Editor's note: This segment is the first in a series detailing our visit to five unique wineries in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Though all of the footage was taken in the spring, and the weather and foliage is obviously a bit different today, it is our hope that viewer will find within our work the beauty and charm of each winery and the region as a whole. Indeed, it is quite undeniable...
Located on the eastern shores of Seneca Lake, Damiani Wine Cellars was founded by Lou Damiani and Phil Davis, each of whom were raised and grew up as neighbors on the very land they farm today.
As opposed to many American wineries, Damiani's prowess in winemaking comes from a focus on viticulture, first and foremost. According to its website, "the combination of the warmest micro-climate on Seneca Lake and heavy crop reduction via strict pruning, results in deeper, fuller-bodied wines that show the mineralistic terroir the Finger Lakes is known for."
"Though we've grown fruit, and particularly grapes, for a couple centuries [in the Finger Lakes] ... the vinifera grapes - to express what they really need to express - they need to be stressed, they need significantly reduced crop loads," Davis, Damiani's viticulturist, explained to us.
And unlike most other wineries in the region, it is not just white wine that Damiani produces. In addition to Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, the winery produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. In fact, Damiani's red wines are among the most celebrated in the Finger Lakes... and beyond.
"We here at Damiani Wine Cellars started this winery with the stubborn notion that we can produce beautiful reds here in the Finger Lakes and I think we've gone on to prove that," said Damiani, the head winemaker. "We work on it more each year and try and develop our reds into world-class wines that represent the Finger Lakes well but also the grapes themselves in the world of wine."
In this segment, we take a look at one of the vineyards where Damiani's grapes are grown, taste and discuss a few of its wines (we almost forgot about Damiani's stellar Sparkling Wine and Gewurztraminer...almost!) and punctuate the visit with a look at the barrel room complete with a tasting of Pinot aged in - what else? - French Oak!
A HUGE thanks out to Phil and Lou who were extraordinary in having us. We long for our next visit, though you don't have to... Damiani is located at 4704 Rt 414 in Burdett, NY. Contact them by phone: 607-546-5557 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.