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Silver Springs Winery Reds

Click On Me
Winemaker John and his wife have a very nice slate of reds. I admired them last year and came back to confirm some thoughts and experience new wines.
2005 Bold Merlot was still big, deep, and spicy. One of the better reds in the region.

 

Wine for Haiti Lot 64 – Silver Springs Winery Tri-Dition

January 18, 2010 by Palate Press  
Filed under Extra Features, FCG

Silver Springs Winery generously contributed six art glass from J. Daniels bottles of their 2007 Tri-Dition wine. This is a blend of 65% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot and 10$ Cabernet Sauvignon. Retail price is $50.00 per bottle. But wait, there’s more. Every bottle in this half-case was hand-signed by the wine maker. Retail value $300.00.

Lot 64 – Don Giovanni Tri-Dition

“Soft spice nose, cinnamon, dark berry jam, blackberry, plum, a flutter of lavender, violet, vanilla almond oak structure, will age for many years. (0.3 residual sugar)” – Silver Springs Winery

Opening bid is $150.00. Minimum bid increment $10.00.

[How it works- Each auction lot will get its own post. As soon as it gets its own post, the auction is live. Once a bit of time has passed, and people really know about Wine for Haiti, lots will go live AND HOT. Every item will got "hot" if bidding reaches retail value.  Once hot, each lot is on a 24-hour cycle, ending at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time. If a lot goes a full 24 hours, from 10:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., without a new bid, the last bid in the comments wins. If we get into a bidding war, with the same people going back and forth, one day at a time, we will post something in the comments of that Auction Lot and schedule a time to bid to the death, at a time mutually agreeable to everybody involved.]

For more auction Wine for Haiti auction items, please see the Wine for Haiti Auction Catalogue.


Zuccarino ON The 2009 Grape harvest is 'disappointing'

TRI-COUNTY AREA—Even as snow settles on the ground, many wineries in the region are still out in the vineyards picking grapes.
The weather has prompted different actions from grape growers in order to make the best out of this harvest. Due to a wet and cool summer, there are some wineries that have left the grapes out on the vines for a longer time.
Sayre Fulkerson, owner and winemaker of Fulkerson’s Winery in Dundee, said his winery is about three and a half weeks behind in the harvest. He said last year’s grapes had a warmer season, while this year it has been a cooler climate. He explained that Fulkerson’s is currently harvesting midseason grapes when they are normally harvesting late season grapes. He added the harvest size is not as big as last year.
However, Fulkerson said the Riesling grapes like the cooler weather. He added that overall Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer grapes have a good ripeness.
Amy Hoffman, owner of Rooster Hill Vineyards in Penn Yan, said the weather has bumped back harvesting about a week. She explained this year the Pinot Noir grapes were harvested starting Oct. 8, and last year starting Sept. 29. She added the Chardonnay harvest started Oct. 7 this year and Oct. 2 last year.
“We’re letting (the grapes) hang longer than normal,” she said, because of the cold weather.
Hoffman explained that to combat the weather the winery sprayed the grapes to keep them clean while still on the vines. She added the grapes were thinned out so the remaining grapes could grow larger.
Mark Karasz, owner of Rock Stream Vineyards in Rock Stream, said the weather has not been affecting their harvests as much as other wineries. He did say his Cayuga grapes have not ripened like last year because of their sensitivity. He also added the DeChaunac grapes would need sugar and that the Aurora grape harvest came in 40 percent less than last year. On the other hand, Karasz said Rock Stream Vineyard’s Elvira grape harvest came in 20 percent higher than last year.
“Each variety has a different twist on how it reacts to weather,” he said. Karasz added they are “not seeing a disaster like we thought.”
“In a word, disappointing,” said Rick Evans, wine marker for Castel Grisch in Watkins Glen, about this year’s harvest.
He said for Castel Grisch the harvest time hasn’t changed compared to last year. However, Evans explained that the grapes are just not ripening. He said sugar levels are not the same.
“We were spoiled last year,” he said.
Evans said for Castel Grisch the grapes that have suffered the most are the later season varieties, which are red grapes.
John Zuccarino, winemaker for Silver Springs Winery in Burdett, said he decided to pick most of the white grapes earlier than usual because the weather did not look so good. He explained it was a tough decision because he couldn’t predict how the summer would end.
“I know weather, if she’s stubborn, she’s stubborn,” he said.
From the white grapes he’s harvested, Zuccarino said the acidity has been a bit high, but with good flavors. For red grapes, Zuccarino said it wouldn’t be a good harvest unless it is an Indian Summer. However, he’s not just relying on the weather. Zuccarino explained he is putting the red grapes on straw matting and under ultraviolet lights.


8/19/2009
Zuccarino : Silver Springs Winery L.L.C. We have a person who is breaking the law everyday.
 
So you break Fed laws and bash a prominent winemaker ? How does this make you look good ? 3 Federal laws broken every day with Criminal Civil charges to follow ? How is anyone going to not take you for a criminal ? The name is not worth mentioning.


12/10/2008

Silver Springs Winery 2005 Bold Merlot

Silversprings John Zuccarino, co-owner of and winemaker for Silver Springs Winery, does things his own way.

His tasting room and vineyard are on Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region, but he makes his wines down here on Long Island at Premium Wine Group. His winery is in smack dab in the middle of the land of riesling, but he doesn't make any. And, unlike most in the New York wine world, he embraces Web 2.0, using Twitter and a video blog, Wine101.tv, to reach his customers.

He also named his 2005 merlot "Bold Merlot" which sets an expectation in the minds of consumers before they even open the bottle. Of course, that's why I tasted this wine blind like most other samples.

