Friday, October 9, 2009

Finger Lakes: Bully Hill

FINGER LAKES TRAVEL REPORT – For our final visit on our first day, we visited my wife’s favorite from our last trip: Bully Hill Vineyards. Bully Hill is not so much about the wines as about the whole experience. Bully Hill is  rogue winery which2009_1004fingerlks20009 has marched to the beat of its own drummer since its founding in the late 1960s. Walter Taylor, the founder, is the son of Greyton Taylor who established the Taylor Wine Company.

Ed was pouring the tastes for us and immediately let us know that (in a fun way) “Bully Hill is fine wine and Napa is auto parts.” I was surprised to see the range of their dry wines. I came away from our last visit thinking they offered predominately sweet wines. A great thing about the Finger Lakes is that many wineries list the residual sugar for their wines: 0% or less than 1 is bone dry. A dessert wine can be over 20% . Bully hill also has a scale with a sweetness indicator on their wines and materials.

We started with their very dry Chardonnay Elise, which showed bright fruit and only a hint of oak. Next up was Chardonel, a unique cross between Seyval Blanc and Chardonnay. a refreshing melony wine you may find nowhere else.

Slightly up the sweetness scale was Lighthouse White, a nice blend of Seyval Blanc, Aurora and Cayuga. Aurora is another grape developed by Cornell that you are unlikely to see anywhere else except the Finger Lakes.

For the reds we tried the Cambourcin, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Foch and Barnyard Red. What a list! Our favorite was the Marechal Foch which is a dry red with a hint of raspberry. Bully Hill wines have great labels some created by Walter Taylor. The Barnyard Red may be the only label you’ll find that features an outhouse and purple pig.

This winery was one of our top picks during our three-day tour.
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