Blog

Welcome! Learn about Our Wines, Our Vineyards, Our Events, and Our Tasting Rooms.

  • Finger Lakes Pinot Noir Tutorial

    Pinot Noir is one of the five varieties we first planted in the Sheldrake Point vineyard 20 years ago; these are the vines you see first while gazing up from the meadow outside our Tasting Room. A Finger Lakes red, you ask? Absolutely. The cool climate of our AVA is on the same latitude as the region of France where this old world grape originated—the 10th most-planted variety in the world and one that is trending in popularity worldwide. more»

  • 5 Reasons Why We Love the Finger Lakes Wine Industry

    It’s not hard to understand why a job—for some, any job—in the Finger Lakes wine industry would be a dream come true. Wine Club Manager Whitney Elrod and I certainly think so; we’ll let you in on how we picked this great place to make our careers—these 5 reasons why we love the Finger Lakes wine industry… more»

  • Gewürztraminer: In the Glass and in the Ground

    Pronunciation of this varietal might seem like a mouthful, but here in the Finger Lakes wine region it rolls easily off the tongue. Our cool-climate AVA is a great place to make white aromatics like Gewürztraminer, so we take full advantage of this versatile grape that we first planted at Sheldrake Point 20 years ago. more»

  • Finger Lakes Maple Syrup: How We Eat Patience for Breakfast

    It all began last fall when Fran and I were up in the far vineyard with the excavators grading the new Cab Franc block that will be planted this spring. A colorful walk in the forest made us aware of how many mature sugar maples we had, so we marked them with tape for the coming spring. Two weeks ago, we returned to that forest with a drill, taps, and 65 buckets, all bought on eBay from a guy in northern Vermont. more»

  • Sheldrake Point Winery in Winter

    It’s hard to believe that nearly four months have passed since harvest! One marker of time passing for the winery in winter is that we are now pouring our 2016 Dry Rosé in the Tasting Room. It is a welcome respite from gray days and blankets of snow, and a reminder that spring is on the way. more»

  • What’s all the Hype about the Sheldrake Point Dry Rosé?

    Sheldrake Point Dry Rosé

    If you don’t know much about rosé, or haven’t heard about the Sheldrake Point Dry Rosé, we forgive you. Many of us at Sheldrake Point, myself included, first fell in love with this wine style through our experiences with the Sheldrake Point Dry Rosé—long before we worked here! So, what’s all the hype? For one thing, we really know what we are doing. Sheldrake Point has been making Dry Rosé continuously since 1997, longer than any other Finger Lakes winery.  more»

  • Cabernet Franc Tutorial

    Sheldrake Point Winery Reds

    At Sheldrake Point Winery we produce distinctive estate wines that showcase the quality of our Finger Lakes vineyard. One of those grapes is Cabernet Franc. Once we plant 5.5 more acres of the variety this year that will mean Sheldrake Point will devote one third of our total vineyard plantings to Cabernet Franc. more»

  • Finger Lakes Ice Wine Harvest

    Once the holiday season is behind us, there is really only one other cause for celebration in our vineyard before bud break, and that is a Finger Lakes ice wine harvest. more»

  • Wine and Movies for Winter

    As the holidays wind down and winter piles up, staying in all weekend with wine and movies seems like a solid plan, don’t you agree? To help you plan out your next several weekends of cocooning, below are some examples of great wine-themed movies we love, with wine pairing suggestions, and a decadent dark chocolate drizzled popcorn recipe to complete your winter wine and movies experience: more»

  • Wine Lover’s Wish List

    Friends and family frequently joke about never wanting to buy me wine-related gifts. They are afraid that because I am in the wine industry that whatever they buy will be kitschy or useless. I always tell them, I have a wine lover’s wish list! Ask me! more»

  • Wine for Your Holiday Table

    Are you still full from this week’s big dinner? Or, are you already looking forward to more feasts coming up this season? If the latter, planning wine for your holiday table is not as hard as you might think. To get you primed for the next event, let’s review what is freshest in memory: Thanksgiving. more»

  • A Glorious Harvest 2016

    The Sheldrake Point Winery harvest 2016 is complete! I sat down with my colleagues Winemaker Dave Breeden, Assistant Winemaker Julia Hoyle, and Vineyard Manager Dave Wiemann to share a toast and talk about the growing season, the fruit we brought in, and what’s next: Dave Wiemann on Drought, Timing, and Harvest 2016 It is old news now that 2016 was more»

  • Postcards from a Sheldrake Point Harvest

    It’s harvest season at Sheldrake Point! We harvested our Cabernet Franc fruit on the weekend of October 15, destined for our 2016 Dry Rosé. Everyone is pitching in, so while we are out in the vineyard, enjoy these postcards from the 2016 Sheldrake Point harvest. more»

  • When Wine Doesn’t Taste Like Grapes

    We get this question a lot in our Tasting Room: Why do I smell and taste things other than grapes? Wine can present aromas and flavors as diverse as berries and flowers, or rocks and smoke. Each varietal is known for the presence of different aromas and flavors, organic or inorganic, which are classically recognized for that varietal. more»

  • Sheldrake Point Winery’s Luckystone Red Makes its Stage Debut!

