Nothing will ever replace the direct contact with the places, the people, and landscapes that we get when we make the effort to
consciously investigate. In fact, when we meet in person the people who work the land and who produce food or wine, we get much more than the product itself. We get something else that goes beyond the physical and the sense organs – we get a glimpse of the reality itself.
In Holy Terroir, I am trying to re-transcribe all the visits I’m doing during this tour in North America. I’ve been talking about a
biodynamic farm called Hawthorn Valley in mid upstate New York and Silver Thread Vineyard in the Finger Lakes region in the French version of the blog. You will be able to see some of the pictures of these places if you click on the link to the French version.
Once again, we followed the recommendations of the people we have met on the way in order to visit the wineries in the Finger Lakes region in this part of upstate New York. Millennia ago, glaciers retreated in this region and gave shape to a dozen
elongated lakes shaped as fingers – Finger Lakes. Native Americans were known in this area as the Iroquois confederation of tribes. In this lush, green, hilly environment, settlers came to buy the land to plant the first vines at the end of the 19th century. A lot of wineries went bankrupt during the prohibition era which lasted a decade between the 1920s and 1930s. At that time in this area, a couple of wineries survived due to sacramental wine for religious ceremonies.
We didn’t know what to expect Claire and I before coming to Standing Stone Vineyard. Once again, Pascaline Lepeltier from Rouge Tomate in NYC was giving us the name. The drive was pleasant and arriving in the region under thunderstorms and pouring rain, I had the feeling to be in the monsoon season. But in that case, not like in India in2007, no leeches were coming into my pants from walking in flip-flops in the rain and sucking my blood
from my feet. Here in the Finger Lakes, I didn’t come across a scorpion yet. The morning we arrived at Standing Stone, the heavy, warm sunny weather inspired us to go straight to see the vines first with Bradley Bogdan, an employee who got involved in the wine trade fairly recently, with the eagerness for learning and knowledge in this field.
As a student in psychology who worked also in the catering industry (psychology is much needed when dealing with customers), Bradley showed us around after we met the owner Marti Macinski who was on her way to a wine event this morning when we came. Standing
Stone Vineyard, before being a vineyard, saw chickens running around, as thousands of them were being raised on the premises. The domain has a lovely open space towards Seneca Lake with a slope facing west. Here practices are sustainable with low chemical input.
The wines reflect the climate and by tasting all the 15 wines in the ‘flight’ (an American term for a range of wines to taste), we taste the freshness of the milder climate in this part of the United States.
The common thread in the tasting is the freshness found in most of the wines we’ve tried. From prices ranging from 10$ to 19$, we get a reasonable bottle of wine. I’ve appreciated the gewürztraminer 08 which shows complexity on the nose, mouth-filling, the skin maceration brings body and flesh, and aromas of very mature apricots and rose petals reveal its temperament.