Friday, October 14, 2011

Fox Run Winery - A Finger Lakes Beauty

The winery that is now Fox Run began its life as a dairy farm in Penn Yan, NY.  Just 55 acres, it sits high above the western side of Seneca Lake on Torrey Ridge.  The Finger Lakes Region has supplied decent American wines for more than 150 years.  In this region, French-American hybrids have been grown, tested, and re-planted for their hardiness in the relatively chilly climate.  Historically, the Finger Lakes wines have been sweeter than you might find from the west coast or Oregon.  The owners of Fox Run were determined to put Finger Lakes on the map with finer wines.  They planted their first non-hybrid European grapes in 1984, believing they could develop fine reds and whites from the region.

I had tasted their cabernet sauvignon with dinner the night before at a local restaurant.  We put them on our list of must-see wineries on our tour of the Finger Lakes.  They were our last stop the following afternoon.

Since we had already tried (and loved) their Cabernet, we decided to try their Reserve Chardonnay (2008). We were not disappointed.  We each purchased a glass of their wine and even though their little cafe had closed, I asked for a cheese and cracker tray and they happily obliged.  We then headed outside to their deck, overlooking Seneca Lake.  Though there's a little 2-lane road bisecting the land between the winery and the lake, it did not dimish the view or the experience.  It was one of those warm, early-autumn afternoons where the temperatures were in the high 70's.  We don't get too many of those in that part of the country and we were determined to savor the afternoon sunlight.


The grapes for this wine were sourced from the oldest vineyard on the property. 
One-half hour in the fridge brought the bottle to a perfect temperature.  Pale gold in color, my first impression in the glass is a really bold pear fragrance.  As I gave my glass a couple of stiff swirls, a clean fresh bouquet of mineral flowed out. The finish is long and very smooth, almost a buttery finish. But not quite butter, maybe even more of a butterscotch quality.  And at the very end, a hint of cranberry.

Fox Run Vineyard wines have limited distribution.  They are sold through some restaurants and liquor stores throughout NY, FL, NJ and a few other east coast locations.  If you are in the Finger Lakes region, I would recommend you put Fox Run on your list of must-see.

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