Weekly Interview: Kelby Russell

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 05-08-2015

Kelby Russell

Kelby Russell

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. We continue our focus on the Finger Lakes this week by featuring Kelby Russell, the winemaker at Red Newt Cellars.

Red Newt Cellars was founded by David and Debra Whiting in 1998 — but both David and Debra have been in the area for much longer. When the couple met in the late 1980s, David was already involved in the Finger Lakes wine industry and Debra was supervising microbiology labs at Cornell University.

In fact, as you’ll read below, David had been longstanding friends with Peter Bell (whom we previously interviewed), when David decided to hire Kelby “away” from Peter.

From the interview, it was clear that Kelby had multiple career options when he chose winemaking. Check out our interview with Kelby below the fold, in which he explains the career choice, explains his path to Red Newt Cellars, and discusses up-and-coming talents in the Finger Lakes winemaking scene!

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Weekly Interview: Peter Becraft

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 05-01-2015

Peter Becraft

Peter Becraft

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. We continue our focus on the Finger Lakes this week by featuring Peter Becraft, the Head Winemaker at Anthony Road Wine Company.

Anthony Road was founded by Ann and John Martini in 1990. Since then, Anthony Road has become a real benchmark for the region. Peter joined Anthony Road in 2006, first to help out with harvest and then as an Assistant Winemaker. He was hired by Johannes Reinhart, who, at the time, led Anthony Road’s winemaking efforts. Johannes opened his own operations in 2013, but stayed on Anthony Road’s team as a Consulting Winemaker, and Peter became Head Winemaker. Anthony Road’s story, in other words, encapsulates the region’s atmosphere of collaboration and collegiality.

Check out our interview with Peter below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Lindsay Stevens

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 04-24-2015

Lindsay Stevens

Lindsay Stevens

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. We continue our focus on the Finger Lakes this week by featuring Lindsay Stevens, the winemaker at King Ferry Winery.

Located slightly off the beaten path, on the east side of Cayuga Lake, King Ferry Winery was founded in 1984 by Peter and Tacie Saltonstall. The winery is particularly known for its Chardonnays, in addition to the Finger Lakes staples, Rieslings and Gewurztraminers.

As you’ll read below, Lindsay has a no-nonsense approach to winemaking that is highly practical. But it is also evident that she has thought extensively about what winemaking means to her. Consider the following excerpt: “Food is a form of love for me. Love is preparing a meal from scratch and being willing to live in the moment believing that it’s time well spent. Wine is just another part of sharing that love. It’s my hope that the time and effort that I put into making wines will translate into a part of that love being spread around your own table.” I personally reflected deeply on that and Lindsay’s other insights.

We hope you enjoy the interview. Check it out below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Mark Patterson & Barry Tortolon

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 04-17-2015

Mark Patterson

Mark Patterson

Each week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we continue our focus on the Finger Lakes by featuring two winemakers: Mark Patterson and Barry Tortolon of Heron Hill Winery. Barry joined Mark at Heron Hill only about a month ago. They are now co-winemakers and collectively oversee Heron Hill’s entire portfolio.

Heron Hill Winery’s first vintage is 1977. By Finger Lakes standards, that puts Heron Hill squarely in the group of established wineries. John and Jo Ingle planted Heron Hill’s first vineyards in 1972, just a year after getting married. They started small — their first vintage consisted only of 5,000 cases — but they have grown tremendously in the past four decades. They now produce 18,000 cases per year and welcome more than 50,000 people per year.

 

Barry Tortolon

Barry Tortolon

Mark and Barry are both newcomers to Heron Hill. Mark joined in 2014; Barry joined just a month ago. So our interview comes at an exciting time of transition for Heron Hill. We enjoyed deviating slightly from our usual interview structure to accommodate the two of them in a single week and wish them the best in their new venture.

Check out the interview below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Steve DiFrancesco

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 04-10-2015

Steve DiFrancesco

Steve DiFrancesco

Each week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Steve DiFrancesco of Glenora Wine Cellars. With Steve, we continue our series of interviews of Finger Lakes winemakers, following our interviews of August Deimel at Keuka Spring Vineyards and Peter Bell at Fox Run Vineyards.

Steve is a veteran in the region, with more than thirty-six Finger Lakes vintages under his belt. So we were particularly delighted that, in his interview, Steve gave us some historical background of the region as an important reason why the Finger Lakes is such a special community and viticultural region.

Check out the interview below the fold!

 

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Weekly Interview: Peter Bell

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 04-03-2015

Peter Bell

Peter Bell

Each week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. After completing a set of interviews of Walla Walla Valley winemakers, last week, we began a new set of interviews focusing on the Finger Lakes. This week, we continue our focus on the Finger Lakes with an interview of Peter Bell, the winemaker at Fox Run Vineyards.

The upcoming summer marks Peter’s twentieth anniversary at Fox Run. By Finger Lakes standards, that puts Peter squarely in the camp of seasoned veterans, armed with more vintages than most.

Check out the interview with Peter below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: August Deimel

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 03-27-2015

August Deimel

August Deimel

Each week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring August Deimel at Keuka Spring Vineyards.

With this interview, we are starting another series of interviews focusing on a wine region. Some of you will remember the recent series on Walla Walla Valley winemakers. Inspired by a recent trip to there, we now begin a series on the Finger Lakes.

And we are glad to kick off the series with August. While August is a relative newcomer to the Finger Lakes, as you will see below, he has strong ties to the region. And he discusses the place, the wines, and his story with admirable facility.

Check out the interview below!

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Weekly Interview: Valeta Massey

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 03-06-2015

Valeta Massey

Valeta Massey

Each week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Valeta Massey at Clos de la Tech in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

At Clos de la Tech, Valeta and TJ have been making Pinot Noir for more than a decade.  And they have developed proprietary technology to aid their winemaking, which Valeta discusses.

Check out the interview below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Michael Richmond

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 02-27-2015

Michael Richmond

Michael Richmond

Each week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we have the pleasure of featuring Michael Richmond of Bouchaine Vineyards.

In March 2015, Michael will be retiring from the wine industry after 40+ years in it. You’ll see below that Michael taken the interview as an opportunity to reflect on his entire career. So we offer the interview to you to enjoy, with minimal edits from our end.

Take a look, below the fold, for a reflection on the life and career of Michael Richmond!

 

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Weekly Interview: Kari Auringer

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 02-20-2015

Kari Auringer

Kari Auringer

Each week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker.  This week, we are featuring Kari Auringer, the winemaker at Silver Trident Winery.

Kari began her career not in wine, but in graphic design.  That puts her squarely among the winemakers who, at one point in their first careers, deliberated decided to leave their burgeoning careers and jump into the world of wine. In our interview, she discusses her career move, her drinking habits, and Napa Valley.

Check out the interview with Kari below the fold!

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