This wine is labeled under the New York State AVA because 60% of the fruit comes from the Finger Lakes and 40% comes from the North Fork of Long Island. According to Zuccarino, he made this wine by:

"Slow carbonic maceration fermentation with whole clusters over 10 days...then fermented with 1.5% natural berry ferment with natural yeast...then we blast them with our own propriety yeast that ferments at 59-degrees F slow for many weeks...this gives us high alc and great extraction...last we never go for the last press with 2 bars of pressure, as this will ruin the wine. Then 18 months French Med toast...Allier oak."

He's right, this merlot's dark crimson color with a thin brick-red rim hints at that extraction and it's labeled at 13.7% ABV, higher than the 12-12.5% one usually sees from New York merlot. The bright, effusive nose shows red cherry, plum fruit aromas with lots of vanilla faint hints of violets.

It's mouth-filling on the palate with straight-forward, high-toned flavors of red cherries, vanilla and tobacco, with earthy flavors emerges a bit more with a couple hours of time to breathe. That initial fruit burst is nice, though the flavors are a bit less intense on the mid-palate. The finish is medium-length, extremely dry and shows just a little bit of that alcohol. The tannins are

By blending Long Island and Finger Lakes fruit, I think the terroir of both is lost, but this is a solid effort. Other than the alcoholic heft, I'd not call it "Bold" but it one of the better mostly-Finger Lakes merlots I've tasted, if a bit overpriced.

Producer: Silver Springs Winery
AVA: New York State


11/12/2008

November 11, 2008

The 2008 Riesling Shoot-Out

By Jason Feulner, Finger Lakes Correspondent

Events sometimes receive an exclamatory billing only to draw attention to an antithetical subtext. The title of the "Riesling Shoot-Out," the brainchild of John Zuccarino of Silver Springs Winery and wine author Thomas Pellechia, evokes a line-in-the-sand Wild West gun fight between Finger Lakes and German rieslings, with only the biggest and baddest wines left standing to proclaim victory.

Of course, the results were far more mixed, and therein lies the point.

The big critics and the publications they work for consider Germany the home of riesling and treat her wines well, giving many a score above the coveted 90-point mark. As this website and others have noted, great wines from the Finger Lakes often hit a ceiling of 88 or 89 points, begging observers to ask, "How can so many Finger Lakes rieslings can get so close to 90 but no standouts emerge from the pack?"

It's a question that both Lenn and I have asked here on LENNDEVOURS as well.

Last Saturday, a panel of 16 judges representing wine blogs, local media, two major wine publications, and even the New England chapter of the German Wine Society, descended on Glenora's hotel and dining facility on Seneca Lake to blind taste a round of 15 rieslings. I was privileged to be one of the sixteen judges.

We tasted the 15 wines, three glasses at a time, in the same order. The organizers told us that these wines were all rieslings, and that they represented Germany, the Finger Lakes, and a single Canadian outlier. No other information was given.

The judging sheet asked us to provide some general impressions about aromatics and varietal taste, and then asked us to give a numeric score on the 100-point scale.

After the tasting was complete, the organizers revealed that there were two repeats (a 2006 Wiemer and a 2006 Prejean, both Finger Lakes wines) in the 15 wine program, so we had really only tasted 13 wines. All of the judges immediately realized, with some mix of humor and horror, that we all had given different scores to the same two wines, with a few of us granting wildly different scores.

At the end of the post I will list the wines tasted during the competition. The general results exhibit what many would expect: the Finger Lakes held up just fine. Four of the six Finger Lakes wines received scores of 90 or above with a total of twelve votes for this distinction divided amongst the four wines. Five German wines received scores of 90 or above, with 15 total votes divided between these rieslings. The Canadian wine received two scores of 90 or above.

The Wiemer and Prejean were the Finger Lakes standouts. The German wines with the most 90+ acclaim were the Donnhoff and the Messmer.

Tasting Impressions

To taste 15 wines in a row is problematic for me. One wine with distinct or powerful qualities -- good or bad -- is bound to influence one's impression of the wine that follows. For instance, my notes and scores for the Prejean duplicates were completely different, perhaps owing to what wines preceeded each taste.

I greatly enjoy the Ravines Argetsinger riesling as a rule, but did not give it a high score during the tasting. Later, at dinner, I poured a glass of this wine and enjoyed it immensely, noting that its strength lies in its subtlety. Despite this wine's overwhelming quality, it might have been overshadowed by the style of wines that came before it in the tasting round.

When I conveyed my thoughts on the challenges of a mass tasting to Thomas Pellechia, he responded, "Yes, that's the point. No one can taste this many wines and not be influenced." He went on to describe his theory that the wine's world assumption that numerous wines can be lined up and tasted in true comparison to one another is bogus, and that wines can really only be considered in a singular fashion.

Thoughts for the Future

After speaking with John and Thomas, it became clear that neither thinks that German and Finger Lakes rieslings should be compared to one another for any other reason than to demonstrate that each wine is its own wine. In other words, good German rieslings may deserve good scores, but so do good Finger Lakes rieslings. It's what's in each bottle that counts, and that should be it.

"There is a bias," Zuccarino explained to me. "And this event shows that there are great wines from both regions that hold up well in each other's presence." John made sure to remind me that he does not produce a riesling for his winery and therefore he had no personal agenda in the individual outcomes.

The German wines were selected by David Bueker, chair of the New England Chapter of the German Wine Society, who purposely brought quality wines that had scored in the 90 range in major publications.

