As I was planning my Finger Lakes trip in November 2012, the first winery that reached out to me was Heron Hill Winery. Tambi Schweizer, the tasting room manager, added me to the schedule immediately and made sure my visit was at a time where she would be available to give me personal attention.
Heron Hill was also the first winery I visited upon my arrival. The view from above Keuka Lake was breathtaking. Equally pleasing was the tasting at Heron Hill and the graciousness of Tambi, my hostess.
Tambi allowed me to taste an wide selection of their wines, including side-by-side tastings of some of their Rieslings and Pinot Noirs.
I selected three wines for purchase, two Rieslings (one for me, one for a friend) and a Pinot Blanc. Heron Hill was the only Finger Lakes winery that offered me free shipping, so I took Tambi up on the offer. Heron Hill was also the only winery I visited that offered a Pinot Blanc, which was surprising to me as I think the cool-climate Finger Lakes region would be a suitable location for Pinot Blanc production.
Five months quickly passed by and Easter arrived. As I was selecting a wine, my first thought was “Easter and Riesling.” I have grown to enjoy contrasting flavor pairings with Riesling, so I prepared potato-encrusted cod and a side of green beans and potatoes in an olive oil Parmesan sauce. The dense, white meat of the cod as well as the buttery, salty potato crust paired well with the Riesling, enhancing its sweeter fruit flavors. The acidity of the Riesling cut through the creamy Parmesan sauce of the green beans and potatoes.
According to one source, 2010 was a challenging vintage for Finger Lakes Riesling as it was a very long, warm growing season that impacted acidity levels. However, I found this Riesling to be lovely. It was pale lemon in color, with beautiful floral aromas and a luscious mouthfeel. As the wine warmed and opened up, it had complex flavors of apple, citrus, and tropical fruits, and the acidity was juicy and mouthwatering.
As it turns out, Easter and Heron Hill do pair together nicely. Thank you, Tambi, for introducing me to Heron Hill and welcoming me to the Finger Lakes.
Vintage 2010, $19.99 at heronhill.com
Appellation: Finger Lakes
Harvest Date: Oct. 5-12, 2010
Acid: 10.5 g/l
Fermentation: stainless steel tanks, no malolactic fermentation
Bottling Date: Nov. 9, 2011
Residual Sugar: 1.57%
Drink through 2020