By Evan Dawson, Finger Lakes Editor
There are a handful of ways to make ice (and ice-style) wine, but to make it great, you've got to start with high-quality fruit. I'm reminded of that every time I taste a Standing Stone example. There are four, all priced at $24.99 per bottle: vidal, riesling, gewurtraminer and chardonnay.
The Standing Stone Vineyards 2008 Riesling Ice was the NYCR Finger Lakes Dessert Wine of the Year. Like its siblings, the Riesling Ice is rich and pure, always clean and focused. And winemaker/owner Marti Macinski, along with her husband Tom, are committed to getting their ice wines to customers at affordable prices.
"We know that $25 is not cheap, but it's nowhere near the price of some other dessert wines on the market," Marti told me on a recent visit. "That's extremely important to us. At $50 or $60 a bottle, the world drops off. We want our customers to be able to afford our wines for more than just a special occasion."
And yet drinking a Standing Stone ice wine just might create a special occasion. The Macinskis choose to pick the fruit and then store the grapes in commercial freezers for several months. In the video above, you'll see the action on press day -- and you'll hear exactly how much sugar remains after this process.
In the video they're pressing Vidal, which nearly snuck in to the NYCR Wines of the Year flight. Each Standing Stone dessert wine is distinctive, appealing to many tastes. That's another part of the plan for the Macinskis, who bring a thoughtful approach to all aspects of their operation (especially when to spend money, and when to seek cost-effective solutions, as you'll see in the video).