The Riesling Shoot-Out did not shatter anyone's expectations, but it did make a simple and compelling case that tasting, when done in a region-specific fashion, is prone to bias. When wines are tasted for varietal aspects and those aspects alone, it matters not where the wine originated. Each glass was a glass of riesling, and despite the flaws inherent in any tasting regiment, we tried to judge each wine on that fact alone.

The Wines

The list of wines in the order that they were tasted:

  • 2006 Bassermann-Jordan Riesling Trocken ($15.99 - Pfalz)
  • 2007 Chateau Lafayette Reneau Dry Rielsing ($14.99 Seneca Lake, East Side)
  • 2006 Schlossgut Diel Goldloch Riesling Trocken Grosses Gewachs ($59.99 - Nahe)
  • 2007 Josef Leitz Ein Zwei Dry '3' Riesling Trocken ($15.99 - Rheingau)
  • 2007 Ravines Dry Argetsinger Vineyard Riesling ($25.00 Keuka Lake, East Side)
  • 2006 Hermann Wiemer Dry Riesling ($17.99 Seneca Lake, West Side)
  • 2007 Glenora Dry Riesling ($11.99 Seneca Lake, West Side)
  • 2006 Hermann Donnhoff Grey Slate Riesling Trocken ($19.99 - Nahe)
  • 2006 Hermann Wiemer Dry Riesling ($17.99 Seneca Lake, West Side)
  • 2006 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett Halbtrocken ($19.99 - Mosel)
  • 2006 Atwater Estate Semi-Dry Riesling ($17.00 Seneca Lake, East Side)
  • 2006 Prejean Semi-Dry Riesling ($11.99 Seneca Lake, West Side)
  • 2007 Messmer Riesling Halbtrocken ($13.99 - Pfalz)
  • 2007 Vineland Estate Semi-dry Riesling ($ ? Ontario)
  • 2006 Prejean Semi-dry Riesling ($11.99 Seneca Lake, West Side)


721/2008

LENNDEVOURS Q&A: John Zuccarino, Silver Springs Winery

JohnzJohn Zuccarino, who owns Silver Springs Winery in the Finger Lakes, is the subject of today's LENNDEVOURS Q&A. In addition to his duties in the vineyard and in the winery, John also does some online wine education videos and is one of the only New York winery owners to use Twitter.

What (and where) was the first bottle of wine you remember drinking?

Growing up in a European-cultured family, you drank wine as far back as you can remember. One memory comes to mind when I was very young sitting at the table in the summer having red wine poured into a bowl and slicing up fresh peaches that went into the bowl. After eating the peaches and drinking that wine... I told myself this will someday be my life too following the family tradition making wine.

What event/bottle/etc made you decide that you wanted to be in the wine industry?

I can remember a friend brought over a very nice bottle of wine. I was with my grandfather at the time...he opened it and all I could think of was after tasting it that our wine has life, body and spirit and this expensive bottle was just okay...at that point I knew our family with hundreds of years producing wine could do things better.

Which of your current wines is your favorite and why?

Bold Merlot because you can age it for well over 20 years and it spent 2.25 years in older French Allier oak. The wine just keeps building in the glass.

What has surprised you most about being a member of the Finger Lakes wines community?

The lack of coordination between the lakes. You have three wine trails and then UncorkNY.org all running redundancies. If you were to combine the whole operation you could save over $500k a year in redundancies and spend that money on a well-coordinated program and work all as one. It's simple -- they are using Adam Smith's flawed economic model rather that Dr. John Nash's economic model that won him the Nobel prize in economics...the movie "A Beautiful Mind" tells it all.

Other than your own wines, what wine/beer/liquor most often fills your glass?

Zinfandel. it's just in my blood as I was raised on copious amounts of this wine. The wine is very dynamic and very under valued.

Is there a 'classic' wine or wine and food pairing that you just can't make yourself enjoy?

All wine can be paired properly... but don't serve me a Gewürztraminer unless it's an ice wine. There is a chemical in that wine grape that just doesn't hit me right.

Wine enjoyment is about more than just the wine itself. Describe the combination of wine, locations, food, company, etc. that would make (or has made) for the ultimate wine-drinking experience for you.

Wine is the catalyst for very good conversations. I find it brings out the best in people...so most any wine anywhere with or without food, but with a good conversation there nothing close to it.


7/19/2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Silver Springs WInery a Great Surprise Along the Seneca WIne Trail



I'm in town for the Finger Lakes Wine Festival. Touring and tasting at the wineries and at Watkins Glen International Speedway. First stop, on Friday afternoon was Silver Springs WInery.

Silver Springs is a small winery based on the eastern slope of Lake Seneca. It is owned by John and Sari Zuccarino. According to their website, "The Zuccarino surname originates from Udine, a community in northeastern Italy, found above Venice in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. The family ascended to the ranks of Nobility in 1320 C.E., when thereafter several Count Zuccarino’s emerged, helping to shape Italy. The legendary family passion for fine wine and vineyards has been passed down from generation to generation."

Go to their website, and you can see John on his downloadable videos. Very cool.
http://www.silverspringswinery.com/



I knew none of that as I walked into the winery. I was not sure what to expect.

I was greeted by John and Sari, who were both very polite and charming. I tried first their chardonnay, which was very lovely. Steel tank fermented, it was fruit forward with a nice finish, showing balanced acidity.

Then I tasted all four of their reds. The 2003 Merlot was very nice, with bright cherry and some other red fruits. It ended with a smooth, dry finish - excellent. Both the Cabernet Franc and the Cabernet Sauvignon were also extremely nice. The Franc had a wonderful nose, and their were nice dark fruit foward flavors in the Cabernet Sauvignon.



