Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fox Run Vineyards #SLWT #WBC15 #FLXWine

As a part of the WBC15 per-conference, we were guests of Fox Run for an afternoon.  From the moment I stepped off the bus, and caught a glimpse of the wisteria shaded porch, I felt at home.  I was handed a glass of chilled white wine, and as I sipped (It was delicious) the co-owner Scott Osborn asked us to "name that wine" I smirked and said, "this is a delicious Gewurztraminer"- I was wrong! I was in disbelief. It was a varietal that I had never heard of before - Traminette - my mind was suddenly open, and I was ready to learn.

Fox Run Vineyards is like the Whole Foods of #FLXWine - everything is there - it tastes good, it's one stop shopping and if you talk to people and stay for a while, you'll learn something. I know I did.

After our brief introduction to the wine, we took a walk up the hill to the press, stopping along the way to discuss the history and terroir of the vineyard. Family owners Scott and Ruth Osborn, together with Kathleen and Albert Zafonte, are running this vineyard (former dairy farm) with education and taste at the forefront.  The vineyard produces around 15,000 cases annually, and plantings include: Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Lemberger (aka Blaufrankish), Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir. They even have a cafe, run the Glorious Garlic Festival every Summer, and champion local food and artisans year round in their shop.

Our tour was the Food & Wine Experience it included tastings, and lunch. We met the wine maker Peter Bell and discussed making wine, competitions and and marketing. This unassuming Canadian who has been at Fox Run shows that still waters run deep.  From his anecdotes abut wine judging, to his opinion on marketing Lemberger wine, he is a font of information - and no shrinking violet when it comes to his opinion. That opinion is reflected in his wine - it is good.  And as I sipped his Lemberger while walking down the hill to lunch on a hot August day, I commented to my companions that I had never tasted Lemberger, but to me, it tasted exactly like Blaufrankish - a wine that I have panned in the past. Well, one again.... I was wrong - well, wrong to pan Blaufrankish....

Our lunch/pairing menu was a terrific sample of their consumer education.  Chef Brud Holland and his staff took locally sourced ingredients and condiments and created a powerful profile to showcase the range of Fox Run Wines.

(left to right)
A slice of Bel Cellio from the Muranda Cheese Company in Waterloo, NY topped with Sweet Wino-nion jam, that blew my socks off - Wine Maker Peter Bell paired it with Doyal Family Chardonnay, and I was hooked.  It was one of my favorite combinations of the day.  (and I as a rule- don't even like Chardonnay...but this one had... you guessed it 10% Traminette!)

A mixed green salad with Stella Vallis Tomme from the Real Amazing Live Food Co, Pike Plains, NY, and Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette & Pepitas (those pepitas are like crack...I crave them) this was paired with Fox Vineyards Semi Dry Riesling This is a low ETOH (10.8%) wine that a new look at riesling  - taste, not sugar.  Refreshing yet layered.

Wine Barrel Smoker
My WOW moment was Sprout Creek Farm's Margie Cheese - it was a delicious brie like semi-soft cheese that makes me want to go visit them in Poughkeepsie ASAP. The amazing moment was when Winemaker Peter Bell started discussing how they market their Lemberger wine. He casually said "Most people won't even try it under it's other name - Blaufrankish"  I started laughing.  My companions started laughing, and then I took a big delicious sip of the Fox Run Vineyard's Lemberger - I am a convert.

What's really neat about Fox Run, is that they really encompass the whole wine & food experience.  I learned about Ver Juis in the form of local Cabernet Franc VerJooz pickled egg - a culinary education, and it was accompanied by house made wine barrel smoked sausages.  (Now I want to own a wine barrel smoker!)

Dessert was a simple shortbread cookie, paired with Hedonia a  tawny port style traminette (21% ETOH that really sneaks up on you) I left lunch early to run upstairs and buy two bottles of this.  It is versatile, refreshing and different.  I love it!

Then there was more.... in my next post, a Fox Run Vineyard master class on terroir with pairings.

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