Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away

This past weekend Shirley and I took a trip to Canandaigua to attend the second annual Finger Lakes Wine Festival.  I don't know why, but it seems every time we travel to the Rochester area, except for wine tours, we run into torrential down pours.  Sunday was no exception.
In less than five minutes of walking from our car to the first tent, our clothes were soaked right through.  It did give us some time for Shirley to pick up some jams and canned pickles from the various vendors.  The wine tent was a welcome sight as we approached.  It was a large tent and crowded with what I thought were wet souls trying to keep dry.  However, that was really not the case.
Entering the tent, I spotted Amy Cheatle pouring at the Damiani Wine Cellars table and decided to start there.
It felt nice not to be rained on, but that side of the wine tent was one massive puddle of water.  Now, not only were my clothes soaked, so were my feet.  Ankle deep water from one end to the other kept the sneakers full of water for the rest of day.  Needless to say it was cold, I was tasting a lot of wine, so I did have to pee alot and the restrooms were not close by and that meant I just kept getting wetter.
Now some observations about the day and the festival.
Other than the weather, the day proved to be worth the trip.  It would have been nice to walk around the downtown area and visit some of the shops. Shirley and I both discussed maybe coming back on a sunny weekend to visit the area and do a wine tour. Although the crowd was small, the location on the lake was fantastic and the festival seemed well organized. Although Mother Nature kept the party wet, spirits were not dampened by the festival staff, the vendors, the wineries or the visitors and the wine was great, after all, it was Finger Lakes Rieslings.
I did find that the recently released 09's were not quite on the same level as the 08's. Nice but lacking some of the fruit and not quite as well balanced. They weren't bad, but you have to remember how good the 08's were. There were still plenty of good ones to bring home.  Among the best were the Swedish Hill dry Riesling and the '07 Heron Hill Ingle Vineyard Riesling.  I also brought home two very interesting wines.
The first was an oaked Riesling from Casa Larga Vineyards and a Riesling-Traminette from the Fulkerson Winery.  Along with the Rieslings I did bring home a very good '08 Meritage from Damiani.  I think Amy knew I was coming.  She knows how much I enjoyed the '07 Meritage and this one may beat that.
Next year, the Lord willing, we'll be back.  We did pass many nice looking B & B's, so maybe we'll do the entire weekend and we'll make it into a wine tour, then maybe, just maybe, the rain will stay away.

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