However, it was the last two wines that wowed me. The Bold Merlot 2003 was a stunner. Aged in oak for more than 2 years, it had big, big fruit up front - plum, blackberry - as wells as chocolate and a touch of pepper? Nice finnish. An excellent wine. I bought a bottle of that!



And then I ended with a "sticky" as my brother-in-law likes to say - an exceptional Ice Wine Gewurztraminer 2004. A thick, honey, apricot, pineapple nectar, the winery was balanced by great acidity, making it one of my new instant fvorites among dessert wines.

These folks, formerly from New Jersey (near my current haunt, Freehold), make some very nice wines across the board and instantly make their presence felt as a winery whose wines need to be taken seriously. A wonderful find!

Congrats and good luck to John and Sari. Great wines!

p.s. to John - my Grandfather, Ceasar, was from Udine too! He's buried there. Ciao!
posted by Carlo De Vito @ 7:30 PM

6/26/2007

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Finger Lakes Winery Report - Silver Springs Winery




A winetasting at Silver Springs Winery (east side of Seneca Lake) is like attending a Wine Appreciation Course, with your professor being owner John Zuccarino. John doesn't want you to just taste wine, he wants you to be an educated wine taster. He is passionate about wine education, as proven by his weekly educational videos - click here to watch. I guarantee that you will come out of Silver Springs more knowledgable about wine than you came in. John and his wife Sari are hands-on owners and it is refreshing to be able to talk directly with the owners when you come in for a tasting. Silver Spring's red wines are some of the best in The Finger Lakes and you can taste their passion for crafting fine wines.


Here are the highlights of my tasting notes:
> 2002 Cabernet Franc (with 10% Cab Sauv), $19.95, 18 months in French oak, coffee and rounded oak overtones, exquisitely balanced and smooth, it is wonderful to taste aged Finger Lakes reds, a few years in the bottle really brings out the best in Finger Lakes reds. Too many times I think that Finger Lakes wineries bring out their reds too early (although I do understand that a lot of times they need to have new product out so they are forced into releasing their reds perhaps before they should).
> 2003 Cabernet Franc, $21.95, Nuanced coffee overtones with abundant cherry and hints of anise, medium tannins that drink well now but will also age well, an excellent example of an ageworthy Finger Lakes Cab Franc.
> 2003 Merlot, $21.95, 18 months in oak, flavors of mocha, plum, cherry, and blackberry with tannins softening nicely.
> 2003 Bold Merlot, 2 1/4 years in French oak!, full-bodied with deep coffee undertones with hints of cocoa and licorice, medium tannins, John says its got 15 years until it peaks but I like it just fine right now.
Lest you think that Silver Springs just does good reds, they've got some fine whites also.
> 2004 Cayuga White, 3% RS, $11.99, This '04 is still putting out great flavor with perfectly balanced pineapple/grapefruit and ripe peach. A 5% RS '04 Cayuga White is also available for those who prefer a touch more sweetness.
> 2007 Vintners Select Pinot Grigio, $18.95, 1% RS, I have been lamenting the lack of complex multidimensional Pinot Grigio in The Finger Lakes but Silver Springs gives me hope with this full-flavored and complex Grigio, loads of apple and pear with brisk acidity. John attributes late harvesting as a major factor in enhancing the flavor profile of his Grigio.
> 2004 Gewurztraminer Ice Wine, $42, 15% RS, What a Special Treat this is!, layers of apricot, tangerine, raisins, and honey! This is a world-class Ice Wine and is a bargain at $42. Too bad the vines that made this are no longer with us. I drink a toast to those vines. Get a taste of this while it lasts!


The Finger Lakes Region of New York

8/29/2007

Our last stop of the day was with Silver Springs Winery (who also has a Don Giovanni label for their better wines). I had met the winemaker/owner John Zuccarino the previous evening at an excellent wine tasting dinner at the famed vegetarian institution Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca. John grows grapes on the east side of Seneca Lake as well as in Long Island. The Finger Lakes grapes are crushed and the must is shipped east. John chose this route because there are better custom crush facilities on Long Island than in the Finger Lakes. I found this quite surprising and my guess is that some young entrepreneur will remedy this situation in the next few years.

Silver Springs makes a delicious Chardonnay. It sees no oak and is refreshing, a bit buttery yet still crisp. They also make surprisingly good reds from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. In fact, I bought a few of the reds and will let them age in the cellar for a year or two. But, the biggest discovery and in fact, the best wine I had on the entire trip was a Gewurztraminer Ice wine. It is varietally correct with excellent racy fruit and crisp acidity and just enough sweetness without being cloying. This is an outstanding wine. I was pleased that I had made a personal discovery. Certainly this is a winery I will be keeping my eyes on. The owner is committed to producing wines for the wine enthusiast and not just the auto tourist.

The Finger Lakes is still a wine area in its infancy. Yet, there are a few Finger Lakes wineries doing special things here. Wineries such as Dr. Konstantin Frank, Hermann J. Wiemer and Silver Springs deserve a spot in any cellar. As even more and more wineries make the commitment to quality, I would expect to see better and better wines coming from here. In the meantime, it still makes for a wonderful fun day of touring.

I hope you all go out and try a bottle or two and let me know what you think. Loren Sonkin can be contacted at SonkinEsq@sbcglobal.net.




