Finger Lakes is one of New York's most historically important wine regions. After the ban, the region recovered with several key developments. In 1936, Charles Fournier, a Veuve Clicquot winemaker, introduced French-American hybrid grapes to a region that previously focused on local varieties. A couple of decades later, Gold Seal, the company that employed Fournier, hired Dr.
Konstantin Frank, a Ukrainian immigrant and winegrower; the duo, together with the German Hermann J. Wiemer, began conducting in-depth experiments and research on the Finger Lakes terroir. Driving dives deep into soil, climate and grapes, among other elements, to determine best viticulture practices and optimal growing sites for grapes. Now, local winegrowers and winegrowers are delving into even more precise terroir specificities, resulting in the prevalence of site-specific cuvées and careful optimization of the variety based on the vineyard location.
All of this adds up to a more diverse range of wines with character and distinctions from New York. At any time of the year, New York's wine country is full of opportunities to tour, taste and explore the state's beautiful wine-growing or wine-producing areas. New York's wine country is extensive and includes vineyards on Long Island, Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes and Niagara. In total, New York's wine region covers more than 34,000 acres (13,759 hectares) and includes hundreds of wineries.
For this reason, some of the best wines come from vineyards planted on fairly steep hills, conditions that would make most agricultural products uneconomical. Strong partnerships between the New York Wine & Grape Foundation and academic institutions such as Cornell University have helped winemakers and producers better understand their vineyards and adapt to their climatic conditions; in the past year alone, 18 new studies have been conducted focusing on vital vineyard problems such as winter bud resistance and selection of Cabernet Franc clones and patterns for the Hudson River region. This stretch of Long Island is a wine-growing dream; vineyards stretch both sides of the road and tasting rooms welcome visitors along this wine route. Long Island's North Fork is a chain of exclusive wineries and Pindar Vineyards was one of the first.
Vineyards are often characterized by their terroir, a French term that is loosely translated as a sense of place that refers to the specific geographical and geological characteristics of vine plantations, which can be imparted to the wine itself. Any wine with the Ingle Vineyard label is a wine from a single vineyard that is grown exclusively on the estate's vineyards and is sustainably grown, hand-picked and isolated from all other vineyards to exemplify its unique characteristics. City Winery and its subsidiary, City Vineyard, combine entertainment and wine with concerts, events and full-service restaurants. The stereotypical vineyard site for wine grapes (in the Northern Hemisphere) is a hillside in a dry climate with southern exposure, good drainage to reduce unnecessary water absorption, and balanced pruning to force the vine to put more energy into the fruit, rather than the foliage.
No two vineyards have exactly the same terroir, although any difference in the resulting wine can be virtually undetectable. Although native and hybrid varieties dominate vineyards, intrepid winemakers are starting to plant European grapes and experimenting with calm dry wines. The number of New World vineyard plantations has increased almost as fast as the uprooting of European vineyards. If you're traveling with someone who isn't a wine enthusiast, you can head to Brewer's Garden to sample some local beers while tasting wines from more than 80 local vineyards.
The annual summer festival includes tours and tastings at North Fork vineyards, along with pairings of local food and music. The establishment of the New York Agricultural Vineyard Act of 1976 ushered in a large number of agricultural wineries across the state; there are now more than 450 wineries and 1,600 family-owned vineyards throughout New York. Both Seneca Lake Wine Trail and Cayuga Lake Wine Trail are home to many notable wineries, including Fox Run Vineyards, Dr. .