A Visit to McGregor Vineyard & Winery

September 25, 2014

The third stop on our Keuka Wine Trail Passport was McGregor Vineyard. At first glance this winery didn’t look like anything extaordinary but believe me it makes up for not having European flair with an exceptional wine experience.

Upon entering you will find tables to sit instead of a bar to stand at. This was a first for us. It has a relaxed atmosphere and the friendliest people I think New York has to offer. We got a choice of five different wines and a complimentary snack plate with our passport. Our brochure stated they are home to the legendary Black Russian Red Wine that was rated 87 in Wine Enthusiast, May 2014. We were surprised to see that this wine was offered with our tasting because it is so expensive, but it was there! Here are our wine choices.

WHITES (I tried)

  • Unoaked Chardonnay 2012 – This has to be the best unoaked Chardonnay I have tried in the whole Finger Lakes area. It has a green apple and lime aroma, very crisp and clean-tasting, smooth and a lovely color in the glass. It is very dry as the RS is 0.0%. The only word to describe this wine is “Excellent!” Needless to say we come home with a bottle.  :0)
  • Dry Riesling 2012 – It’s described as a Riesling with intense fruit character and it lives up to that for sure. This is a wonderful Riesling with a fruity finish. It was very dry, crisp and really nice.
  • Reserve Dry Gewurztraminer 2012 – This Gewurtz has a medium body, dry at 0.0% RS and a very spicy taste. One of the best Gewurtz we have had so far. It was produced from 35+ year old vines. The saying is that “good things come to those who wait.”  Well this is surely true in this case.
  • Rkatsiteli-Sereksiya – This was a new release for McGregor. They are one of only two Rkatsiteli producers in the Finger Lakes. This was our first experience with this wine. It was light and crisp, very refreshing. This is a wine that can stand on its own. Yes we left with this too. :o)
  • Highlands White – This white wine was more on the sweeter side at 1.25% RS. I thought it would make a really good table wine. It is listed as an easy-drinking wine perfect for everyday get-togethers. I feel this holds true after tasting it.

REDS (Chip tried)

  • Pinot Noir 2009 – Wine had a bright ruby color and a tiny oak taste but you really don’t notice it with the flavors of plum, strawberry, cherry and a hint of vanilla. I found this was a red I could actually drink even with the hint of oak. Chip felt it was on the lighter side of reds for him.
  • Merlot 2011 – Has a spicy and leather flavor. Chip thought this one was just OK. Again more on the lighter side of red for him.
  • Highlands Red – A dry oaky-tasting blend of Vinifera and Leon Millot, Cabernet Franc, Saperavi, and Sersiya Charni. The wine had a smooth finish, was very nice and fruity.
  • Black Russian Red 2010 – This was the wine we wanted to try that the brochure had mentioned. Very glad it was on the tasting as it is priced at $59.99 a bottle. I told you they are great here! We have seen other wineries charge an extra dollar over the tasting fee for wines that cost over $25.00 a bottle. The wine was a blend of Saperavi and Sereksiya Charni grapes. It was a nice red. Chip really enjoyed it.

So our tasting came to an end. We could have sat there and tried wines all day. I tell ya the

sitting wine tasting experience is the way to go! Makes for a relaxed feel and allows you to really enjoy the wine not just taste it. Our tasting at McGregor was one of the best we have had so far. McGregor is definitely a winery I would visit again and again!

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