Story: BY Sarah Grossmansgrossman@the-leader.comBURDETT | John Zuccarino is hoping to be a pioneer in the new frontier of TV on the Web while giving people an education on wine.The owner of the Silver Springs Winery on Seneca Lake has been filming and plans to post brief clips to www.wine101.TV. “This is what Bill Gates has been talking about with interactive TV,” said Zuccarino, referring to statements the chairman of Microsoft made at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas in January. “Five years from now (media) will be about more choice.”The reason consumers will have more choice is because technology has made it possible for anyone to cheaply produce a show, like Zuccarino’s wine education spot, and then post it to a broader audience on the Web. “This is high technology on a low tech budget,” he said.The clips, which will generally be a few minutes in length, are a chance for Zuccarino to reach out to his customers, he said.So far, there is only the one episode, which is a scripted chat by Zuccarino telling viewers what his intentions are for future clips.Clips already planned include those with guests from the industry.Zuccarino plans to post a second episode this week featuring information about Cayuga White wines. “My goal is to have (new episodes) every seven to 10 days depending on the season,” he said.
Sherlock Holmes’ advice that

 

“When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

 7/18/2006
A very good impression with my wines to Catherine Fallis, Master Sommelier.
Even if the publisher edits me out I must have done something right :-)
TC,
John Z
Catherine Fallis is the world's fifth female Master Sommelier.

July 5, 2006


To: John Zuccarino at Silver Springs Winery

 

 

From: Catherine Fallis, Master Sommelier, and Robert Cohen
Co-Authors, Great Boutique Wines You Can Buy Online, Fall 2006, Silverback Books

Re: Inclusion in Great Boutique Wines You Can Buy Online

Dear John:
  
Thank you for submitting Silver Springs Winery to be considered for Great Boutique Wines You Can Buy Online. We have included your winery and one or more of your wines in the manuscript submitted to the publisher. There may be some final cuts made to the manuscript by the publisher, so we cannot guarantee that your winery will appear in the finished version.
  
In the meantime, we’d like to thank you for helping with the production of Great Boutique Wines You Can Buy Online. If you have any questions, please contact either Catherine Fallis at
grapegoddess@planetgrape.com or Robert Cohen at robertcohen@greatboutiquewines.com.
  
Best wishes,

Catherine Fallis, MS, and Robert Cohen
Co-Authors
Great Boutique Wines You Can Buy Online


WINE ON ICE 2007

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Forget your preconceptions about drinking wine.

You don't have to know a floral bouquet from a fruity undertaste or even if 2004 was a good year. (It was.)

"It's about taste," said Roseana Robinson, 24, of Elmira, who was attending her first Wine on Ice on Friday night at the First Arena in Elmira.

Robinson said the event is a wonderful way to broaden your tastes.

Flavored wines continue to gain in popularity, particularly among the young who flocked to the Pleasant Valley booth to sample its Chocolate Lab.

"It's a dessert wine," said Sonya Herrick of Pulteney, who was busy pouring samples for the sold-out crowd. She said wine for dessert is a growing.

Flavors have always distinguished wines, said John Zuccarino of Silver Springs Winery in Burdett, whose family has been making wine for 700 years, starting in Italy.

He does label his wines by vintage year and can even tell you which years were more influenced by flower pollens.

"2004 was an exceptional year," he said, describing his 2004 Cayuga White as having hints of peach, pear, wildflower and honeysuckle.

New York wines sold only in the state don't have to be labeled by a vintage year, explained Dale Nagy of Nagy's New Land Vineyards and Winery in Geneva.

"That means we can blend different years," he said.

But some years are so good, part of the vintage is held back for special labeling.

He cited 2003 as year that had low yields of grapes, but high quality in the wines made from them. He predicted that the 2006 wines also will be very good.

Chris Capilli, 27, of Syracuse, said what he liked best about Wine on Ice was the number of varieties and styles in wine available for sampling.

"It was very good," he said.

If you go
•What: Wine on Ice.

•Where: First Arena, 155 N. Main St. in Elmira.

•When: Noon to 4 p.m. and 5:30 to 9 p.m. today. Tickets are sold out for tonight.

•Cost: $20 to $27, depending upon the session. Admission includes a souvenir tasting glass. No one under 21 admitted.

•Information: Call 607/739-3636, or visit online at www.wineonice.com.


 

WINE ON ICE 2006

Festivals good for bottom lines
Winery, liquor store owners agree that a nice taste can lead to a sale.
By RAY FINGER
Star-Gazette Corning Bureau
rfinger@stargazette.com
January 29, 2006

 

 

Photo Gallery

·  Wine on Ice

 

 

 

 

The clink of wine glasses and bubbling chatter at Saturday's Wine on Ice in Elmira could lead to the ring of cash registers at area wineries and liquor stores.

In its fifth year, the wine-tasting event drew both novice and expert imbibers who often discovered something new to enjoy, participants said.

"This is a great place to try all different wines," said Anita Traynham of Elmira, who was at Wine on Ice for a second time and searching for the perfect Reisling.

The event offers a chance to try the products of wineries she often doesn't get to because of distance, she said.

Charlie Earl, a longtime wine lover, came to Elmira from Port Leyden, N.Y., northeast of Syracuse.

He's been to a lot of wineries and thought he would come to Saturday's event to be able to try wines from a several at one time - and to have a good time.

"This is a great event. It's cozy. It's a nice atmosphere," said Tina Hazlitt, Wine on Ice coordinator.

"It's all ages, it's couples, it's groups of girlfriends. They're coming from all over the place."

Hazlitt anticipated about 4,000 people would participate over the three sessions Friday and Saturday, she said. Participation was up a little this year on Saturday afternoon, she said.

Wine on Ice provides a nice environment to expose a younger audience to wine drinking, said Marcia Van Horn, retail manager for Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards in Hector.

