“If You Can Make Wine There, You Can….”

Wagner Vineyards

Wanna Take A Guess???

Those beautiful vineyards are not in Europe or California or South America. This is one of the Wagner Vineyards in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State,

Wagner Vineyards, Family Tradition!

Wagner Vineyards was founded in Lodi, New York by Bill Wagner, a lifelong resident of the area and grape grower for over fifty years. Bill began plans and broke ground for his estate winery even before the passage of the Farm Winery Act in 1976. Construction of the distinctive eight-sided building, Bill’s own design, was completed and the winery opened its doors in June of 1979. The winery rapidly developed into a major attraction in the Finger Lakes region and hosts over 100,000 visitors each year.

Five generations of the Wagner family have grown grapes in the deep glacial soils on the eastern slope of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. This heritage of grape growing has provided them with an intimate connection to the land. Since 1979, they have carried the same passion into the art of winemaking. Today they cultivate 250 acres of grapes and produce 50,000 cases of wine per year. They also have a Restaurant on site and a brewery.

Wagner Owners

Laura Wagner-Lee, Bill Wagner’s daughter, has been running the business with her brother, John, since Bill’s death in 2010. Laura spends her time split between her office and the grounds. She loves being outside and photography. Many of the photos you see around the winery were taken by Laura!

2015 Wagner Cabernet Franc

Wagner Frontt

Wagner Rear

Grapes like Cabernet Franc thrive in Cool Weather Climates. Most people think of every area for this grape but to me in it’s purest form , it’s all about the Finger Lake regions of New York. You will not see 14% or Higher Alcohol Levels. You will see perfect PH Balance and High Acid Juice and ZERO…that’s right ZERO grams of Residual Sugar in this wine. They will be not heavily oaked. There is not constant problems with BRETT (That pesky yeast strain we are finding more and more in the Loire Valley of France that gives wines a Barnyard, Horsey, Metallic Taste) Just pure Cabernet Franc in all it’s glory. Let’s take this Estate Bottled  Cab Franc for  a spin.

My Review

Wagner Glass

After one hour of aeration and then a slight chill, I reviewed the wine. The color is almost like a Blueberry/Prune Red with some brownish tinge on the rim. It is transparent like some Pinot Noirs which most people don’t expect from Cabernet Franc. The wine contains 12.8% alcohol and was lightly Oak Aged in 60 Gallon Oak Barrels. On the nose once it opened up, strong aromatics of blueberries, blackberries, vanilla (from the oak) and exotic spices. Normally Loire Valley Cab Francs have lots of bell pepper tobacco notes. This had none. On the light to medium bodied frame, a real sense of freshness and vibrancy. Mouthwatering acidity pushes the intense tart but pleasant flavors of freshly picked blueberries and crushed blackberries,, hints of plum and black cherry, very taut but ripe integrated tannins and spice on the finish that was very inviting with long length and  urging me to take another sip. Due to the lower alcohol than most and the juiciness and perfect acidity , this wine is very very adaptable to food from meats, pizza, cheeses, pasta dishes,cold cuts. I really enjoy the freshness of this well made wine from a unique terroir. I will score this wine 91 out of 100 points.

The Summary

Many people have never had 100% Cabernet Franc. If you have had any wines from the Finger Lakes you probably had a Riesling or Ice Wine. This is perfect if you are a Pinot Noir Drinker, Chianti, Bordeaux, Garnacha drinker. It’s just refreshing to see how a cool climate red can be a total different expression of the grape than other Cabernet Francs I have drank and the freshness and zero sugar will be a welcome change for many of my loyal following. At $14.99 you can’t go wrong. Cabernet Franc from Finger Lakes New York… “If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere ….”…. Not really but I can tell you that they do one heck of a job with it at Wagner Vineyards in Lodi New York. Seek this one out.!

Grape-fully yours,Larry

Wagner Logo



One thought on ““If You Can Make Wine There, You Can….”

  1. We love the wines from the Finger Lakes. We make special trips up there to taste the wide variety of wines and vineyards. The Cabernet Franc is great as are the dry Rieslings. We have even enjoyed the Lemberger, which we have only found in the Finger Lakes. Very good wines.

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