Another in our series of reports from our recent Finger Lakes trip.
One of the pleasures of a wine trip to the Finger Lakes is going “off the grid,” checking out new wineries that are not on any official wine trail or map. That was the case when we visited Deep Root Vineyard.
We were racing from a winery at the south end of Keuka Lake to one on the northwest fork. As we rumbled along, we spotted a round purple sign announcing Deep Root Vineyard.
That got our attention. After a couple of quick turnarounds in driveways, we got our signals straight and rolled up to Deep Root.
This is real grassroots winemaking. Deep Root is a micro-production farm winery with a focus on sustainability and quality. The vineyard is owned by Ben and Michelle Hartman and opened on Memorial Day in 2011. This year they will produce 300 cases of wine.
“I decided to get into wine six years ago,” said Ben who was pouring us samples in front of his rustic barn that serves as part of the open air tasting room. “Then I fell in love with Keuka.” The vineyard has been in this location for more than a century and had been planted with what could now be considered Old Vine Concord.
We sampled two different Traminette, a grape that is related to Gewürztraminer. The first was a 2011 Dry Traminette and then the 2012 Moonflower, a semi-dry wine. Moonflower was a favorite of Glorious T, who bought a bottle. The labels are designed by Michelle and are as delicious as the wine.
We also sampled the dry rosé, which is made with Concord, Vignoles and two other grapes. Their popular Country Red has a taste of sweetness at 1.9% residual sugar.
A visit to Deep Root is a connection with the true spirit of Finger Lakes winemaking. This is a work in progress, but there is no doubt the roots run deep and the passion is strong. We look forward to a return visit in the future.