"A lot of times, some of the younger folks haven't been exposed to wine as a part of their daily life," she said.

"They all know about beer or maybe rum and coke, but they haven't all experienced wine because they feel like they haven't had some kind of education in order to make the selection."

Wineries' participation in such gatherings is also a goodwill gesture to local liquor stores who can sell their products after the event, Van Horn said.

Some liquor stores might look at wineries as competition, but people who buy a bottle of wine at Wine on Ice are apt to try to buy another bottle at their local liquor store, she said.

"We think that putting a bottle in their hands really helps," Van Horn said.

That has been the experience at GCP Discount Liquor and Wine in Horseheads, where people come to buy more after bringing a bottle back from such events, manager Laura Brown said, adding, "They help a lot."

It is similar to a restaurant, where someone might try a wine and later want to buy it in a store, said Rick Maxa, co-owner of Bottles and Corks on Market Street in Corning.

"It doesn't hurt," he said.

Participating in events like Wine on Ice helps people become familiar with your products and can generate business, said Carrie Phelps, general manager of Castel Grisch Estate Winery in Watkins Glen.

"It's a wonderful experience to embrace the community and showcase your wine. It pays back dividends throughout the whole year," said John Zuccarino, owner of Silver Springs Winery in Burdett.

This kind of public exposure helps build your customer base, he said
.

People tasted apple wines from Ashley Lynn Winery, based in Mexico, N.Y., with an outlet on Route 14 on Seneca Lake.

The family-owned business was started in 1999 and participates in many events, including the state fair and wine festivals, to raise awareness, said Leroy Hurlbug, one of the owners.

"We really had to get it out to the public so they knew what we had," he said. "Actually, we've been surprised at the response we had. It was very favorable. People love our wines."

Even businesses selling items other than wines were busy Saturday, such as Sugarhill Farm of Watkins Glen, said co-owner Steve Trechter.

That booth offered organic items for sale, such as jalapeno jelly, blueberry sauce, red raspberry and black raspberry syrups, pancake mix and liquid soaps.

"It's a nice winter break for us, and the people that we meet here we often continue to know," he said.

"We've already had customers who were here last year and wanted to get things they purchased then."

Return customers are a big element of business for Sugarhill Farm as well as the wineries.

"We introduce new products at these kind of things," said Mike Doyle, owner of Pleasant Valley Wine Co. in Hammondsport. "We see a lot of people come back here every year."

There are many familiar faces and "a lot of pretty young ladies," he said with a laugh.

"It doesn't get any better than that."
The clink of wine glasses and bubbling chatter at Saturday's Wine on Ice in Elmira could lead to the ring of cash registers at area wineries and liquor stores.In its fifth year, the wine-tasting event drew both novice and expert imbibers who often discovered something new to enjoy, participants said."This is a great place to try all different wines," said Anita Traynham of Elmira, who was at Wine on Ice for a second time and searching for the perfect Reisling.The event offers a chance to try the products of wineries she often doesn't get to because of distance, she said.Charlie Earl, a longtime wine lover, came to Elmira from Port Leyden, N.Y., northeast of Syracuse.He's been to a lot of wineries and thought he would come to Saturday's event to be able to try wines from a several at one time - and to have a good time."This is a great event. It's cozy. It's a nice atmosphere," said Tina Hazlitt, Wine on Ice coordinator."It's all ages, it's couples, it's groups of girlfriends. They're coming from all over the place."Hazlitt anticipated about 4,000 people would participate over the three sessions Friday and Saturday, she said. Participation was up a little this year on Saturday afternoon, she said.Wine on Ice provides a nice environment to expose a younger audience to wine drinking, said Marcia Van Horn, retail manager for Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards in Hector."A lot of times, some of the younger folks haven't been exposed to wine as a part of their daily life," she said."They all know about beer or maybe rum and coke, but they haven't all experienced wine because they feel like they haven't had some kind of education in order to make the selection."Wineries' participation in such gatherings is also a goodwill gesture to local liquor stores who can sell their products after the event, Van Horn said.Some liquor stores might look at wineries as competition, but people who buy a bottle of wine at Wine on Ice are apt to try to buy another bottle at their local liquor store, she said."We think that putting a bottle in their hands really helps," Van Horn said.That has been the experience at GCP Discount Liquor and Wine in Horseheads, where people come to buy more after bringing a bottle back from such events, manager Laura Brown said, adding, "They help a lot."It is similar to a restaurant, where someone might try a wine and later want to buy it in a store, said Rick Maxa, co-owner of Bottles and Corks on Market Street in Corning."It doesn't hurt," he said.Participating in events like Wine on Ice helps people become familiar with your products and can generate business, said Carrie Phelps, general manager of Castel Grisch Estate Winery in Watkins Glen..People tasted apple wines from Ashley Lynn Winery, based in Mexico, N.Y., with an outlet on Route 14 on Seneca Lake.The family-owned business was started in 1999 and participates in many events, including the state fair and wine festivals, to raise awareness, said Leroy Hurlbug, one of the owners."We really had to get it out to the public so they knew what we had," he said. "Actually, we've been surprised at the response we had. It was very favorable. People love our wines."Even businesses selling items other than wines were busy Saturday, such as Sugarhill Farm of Watkins Glen, said co-owner Steve Trechter.That booth offered organic items for sale, such as jalapeno jelly, blueberry sauce, red raspberry and black raspberry syrups, pancake mix and liquid soaps."It's a nice winter break for us, and the people that we meet here we often continue to know," he said."We've already had customers who were here last year and wanted to get things they purchased then."Return customers are a big element of business for Sugarhill Farm as well as the wineries."We introduce new products at these kind of things," said Mike Doyle, owner of Pleasant Valley Wine Co. in Hammondsport. "We see a lot of people come back here every year."There are many familiar faces and "a lot of pretty young ladies," he said with a laugh."It doesn't get any better than that."

