Get used to this image: sorting lines, rare in the Finger Lakes, will be making regular appearances as wineries deal with fruit that varies wildly in quality.
At the new Forge Cellars (a small project run by winemaker Justin Boyette, Rick Rainey, and Frenchman Louis Barruol from Gigondas), sorting will be a routine part of the operation. In this photo, Boyette inspects the fruit with the crew.
Rainey's comment is particularly telling: "See you in the wee hours," he said. "Luckily, we have beer!"
The commitment to sorting would benefit every winery that doesn't currently perform the practice. Rainey reported that the pinot, from a handful of Seneca Lake vineyards, varied from spotless to significantly affected by rot. But with rigorous sorting, only the best fruit makes it through.