WESTFIELD - The 2012 harvest is underway and the Riesling grapes at Johnson Estate were picked on Columbus Day with hopes the sunny summer will yield another delicious, gold medal vintage.
Johnson Estate is located in Western New York, a region whose climate is similar to Germany's, with Lake Erie as its "Moselle." It is the ideal climate for growing high-quality Riesling grapes for world-class wines.
Johnson Estate will celebrate this year's Riesling harvest in Germanic style by serving Federweisser - a partially fermented white grape juice similar to apple cider. Federweisser means white or light feather, referring to the color of this sweet, slightly fermented, pale-colored juice with an alcohol level of roughly 4 to 10 percent, depending on the duration of fermentation. As they do in Germany, the winery will serve the well-chilled Federweisser with a traditional onion tart Saturday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 14. No reservations are required. A generous serving of Federweisser and tart, prepared by CJ's of Westfield, will be $5 per person.
Federweisser, or young wine, and Onion Tart at Johnson Estate.
Taste three Rieslings at the winery
When at the winery, do taste all three Rieslings made at Johnson Estate. The first two are made from Johnson's 2011 estate grapes and carry the Freelings Creek label. The third, a new release for the winery, is made from Finger Lakes grapes and is a limited production of just 200 cases. All three Rieslings were vinified in the classic German Riesling style and range in sweetness from dry, off-dry to semi-sweet.
Beverage Testing Institute awards Johnson Estate's Rieslings gold medals
Winemaker Jeff Murphy submitted samples of each of Johnson's three Rieslings to the Beverage Testing Institute, an independent rating agency for the quality of wines, liquors and beers. The two estate wines - Dry Riesling, 92 points and Riesling, 93 points - were awarded gold/exceptional medals along with two other vintages, a Vidal Blanc and a Cabernet Sauvignon. The Finger Lakes Riesling was awarded a silver medal.
Free shipping for Riesling sampler or straight cases in October
During the month of October, in recognition of Johnson Estate's Riesling Harvest Celebration, shipping will be free on a Riesling sampler case or straight cases - 12 bottles - of any of the winery's Rieslings. The sampler case will feature four bottles of each of the three Rieslings made by the winery. Johnson Estate is currently licensed to ship to nearly 40 states. Customers may call the winery or visit the winery's website to place an order.
Johnson Estate Winery, the oldest estate winery in New York State, is a member of the Lake Erie Wine Country, formerly the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail. For more information, visit www.johnsonwinery.com, or www.facebook.com/johnsonwinery, or call 326-2191 or 800-Drink-NY.