The Finger Lakes Times , Geneva NY.

Reissig, an entomologist at the NYS Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, is a wine enthusiast who has visited wineries in the Napa and Sonoma regions in California and extensively tourd Finger Lakes vineyards for 30 years.

Harvey Reissig
The Grape Guru

Silver Springs Winery unique from the start

John and Sari Zuccarino have finally realized a lifelong dream of operating their own winery, and their creative approach and innovative techniques are quite different from those of most other local Finger Lakes Wineries. Silver Springs winery, on the Southeastern shore of Seneca Lake near Burdett, opened in the spring of 2004.

From the beginning, the Zuccarinos have followed a different path in creating and marketing a small but sophisticated group of diverse styles of wines from Native American, hybrid and Vinifera grapes.

John grew up in New Jersey and says that “winemaking is in his blood.” He pointed out that he can trace winemaking in his family back some 700 years.

His great-grandfather was making wine before Prohibition and continued as a bootlegger. He fondly remembers being around family members making wine in the fall while he was a youth, and although he continued to follow the family tradition each autumn, he didn’t decide to pursue a career path in the industry until later in life. He initially worked in real estate sales and was involved with oil and gas fields in West Texas for a number of years.

When he turned 40, he and his wife began to consider opening their own winery, and they fell in love with the Finger Lakes while they traveled through the area when their oldest son was attending a Cornell summer educational program. The couple purchased a 100-acre tract where their winery is and erected a modular home there in the spring of 2004.

Currently, John makes red Vinifera wines from a blend of 60 percent fruit acquired from the Finger Lakes and 40 percent purchased from Long Island. Although, he eventually hopes to be able to make his wine on the premises, most of his wines are currently produced in a custom winemaking facility in Mattituck,, Long Island, where a wide range of sophisticated equipment is available to winemakers using the facility. This center also has storage available for aging the wine in barrels. Some of the white wines are being fermented in the winery, and John eventually hopes to be able to purchase equipment to produce his own wines on site. Although he is pleased with the quality of wines that he is able to produce on L.I., he dreads the long commute, and jokes that he may have to eventually buy a helicopter to make the trips quicker.

The winery offers two distinct lines of wines. The series of "Silver Springs Wines" includes a Merlot and Cabernet Franc, Delaware, Catawba, and two styles of Cayuga White. These wines carry a unique label with a trademarked "Peace Sign" featuring a grape motif. John takes an unusual approach to making wines from the two native varietals. To ensure minimal skin contact, the juice is extracted immediately after the grapes are pressed, and then slowly fermented at cold temperatures. The resulting wines are crisp and clean with a lively acidity. Although the native flavors and aromas of these grapes are preserved, they are more subtle than the usual wines produced from Delaware and Catawba in this region, and may be more appealing to modern consumers with a taste for less strongly flavored white wines.

The other series of wines are barrel reserve reds labeled as "Don Giovanni.” This designation was conceived to preserve the family tradition by referring back to the original family name. Only free-run juice is used to make these wines, and they are aged in Allier French oak barrels.

These wines are intensely colored, fairly full-bodied, and have a good tannic structure. The blend of fruit from the Finger Lakes and Long Island used in these wines helps ensure the overall quality and consistency of products from year to year. These wines are made in a style that makes them very enjoyable and pleasant to consume alone or with appropriate foods. Currently, the winery offers three of these wines, a Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon, all from the 2003 vintage.

The Zuccarinos planted about 10 acres of Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and Riesling on their property in 2002. These grapes are grown using organic, biodynamic methods.

Currently, the winery produces only about 2,500 cases annually, and production has remained at this level during the first three years of operation of the winery. Although the Zuccarinos plan to gradually expand their production, they will keep the winery relatively small so that it continues to be a traditional family operation. Eventually, they plan to build a home on the hill overlooking their vineyard.

Next year the winery will be releasing a 2004 vintage wine made from a blend of 65 percent Cabernet Franc, 25 percent Merlot, and 10 percent Cabernet Franc, which will be called “Tri-Dition.”

This will be a limited production of only 100 cases, and John hopes that most of it can be sold on orders for futures. The winery also promises to release two new “mystery” white wines that have 4-6 percent residual sugar, and the identity of these wines will be known next spring, probably in March.

John and Sari invite you to stop by their winery during the coming fall months so that you can enjoy some of their interesting wines.

Silver Springs Winery Delaware 2003, $9.99-A beautiful clear color with crisp, lively acidity and about 1% residual sugar. It has subtle, typical grapey flavors normally associated with this variety, but it also has some unusual notes of lemon and citrus.

Silver Springs Winery Catawba 2003, $9.99-A clear neutral color with 1.5% residual sugar. This wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks and covered with Nitrogen during fermentation. It has very subtle native American "cotton candy" flavors, with some apple flavors and aromas.

Silver Springs Winery Cayuga White, 2004, $9.99-This wine has 3% residual sugar, which is nicely balanced by its acidity level. Very aromatic with flavors and aromas of apple, peach and pear integrated with a hint of honeysuckle.

Silver Springs Winery Merlot, 2003, "Don Giovanni", $21.00-Aged in French oak and produced from pressing whole clusters of berries. Oak flavors are well integrated with fruit flavors of cherries, and vanilla notes. Chocolate notes are evident in the finish.

