The Quick Sip
Just in time for Spring, we have a new rosé on the shelves! If you’ve never had a wine from the Finger Lakes region before, you’ll be surprised to see how good they are.
The Finger Lakes Region
Located in western/central New York, the area is named after 11 long, narrow lakes that resemble a handful of fingers (OK, maybe two-plus handfuls). And in turn, the lakes were named by the Native American Iroquois, the area’s original inhabitants. Lakes Seneca and Cayuga are the two largest lakes in the cluster, where most of the wineries are located.
The Wine Scene
Even though wine was made here as far back as the 1800s, it wasn’t until the 1960s that farmers began to take the Finger Lakes seriously. There are now over 100 wineries in the area, on 11,000 acres: It’s the largest wine producing area in New York. The region is often compared to Germany, as far as climate is concerned.
Sheldrake Point Winery, located on Cayuga Lake, has been in business since 1998. The 160 acre lakeshore site that is now Sheldrake Point Vineyard was operated as an orchard and dairy farm from 1850 until the mid 1980s. Owners Chuck Tauck and Fran Littin were attracted to the Finger Lakes wine industry during Chuck’s graduate work at the Cornell Hotel School. Together, they transformed the property into today’s winery and vineyard.
Sheldrake Point’s Dry Rosé 2016 is made from 100% Cabernet Franc,
a French wine grape (famous in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley) that is starting to show some fantastic results in the region. Normally used to make red wines, this rosé is made by allowing the red grape skins to sit in the crushed juice for two days, just enough time to extract that beautiful salmon/onion-skin color.
The wine is floral and fruity, with an interesting herbal scent. It makes me think of orange peels, strawberries and sage. The sage/herbal smell is neat; typical of the Cab Franc grape when grown in a cooler climate. It’s zingy, acidic and lively, and you get this rush of tangy grapefruit, berries and even some minerals as it fades out on your tongue.
Enjoying Sheldrake Point Dry Rosé
As the weather warms up, rosés are all the rage, and rightfully so. They’re fun, refreshing and versatile (they’re also pretty to look at). Something light and zingy like this is perfect with appetizers and light fare. This would be great with a salad (add raspberry vinaigrette for additional wow factor), grilled veggies, light, spreadable cheeses, charcuterie, or my favorite: watermelon and arugula salad.