Finger Lakes

We continue traveling through different wine regions all over the world and today it’s Finger Lakes’ turn. This winemaking region is located in Upstate New York and the four main lakes of the AVA include Canandiauga Lake, Keuka Lake, Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake, where the great majority of vineyards are concentrated.

Full of waterfalls, rock formations and of course glacier-sculpted landscapes around the lakes, this viticulture site is often compared to Germany’s Rhine area. For hundreds of thousands of years, the Finger Lakes were impacted by waves of glaciers. Now, these bodies of water have a great effect on grapes. Just like the Rhine river, the lakes moderate the climate all year round.  The stored heat from the lakes prevents early season frost and cold snowy winters. It also delays the start of the growing season in order to avoid vines getting injured by late frosts. The summer heat extends the growing season, essential to healthy grape development.

Soils alternate between layers of sandstone and shale in the South and calcareous shale in the North. They are generally deep, which provides good drainage. To profit this situation, most vineyards are planted on steep hillsides overlooking the lakes, enabling cold air to drain away more easily.

Riesling, one of the most popular German grapes, is also one of the most important varieties grown in Finger Lakes. Besides it, vinicultures grow Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc as well as several French-American and native varieties. Finger Lakes is widely known for its aromatic dry wines, as Riesling and Gewurztraminer, but also for harmoniously sweet styles and even lusciously ice wine.

Undoubtedly, the Finger Lakes AVA is a winemaking region with an own microbial diversity that makes it unique. Knowing the microbial community of your terroir is key to differentiate your wines and distinguish them from the rest. Wines with distinctive autochthonous peculiarities have a great acceptance among consumers and add value to the industry. Would you like to preserve regional biodiversity and product identity? Discover your vineyard’s microbiome with a WineSeq® test and success in the market.