The Press Deck
News from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation
July 31st, 2019
Field Notes...
From Paul Brady, Brand Ambassador
Dear Friends,
There may be none other as qualified to give a history on the sparkling wines of the Finger Lakes as winemaker Steve Difrancesco, of  Glenora Wine Cellars . Add the hospitality of the Doyle family (in this case Mike and Patrick) of Pleasant Valley Wine Company and then you’re in  the  setting for said history that would, in fact, be impossible to rival. But that’s what the trade attendees of our inaugural NY Drinks NY Phase IX tour experienced -- the history, the place, and modern-day wines that represent that history as well as the terroir of today’s Finger Lakes sparkling wines.  
The first stop of our NY Drinks NY July visit was Pleasant Valley Wine Company for a presentation on the history of sparkling wine in the Finger Lakes, led by Steve. The visit and tasting also included wines from Pleasant Valley and their winemaker Beth Witt, as well as NY Drinks NY participating winery Nathan K . We tasted sparkling wines from all three wineries as well as a fortified wine from Pleasant Valley, and also received a brief history on fortified wine in the Finger Lakes -- a worthy topic of its own for a future tasting. 

Pleasant Valley Wine Company was founded in Hammondsport at the base of Keuka Lake in 1860, and in 1873 took a gold medal from an international competition in Vienna for its Great Western Champagne (likely a blend of Delaware and Catawba), which was a major achievement for a non-European winery at the time. The history of Pleasant Valley Wine Company is well documented at their  web site , and the schedule of tours open to the public of the historic facility can be found there as well. 

It’s especially effective that we’re able to bring guests through wineries like Pleasant Valley Wine Company, which physically displays so much of what there is to unearth on the subject of wine’s history in New York. Add a subject expert like Steve to that equation and the right tone is set for the rest of the tour.
( Read the full version of the Field Notes here .)

Paul Brady

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