By Lenn Thompson, Editor-in-Chief
Rick, who will be launching WinesofNiagara.com this week, was one of of the people I was most looking forward to meeting last weekend at TasteCamp.
Prior to last Friday, my only interaction with Rick had been via Twitter (he's @rickwine) where he enthusiastically Tweets about the wines of Ontario. Local wine geek? Absolutely. He's one of us.
He brought some local wine to our BYOB dinner on Saturday night -- a cab franc and a riesling -- and both impressed. Enough that I'm going to seek out more Ontario wines.
And now...the questions:
Was this your first visit to Finger Lakes wine country? Yes, strictly for wine tasting. Have been there to vacation.Had you ever had any Finger Lakes wines before? And if so, what was your impression of them? Many years ago. My impression is not printable here. Very poor quality, sickly sweet hybrid grape wines.
After tasting a larger sampling of the wines being produced in the Finger Lakes, what is your impression now? Very impressed. The quality wineries are finding a stride and making what the microclimate delivers: Crisp rieslings, finesse cab franc, potentially great pinot noirs and sparkling wines and a sprinkling of other interesting varietals.
What, in general, impressed you the most? The rieslings and cab francs. The rieslings, in particular, were outstanding world-class wines with a style that is consistent with the top wineries.
What, in general, underwhelmed you the most? The number of wineries producing crap wines and crap hybrid horrible wines. There should be a move toward a quality assurance that wineries have to adhere to.
What tasting or vineyard walk was and will be the most memorable
for you? The Ravines Wine Cellars tasting and Argetsinger Vineyard walk where his top wine
grapes are grown. Fascinating owners and winemaker who is steadfast in
his beliefs. And perfectly matched to his grower.
After so much online (Twitter, blogs, etc.) interaction with the attendees, which person surprised you the most in person? Would definitely say @lenndevours ... he's a lot nicer in person and not as mean looking as his avatar (this is just between us, right?)
If you had to pick one, what would your wine of the weekend be? Hermann J. Wiemer Magdalena single vineyard riesling. The older the better, preferably the 2003.