few tidbits on how she preps for harvest!


Most wineries usually produce their white wines first because white grapes ripen before red grapes. We actually make our red wines first, so that we can move the red wine to barrel and hold our white wines in tank until they are ready to be bottled.


I’m not sure if it qualifies as a harvest tradition per se but whenever I pitch yeast, I like to encourage them and tell them they are going to do great things and make great wine! It makes a late night of pitching yeast a little more entertaining and who knows, maybe it actually benefits the yeast!

Visiting Balderdash Cellars:

Balderdash Winery is home to some amazing wines and amazing people. Owners Christian and Donna Hanson truly make visiting the winery a great experience. The winery is boutique in style, so expect to be trying some interesting and delicious small batch wines that you can only try at their winery.  They focus on “producing ultra-premium (wicked to New England folks) wines from grapes grown by world-class California vineyards.”

Location: 502 East Street (rear of the building) Pittsfield, MA 01201

Tasting Hours: Saturdays 1-5pm, please call to set up private/group tastings (info)

Tasting Options:  Tastings are $8/person and refundable with purchase of $50/person.

 

I want to give a big Thank You to Arielle Fabiano from Bladerdash Cellars for giving us a peak into the life of a Winemaker. Make sure to stop by Balderdash Cellars in Pittsfield, MA for some delicious wines made from a very passionate Winemaker! #GirlsMakeWineToo

2016 Rkatsitelli Wine Spotlight from Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery

Still can’t wrap my head around how awesome this wine grape variety is! The Rkatsitelli grape was widely planted in Eastern Europe and is considered one of the oldest known grape varieties in the world. Planted in the country of Georgia in 300 B.C. The name means “red horn” in Georgian. This wine from Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery is super delicious! The vines were planted in the 60’s, the wine was fermented in stainless steel, with partial MLF. It was very bright with complex acidity, crisp mouth feel, and pleasant minerality. If you are ever in the finger lakes or see this in the package store, seriously suggest picking it up! #sorryformywinenerdrant #ithadtobedone

A Little History About the Winery:

4th generation owned, Meaghan Frank is taking over her family’s winery. Wooohoo for more ladies in wine! The Winery was established in 1962 by Dr. Konstantin Frank – a refugee from Ukrain who came to NY during World War II. His father was from Germany and managed a small winery in Ukrain, so he grew up working in the wine industry. When he came to America he spoke 9 languages but no English. However, he was eventually able to learn enough English to communicate his wine desires. He planted his first grape vines in 1958 on Keuka Lake and never looked back!

Why Are The Wines so great?

Well there are 11 total lakes in the Finger Lakes Region and they have many different soil types due to the glacial impact of the last Ice Age. For example the Shale Acidic Soil creates a good mineralogy in a Dry Rieslings and lends itself to the cool climate hearty grape varieties. This is a big reason why Riesling really excels in the region. Then they have Limestone where Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are often planted. These grapes truly excel there, especially with the lake effect combination. The lakes cool the region and in winter and warm it up in the summer which allows them to produce top quality Vinifera.

Visiting The Winery:

At Dr. Konstantin Frank they always offer free tastings for their guests. This is because they are off the beaten path on Cayuga Lake and think that since you’ve journeyed that far, you deserve some free wine 🙂 They have an International Winemaking Team
consisting of winemakers from South Africa, Australia, Germany, and California. This gives them the ability to create 30 wines for their portfolio including a line of sparkling wines. When you visit, sit back, relax, and enjoy your wine with a side of awesome East Coast history.

Location:  9749 Middle Rd, Hammondsport, NY 14840

Schedule A Tasting: Advance Reservations and booking payment are required for all groups of 12 or more. Groups of 12 or more will be charged with a non-refundable fee of $5 per person and will get to keep their Dr. Frank logo glass. Please call 800-320-0735 for a reservation. Cancellations must be made up to a week in advance otherwise reservations are non refundable.

Make sure you make the trip to the Finger Lakes and Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery!

Newest Article for WinemakerMag: Making Wine from Pinotage Grapes

Feeling so humbled that Winemaker Mag featured another article of mine in their magazine. Winemaker Mag has been my bible when it comes to home winemaking. Make sure to subscribe to their list for great home winemaking tips. Also, click HERE to read the full article about how make wine with Pinotage grapes! Cheers!

Women Winemakers of CT Featured in Winemaker Magazine

Finally! Now everyone can access our article in Winemaker Magazine! So excited to have been able to create this article and highlight these amazing winemaking ladies.

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Check out what The Women Winemakers of Connecticut are all about HERE. You will probably see some familiar CT Wine Trail faces so make sure to support your local Winery and Winemaker. 🙂

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If you are interested in joining the Women Winemakers of Connecticut please contact me at cmusto@juicegrape.com.

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Cheers!