Cayuga White is a French-American hybrid developed by Cornell University in the 1940s and is grown almost exclusively within the Finger Lakes region. These vines are trained on a high wire umbrella trellis where shoots are left to grow up from the cane then fall back down towards the middle of the row. The combination of grape variety and trellis style on well drained soils allow for sustainable viticulture with a minimum of vineyard sprays. The vineyard site is Budd Farm, located on the east side of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York state.
The grapes were harvested early in the season for maximum acid retention. Grapes were pressed gently in a horizontal press. The juice was fermented naturally with a pied de cuvée that was started in the vineyard to ensure that true vineyard yeasts drove the fermentation. Wine was bottled on October 1 to finish ferment under crown cap and to preserve natural carbonation. No sulfites were added at bottling. Bottles were disgorged on 12/17/18.
Grape varieties :Cayuga White
Vineyard age :30+-year-old vines
Soil :Deep and well-drained soils of Howard gravelly loam
Acidity :TA: 8.1 g/l, PH: 2.96
Tasting notes :Pale yellow color with a light mousse and fine bubbles. There are fresh peach and apple aromas. Flavors are bright and fruity with a hint of creamy yeast character. Perfectly refreshing and an expression of sparkling that could only come from the Finger Lakes.
Ben Riccardi, 33, is a young winemaker in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Since 2014 he has invested his life savings into French oak barrels, purchasing the best chardonnay he could afford and renting a small space in a winemaking facility that allowed him to borrow their equipment. Although Ben is from the Finger Lakes, he has been constructing a 200-case production remotely for three years while his day job was at Williams Seylem in Sonoma County, California. As of 2017, he moved back home to work full-time at Osmote and has already raised his production to 500 cases. A degree earned in oenology at Cornell University paired with several vintages spent in New Zealand and the south of France; Ben is looking to acquire a plot of land to build a winery and plant vines to farm organically.
Ben sources many of his grapes from vineyards grown around Seneca Lake, the the largest, deepest Finger Lake and the crown jewel of New York State's premier cool climate region. Here viticulture exists on the edge of possibility. Even though winter lows are often sub-zero across upstate New York, this lake over 600ft deep never freezes and the warmth of the water keeps the vines alive through the frozen months. Vines thrive in sedimentary soils set on the steep shale stone slopes banks of the lake.
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