Ravinous Club – Sparkling Brunch

On Sunday, November 4, we hosted the final Ravinous Wine Club event of 2012 – a beautiful brunch in the Barrel Room of the new winery celebrating the introduction of our 2007 Sparkling Brut Rosé.

Guests arrived in the Tasting Room and had the opportunity to mix and mingle with fellow Ravinous Wine Club members before being invited down to the cellar where they were welcomed by owners Morten and Lisa Hallgren with a 2006 Sparkling Brut toast.

Morten & Lisa Hallgren welcome guests and introduce 2007 Sparkling Brut Rose

After everyone took their seats at the elegant banquet style table, set between rows of wine barrels, Morten and Lisa introduced Ravines’ new 2007 Sparkling Brut Rosé.  The Brut Rosé is made from 100% Pinot Noir Champagne Clone from the Argetsinger Vineyard, one of the oldest Pinot Noir vineyards in the Finger Lakes. Its steep, limestone slopes lend a beautiful, chalky minerality to the wine, which is made in the traditional Méthode Champenoise process.  This wine spent four years “en Tirage” which is the period of time in which bottled sparkling wine is rested in contact with lees generated during secondary fermentation, part of the Méthode Champenoise process. The extended time en Tirage is necessary to develop delicate tiny bubbles and foam, rather than the unfine, beer-like foam you find in younger sparkling wines which spend less than a year en Tirage.

Together with the fine bubbles, this delicate sparkling wine has a delightful, fruit-based charm. Notes of strawberry and watermelon are brightened by a lively acidity and balanced with hints of toasty lees and chalky minerality. Only 30 cases of this beautiful wine were produced, so we have reserved this premier vintage exclusively for our Ravinous Wine Club members.

Brunch by OPUS

Guests were treated to an arrangement of classical music pieces, played by pianist, Rueben Allen, while they dined on a delicious buffet brunch, prepared and catered by OPUS, of Stuffed Chicken filled with Brie-Spinach-Roasted Garlic, Jumbo Lump Crab Baked Bow tie pasta, Braised Chicken Quarters Fricassee, Shrimp, Sausage & Mussel Ciopinno, Spinach Salad with warm Cranberry Compote, and many more delectable dishes.

Ravinous Wine Club Members

A wonderful afternoon was had by everyone who joined us for the Sparkling Rosé Brunch. It was the perfect way to finish out a year of great Ravinous Wine Club events for our club members. We have already starting planning even more exciting events for 2013 that you won’t want to miss! Our Ravinous events are exclusive to Ravinous Wine Club members, so if you aren’t already part of the club, be sure to sign up and start receiving all the benefits of being a Ravinous Wine Club member today! JOIN NOW >

Harvest Update

Harvest at Ravines is coming to a close this week, after being the earliest harvest on record, the final grapes – some beautiful Cabernet Franc – from the Hobbit Hollow Vineyard located on Skaneateles Lake, will arrive in the cellar tomorrow.

Riesling grapes from White Springs Vineyard

In spite of the unprecedented early start to the season, the quality of the grapes in the 2012 vintage has been remarkable.  The white grapes were able to fully ripen while maintaining the bright acidity that the Finger Lakes region is so well known for. The red grapes hit sugar levels higher than we’ve ever seen before, with some of our Cabernet Franc coming in with Brix as high as 25.  For the most part, the grapes retained a good acidity level, allowing the wines to retain an excellent balance to go along with ripe softer tannins and intense aromas.

Assistant Winemaker, Nathan Kendall is extremely excited about the 2012 vintage.  ”It’s a rare thing in the Finger Lakes to have such a banner year like this where you see a high quality in both the white and red grapes. The temperamental climate doesn’t always lend itself to all varieties, but this year has really just been outstanding across the board. I can’t wait until next spring to see how all the different components of the wines will fit together when we start blending, particularly the Rieslings since they will make up nearly a third of our production this year.”

Sam Argetsinger (far right) & crew bringing in the Riesling

The only Riesling that will be bottled as a single vineyard Riesling is the Argetsinger Riesling, whose grapes come exclusively from Sam Argetsinger’s vineyard located on the southeast corner of Seneca Lake. Sam’s vineyard is one of the oldest Riesling vineyards in the Finger Lakes.  The shallow, mineral-rich soils of the vineyard give the grapes a leaner fruit profile with more floral characteristics and focused minerality.

Assistant Winemaker Nathan Kendall filling oak barrels with Argetsinger Riesling


Fruit as unique as the grapes from Sam’s vineyard require special treatment in the cellar. A portion of the wine is put into old, neutral French Oak barrels for fermentation and aging on the lees throughout the winter.  Aging the Riesling in oak barrels softens the mouthfeel of the wine while making it structurally more complex.  Winemaker Morten Hallgren has been utilizing this technique in the production of the Argetsinger Riesling since the 2010 vintage.

Morten putting Pinot Noir into a Puncheon barrel


Harvest 2012

Harvest 2012 is officially here

Winemaker Morten Hallgren (3rd from right), Assistant Winemaker Nathan Kendall (2nd from left), and the Production Interns


Believe it or not, Harvest 2012 is already underway.  The 2012 vintage will be the earliest harvest in the Finger Lakes on record.  An early bud break, a small crop, and a warm, sunny growing season have resulted in exceptional ripeness levels.  The sunny, dry weather has given us clean fruit in pristine condition.

The first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for our sparkling wine production were harvested last week from Sam Argetsinger’s vineyard.



Looks like the guys sampled some Pinot Noir while they worked.



Expect to see a lot more from us this fall.  We’re looking forward to a fantastic vintage.