NEWS & INFORMATION
By now you've probably heard about the late frost that hit the Finger Lakes region last week. Many vineyards suffered heavy damage and Hunt Country, unfortunately, was no exception. We're still assessing the exact level of damage and it will be a few weeks before we know for sure. However, it appears that our vinifera grapes – Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Riesling – will be a complete loss with no harvest this year. On the other hand (and presuming there are no additional disasters) our hybrid grapes – Vidal Blanc and Vignoles in particular – will give us a reduced but sizable crop. We'll keep you posted as the season progresses.
This is the sort of weather event that every winery fears – and the sort of event that will happen more and more often with climate change. Was this recent frost part of the climate crisis we're facing? We don't know. But it's exactly the kind of extreme weather we've been preparing for by diversifying the types of grapes we grow.
Hybrid grapes (as seen in this photo) are far more rugged and resilient than their vinifera relatives. And while hybrids have historically been looked down on in the wine world, they can produce absolutely beautiful wines when given the same love and attention as vinifera grapes.
This is why we grow hybrid grapes. And this is what our Uncharted Terroir line of wines is all about: Enhancing the resilience of our farm through diversification and sparking interest in these more rugged grape varieties by experimenting with new styles and flavors that we all can enjoy.
One way or another, we are going to have amazing wine this year. And if you haven't already added Uncharted Terroir wines to your collection, give them a try!
We've been waiting for almost a year, but our new bottling line is finally up and running! And to say we're excited would be an understatement.
"This bottling line is a huge upgrade," says head winemaker Craig Hosbach. "I think the precision of this machinery is incredible – the way it's all designed, the timing – incredible!"
Suzanne Hunt, co-owner of Hunt Country, is pretty excited too. "We made this significant investment to ensure that the beautiful wines our team is producing are bottled with the absolute highest quality equipment," she says.
The bottling line components are from two different companies in France and Germany. From the time we ordered the line, it took about nine months for it to be assembled, cross the Atlantic, move through an east coast port of entry and finally land on our doorstep in several gigantic crates.
"Then we had to prep the room and bring people in to help to do set up, and that added another month," Craig says. "So from beginning to end it was about 10 months."
The first wine we bottled with the line is our 2021 Dry Rosé, which is a delightful blend of Blaufränkisch and Cabernet Franc – an absolutely beautiful wine.
"We wanted to get it in the bottle early to capture the essence of it: the aromatics, the flavors and the brightness," Craig says. "This wine is meant to be enjoyed young and fresh."
So grab a bottle and help us celebrate the newest member of our winemaking team: the new bottling line!
Our 2018 Uncharted Terroir Cayuga White received a wonderful little review from Esther Mobley, the wine critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. It was part of a bigger piece she wrote about hybrid wines that she really enjoys – and why hybrid grapes are becoming more and more important.
"What makes the hybrid conversation urgent is climate change. As temperatures warm and weather patterns become more erratic, vinifera may not be able to thrive forever in all of the places where it's currently grown. Some scientific predictions, in fact, suggest if current trends persist, half of the world's wine regions will become inhospitable to vinifera. Sure, the European grapes — all our Cabernet Sauvignons and Pinot Noirs and Syrahs — are working great in California now. But they may not always...
"Most of the efforts with hybrid winemaking in the U.S., however, are happening outside of California, in areas where extreme weather makes it difficult to grow vinifera successfully... Under its new Uncharted Terroir label, Hunt Country Vineyards in upstate New York has made a nice wine from Cayuga, rich and round with some creaminess from barrel fermentation and lees stirring."
Read the full story when you have a few minutes.
We are thrilled and humbled to announce that our three current Rieslings have scored 90+ points with the tasters at Wine & Spirits Magazine!
"Since arriving in the Finger Lakes in 2017, my focus has been on producing wines that display the signature characteristics of the grapes from our region, while also achieving specific personal and house stylistic goals," says Craig Hosbach, our head winemaker. "We have an extraordinary team here at Hunt Country that works tirelessly to produce consistent, high quality wines. We are really happy to receive these three 90+ scores from Wine & Spirits Magazine that affirm our passion and efforts."
"We are extremely pleased to have received 90+ scores on all of our current Rieslings from Wine & Spirits Magazine," says Joyce Hunt, co-owner and co-founder of Hunt Country Vineyards. "They are a testament to the talent, dedication and passion of our winemaker, Craig Hosbach, as well as to the knowledge, experience and lifetime dedication of vineyardist, owner and my husband, Art Hunt. Many thanks go to the winery and vineyard teams who work to produce our fine wines."
If you haven't had our Rieslings recently, you should put them on the top of your tasting list. The good people at Wine & Spirits Magazine have affirmed what so many of us already know: These wines are absolutely delicious!
Check out this outstanding review of our 2017 Reserve Cabernet Franc and 2017 Reserve Riesling by the amazing Annemarie Morse over at The Cork Report.
"I felt a real sense of family, dedication to creating great wines and a sense of environmental awareness strongly illustrated in this visit and I look forward to tasting more of the wines that Craig and the Hunt family continue to create."
This week the New York Wine & Grape Foundation announced the results of the 2018 New York Wine Classic, and our 2016 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine was judged to be the best ice wine in the state!
The New York Wine Classic is organized by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation and is open to all 440 wineries in New York. The awards are based on blind tastings by 21 expert judges from across the country. Judges include prominent wine writers, restaurateurs, retailers, and wine educators.
We are thrilled to have such a prominent group of individuals recognize our Ice Wine as one of the best wines in New York. We've been crafting genuine ice wine since 1987, which makes us the longest continuous producer in the United States. There is difficulty and risk involved with making a traditional ice wine like this, but it's worth it!
If you haven't tried this brilliant dessert wine before, please do! We'd love to know what you think too.
The warmer, sunnier days of summer are upon us. Which means we're headed into glorious days spent grilling food and laying out picnics for family and friends. But what wine goes best with this summer abundance?
"My favorite food-pairing wines are often sparkling wines," says Craig Hosbach, winemaker at Hunt Country Vineyards on Keuka Lake. "Sparkling wines are extremely food-friendly because the bubbles cleanse your palate, preparing you for your next bite of food."
The trick, he says, is to find rich foods that can hold their own against the carbonation. Smoked meats, cream sauces and strong cheeses like brie are a great place to start. Hunt Country's brand new Moscato, for example, is fantastic with strong, spicy Asian or Mexican dishes.
But then there's Remedy from Hunt Country, a brand new sparkling rosé that pairs wonderfully with more subtle fare like grilled salmon or tomato-cucumber salad.
"I'm always striving to make wines that combine two things that we’re passionate about here at the farm," says Hosbach. "Growing great grapes to make great wines that complete your meal."
So what makes a great sparkling wine?
"Balance," he says. Hosbach believes that most (if not all) sparkling wines require a little bit of residual sugar to compliment the carbonation.
Moscato and Remedy are just two of the new wines released by the Hunt family just in time for summer. They also have a Traminette and a Cabernet Franc Rosé, and they're welcoming the return of a long-time favorite: their Pinot Gris.
To see all the wines they have to offer, visit Hunt Country Vineyards at their tasting room on Keuka Lake or online at HuntWines.com.