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Standing Stone Vineyards
Kathy Sullivan

Standing Stone VineyardsSummary: Standing Stone Vineyards, is located on a former farm on Seneca Lake, the largest and deepest lake in the Finger Lakes region. In addition to growing traditional grape varieties, the Standing Stone Vineyards include the Georgian black grape Saperavi.

The large sign and red, white and blue flag at the entrance of Standing Stone Vineyards proudly proclaims the location of the winery. After entering, visitors will find the winery tasting room located in one of several yellow-sided barn buildings with views of prolific vineyards and panoramic views of Seneca Lake.

History of Standing Stone Vineyards

Standing Stone VineyardsIn the early 1990s, Tom and Marti Macinski were searching for a side business. They flew to San Francisco and visited Napa, California where they began wondering about establishing a winery as a side business. They purchased the 125-acre property in 1991. Originally the property had been owned by Gold Seal who had established vineyards on the land in the 1970s. The Gold Seal company went to France where they hired Charles Fournier of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin to become the winemaker and production manager of Gold Seal. The barn that now houses Standing Stone was built in 1850.

During our visit to the Standing Stone Vineyards, we met Marti. She is enthusiastic about the vineyards and the quality of the wines Standing Stone Vineyards is producing.

Tasting Room

The tasting room is located in one of the old barns in the collection of yellow buildings near the vineyards. The tasting counter extends along a long portion of the barn. For busy days, a second tasting counter is available. Adjacent to the end of the tasting room a few steps lead to an event room with numerous windows providing optimum views of vineyards and Seneca Lake.

In addition to a traditional wine tasting, wine enthusiasts can choose a seated tasting with wines paired with artisan cheeses or a Barrel Cellar Tour that includes a wine tasting.

Standing Stone VineyardsThe Vineyards of Standing Stone

Standing Stone Vineyards is known for planting some of the earliest growing varieties of Riesling, Vidal and Chardonnay in the Finger Lakes. In 2015 the vineyards are prolific with 45 acres that include: Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Vidal, Saperavi, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Petit Verdot.

In our conversation with Marti, she noted that the farm is ideal for growing red grape varieties. In the past couple of years the temperatures reached sub-zero only a couple of times. There is usually a wind coming off Seneca Lake through the vineyards helping to protect the grapevines.

Standing Stone Wines

Before walking to the vineyards where three rows of Saperavi are growing, we tasted several Standing Stone wines.

The front label on the bottles has a line of writing around the edge that begins with, “10 Millenia Ago, glaciers carved Finger Lakes, creating soil ideally suited to growing grapes.”

Gewürztraminer 2014 was a light yellow color. The wine had notes of floral, roses, honeysuckle and spices. The taste had a very velvety mouthfeel. The finish was crisp and delicious.

Standing Stone VineyardsSaperavi 2014 was an opaque, dark purple with a dark pink hue. The wine offered notes of black fruits including blackberries and black cherries. The full-bodied wine had silky tannins. The finish was crisp and fruity. Petit Verdot 2013 was a translucent ruby color with a slight sienna hue. The wine had black fruit notes notably cherry and blackberries. The wine with tannins was crisp with a fruity finish. The fruit yielded to mineral on the aftertaste. Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 was a translucent ruby color. The wine offered aromas and tastes of blackberries, cassis, leather and had medium tannins. The crisp finish was fruity. Saperavi Reserve 2013 was produced with fruit from 20-year old vines. The opaque, dark ruby wine had dark fruit notes of blackberries and black raspberries. The wine had bold tannins. The finish was crisp and fruity.

Late Harvest Wines

Standing Stone VineyardsTo produce late harvest wines, the grapes are harvested late and the grapes are frozen for two months. The Chardonnay Ice 2013 was a dark yellow color with honeysuckle and candied pear notes. The wine was also reminiscent of jammy yellow fruit. The crisp finish was very fruity. Vidal 2013 was a dark yellow color. The wine offered jammy fruit notes. This late harvest wine was very crisp and fruity. Riesling Ice 2014 was a yellow color with notes of floral, honeysuckle and orange blossom. The mouthfeel was very velvety and offered cooked jammy fruit notes especially peach. The wine was crisp and delicious.

Enjoy a visit to Standing Stone Vineyards and if you are enthusiastic about red wines, be sure to include a tasting of the Saperavi wines. Plan to spend some time with a glass of wine while enjoying views of the vineyards and Seneca Lake.

Standing Stone Vineyards
9934 Route 414
Hector, New York 14841

GPS: N42º 32.617’ W76º 52.489’


Article written September 2015




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