Catharine Valley Winery - a pleasant end or start

Catharine Valley Winery is the Southern most winery on the East side of Seneca Lake. This location makes it a nice place to start or end if you are visiting the East side of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail.   This winery is on the small side which gives it a nice touch and puts it some good company with other small wineries on this side of the lake. 

The Wine

The owner and winemaker Don Kilcoyne has assembled a nice broad range of wine in a small collection.  On the sweeter side of things Sweet Revenge (red), Seneca Steamer (white) and The Lost Irishman (blush) offer some very affordable fun Summer wines that beg to be cold.  On the dryer side they offer Delaware (semi-dry white), a two varieties of Riesling (dry and semi-dry), a Gewurztraminer, and a Dry Rose of Pinot Noir.   I was particularly drawn to his Riesling  and the Dry Rose.  The Riesling was very well structured with a very nice balance between fruit, mineral, and acid.  It was easy to drink and made all kinds of food pairings race through my mind.    The Pinot Noir Rose was crisp with slight body.  There is a bottle in my wine rack right now waiting to be paired up with the dark meat from the upcoming Thanksgiving Dinner.  On some past visits I have also enjoyed Catharine Valley Winery's Traminette which is similar in many ways to a Gewurztraminer.  Unfortunately it was not available on this visit.  Hopefully it will reappear in the future.

The Setting

The tasting room is well arranged with the bar in the middle of the room.  There is a nice view of Seneca Lake from the parking lot and the area in front of the tasting room.  We happened to have Dan all to ourselves during out tasting, which was nice.  Listening to Dan describe how he blends Riesling grapes from two different locations in his vineyards was very interesting. He takes Riesling that grows in clay soil which as a result develops a very fruity character and blends it with Riesling that grows in shale which develops a more mineral and acidic quality.  By blending the two he makes them balance each other.  I've been drinking Riesling from this area for many years and this is the first time I have had such a clear explanation given with such passion.  There is always something to be said for having the winemaker be your wine flight attendant. 

Either way, this southernmost winery has some nice offerings and is a great way to either start or finish up your wine tour on Seneca Lake.

Reviews from other wine tasters:

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