Silver Springs Cabernet Franc 2003, "Don Giovanni", $21.00-Cherry and blackberry fruit flavors with fairly supple tannins. Finishes with a slightly peppery aftertaste.

Silver Springs Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, "Don Giovanni", $21.00-Fermented with small amounts of added oxygen to smooth out tannins and produce a soft finish. This wine has flavors of cherry and plum and a very soft texture on the palate. Also has hints of chocolate and vanilla.


Corning Leader newspaper
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
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New in New York

By Ken Crozier | ON THE VINE

This past weekend was the fourth annual Wine On Ice event held at Elmira's First Arena and capably sponsored by WENY Newschannel 36.

Friday was indeed busy, what with the food and music that went along with all the various wines offered by the 36 participating New York wineries. There were two more sessions on Saturday.

This event always provides a great opportunity to sample from many different wineries while you have them all under one roof. You can also meet up with your winery friends that perhaps you only normally see when the fairer weather is abundant.

I first stopped upstairs for some small, sampler-size vittles before I got into any wine tasting, then I headed to the LAKEWOOD VINEYARDS table and, lo and behold, there was Bev smiling and pouring the winery's wares to a number of folks.

I was introduced to their new release, a DRY VIGNOLES. You may recognize this grape as it is used in semi-sweet, late harvest and even ice wines, so this was quite a switch. The wine is dry with a soft layer of oak noticeable. It has some quite different but also quite pleasant flavors and would make a nice food wine with chicken or pasta with a white sauce. It is a bit reminiscent of Chardonnay, yet has its own identity.

Behind the ATWATER ESTATE VINEYARDS table was good old Ted making certain tasters were being attended to. The newly bottled SOMERSET BLUSH, a blend of Cayuga and Catawba, showed a nice pink color. This is a fruity, strawberry-accented, soft wine. It is sweet, but far from too sweet. If you prefer a fruity style, you really must give this a try. Very pleasant.

You may also want to look for ATWATER'S summer release of a new wine called RIEWURTZ. A blend of Riesling and that "G" wine, it will be a drier style that deserves a try.

The TICKLE HILL WINERY has increased the number of their products so that when a couple of the most liked wines are temporarily sold out, there will still be more than enough to sample. The SOPHISTICAT is a medium-sweet white with a nice long finish. You should notice aromas of flowers and a soft, fruity taste.

STANDING STONE VINEYARDS showed me a very good Chardonnay. The 2002 RESERVE seems to have spent just the right number of months in French Oak to create a medium- to light-bodied, quite creamy, dry white. You really need to try a bottle of this if you are a fan of Chardonnay.

Everybody is aware of HAZLITT 1852 VINEYARDS' famous RED CAT. But do you know how tasty their 2001 CABERNET SAUVIGNON is? Good varietal flavors and a full body add to the dark-skinned fruit personality. The original Red Cat, Barney, suggested I try it, and I am glad I did. Earlier at their upstairs table, I had a nice talk with Marsha who gave me some tidbits on the difficulties of a seemingly simple item like a label change.

For those of you into the Arbor Mist style, you should try PLEASANT VALLEY WINE COMPANY'S AUTUMN FROST label STRAWBERRY WHITE ZINFANDEL. A clean, light treat with nice fruit and just the right spritz. At 6 percent alcohol, it stays light too.

New from RED NEWT CELLARS I found their YELLOW JAIL white wine a real winner. A three-grape blend of the "G" wine, Riesling and Pinot Gris, it is a crisp, clean, dry wine. You get a little bit of each grape's character and together they work quite well. A must-try for dry white lovers, and sales benefit the "Historic Salem Courthouse Preservation Society" also depicted on the label.

I had a nice chat with Suzanne, representing - quite well I must say - HICKORY HOLLOW WINE CELLARS, which at this time last year had very recently opened. I did write of how good their first wines were back then, and all seemed to have improved, and they have increased their varieties. Take the short trip up Route 14 to Dundee this spring, or sooner, look for Suzanne and enjoy what these folks are doing. I think their Chardonnay is still my favorite.

A year ago, thanks to Jon, I had tried two wines from McGREGOR VINEYARD WINERY that were quite good even then. I tried both again, and believe it: They are even better. The 2001 PINOT NOIR RESERVE has become very rich and dark with an abundance of plum and black cherry aromas and flavors. The 18 months on French Oak have made it complex and concentrated. Only at the winery.

The McGREGOR 2001 CHARDONNAY RESERVE will make you think you#'re drinking California, it's that good. The full body and richness of it, along with the buttery aspect, keep you interested. Tropical flavors add to the complexity. Available in stores and at the winery.

Last only because this winery just got up and going June 11, 2004, located just five miles up Route 414 from Watkins Glen, you can now find and visit the SILVER SPRING WINERY. I had a great time talking to Sari, one half of the proprietorship (John being the other) about their endeavor. (They were quite busy, so John just kept pouring.)

At this time, five of their wines are available. The two reds are MERLOT 2002 and CABERNET FRANC 2002, both of which have 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon blended in. Both also spent time in new French Oak, although from different forests. The grapes for the reds are from Long Island. I was pleased with both of them and they deserve your attention.

The three whites I did not try - but they are CAYUGA WHITE, CATAWBA and DELAWARE (for you fruity wine lovers.) These grapes are from Seneca Lake. The Cayuga has 1.75 percent residual sweetness, but two more Cayugas are due with 3 percent and 5 percent RS soon.

Also, the Don Giovanni Wines second label will be out soon with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in the bottles.

HAPPY TASTING!