    Sheldrake Point Winery is 20 miles north of Ithaca, New York, a Finger Lakes hub for food, wine, and the arts. Our wine is well-represented on menus throughout the city and surrounding area, but I was taken by surprise to see our Luckystone Red on stage at the Hangar Theatre early this summer. more»

  • Before We Pick: Harvest Prep at Sheldrake Point

    Julia Hoyle moving equipment

    Harvest prep for the winemakers at Sheldrake Point is anything but leisure time! There is a lot of heavy lifting and elbow grease involved before a single grape is picked. more»

  • Wine with friends: Sheldrake Point Wine Club

    You plan the dinner party. You meticulously choose the appetizers, courses, and the pairings. You set the table and chill the wine. Then, you await the arrival of your guests. It goes much the same for us, except that most recently we were waiting for 50 of our closest friends to arrive for our 12th Annual Sheldrake Point Wine Club Dinner. more»

  • Secret Garden on Sheldrake Point

    A few days ago, Marketing and Sales Manager Kyle Pallischeck came to me excited because she and Wine Club Manager Whitney Elrod were walking the vineyard and had stumbled across a secret garden among our new Cabernet Franc block. “There’s a vegetable patch up in the vineyard!” I had to laugh because, yes, there is a vegetable patch in the vineyard—but we didn’t exactly plan to have a secret garden. more»

  • Fact: Wine Tastes Better with Live Music

    Sheldrake Point Winery is located on a beautiful 155-acre property overlooking Cayuga Lake that includes a dock and small beach, a verdant hillside lawn, and cozy gardens. We think that wine tasting here in the summertime is like visiting a wine oasis. What could possibly make it better? Live music. more»

  • Host a blind tasting party this summer

    Lining up the lawn chairs and setting out the bocce balls is a good start for planning a summer event. Take your outdoor gathering to a whole new level by hosting a blind tasting party! more»

  • Vineyard Work Takes Many Hands

    Growing season on Sheldrake Point is well-underway and this is a time of year when vineyard work means there is a job for everyone. Sometimes that job is bottling. Or prepping and assembling wine club packs. Since Sheldrake Point Winery as a business works a farm, makes and markets wine, and manages a tasting room, all of us here have at some time “changed hats” for hours or days to lend a hand outside our “standard” job descriptions. more»

  • Boating to Cayuga Lake Wineries

    Summer is just a few weeks away, a time of year that for us in the Finger Lakes brings together two pastimes into one wonderful combination: boating to Cayuga Lake wineries. Sheldrake Point juts prominently from the western shore of Cayuga Lake. Our property extends to the beach, making our vineyard, tasting room, and artisan gift shop accessible by water. more»

  • Finger Lakes Tasting Room Etiquette

    Bud break is upon us and tasting room staff is mobilized for another season of enthusiastic visitors. Since that means you might soon plan a trip to Finger Lakes wineries, it’s a good time to review Finger Lakes tasting room etiquette.  more»

  • Solar Panels & Sustainability on Sheldrake Point

    Solar energy is heating up in the Finger Lakes. It is especially gratifying for us at Sheldrake Point to see more of our colleagues join us in pursuing clean energy options. Yes, join us! We put up our solar panels in 2004! more»

  • Annual Barrel Tasting: Wine With Friends

    This past Saturday, April 23, we welcomed 64 guests to our Annual Wine Club Barrel Tasting event. We dipped into and explored our 2015 red and white wines. For this event, we bring the people to our wine, setting up in our production facility, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling pallets of Sheldrake Point wine and arrays of barrels. more»

  • Finger Lakes Rosé Horizontal Tasting

    Sheldrake Point Winery is riding high on a wave of rosé, as is the entire Finger Lakes AVA. So for our most recent special winery event, we led a Finger Lakes Rosé Horizontal Tasting. more»

  • Help Wanted: Work in a Tasting Room

    Sheldrake Point Winery - Cayuga Tasting Room

    Prime Finger Lakes wine tasting season is about to begin! To get ready, this is the time of year we add seasonal part time staff to the Sheldrake Point tasting room. Are you qualified to work in a tasting room? Let’s find out: more»

  • Dry Riesling Vertical Tasting with Stuart Pigott

    The continuing construction on our soon-to-be Wine Library made for a great excuse for us to hold a Dry Riesling vertical tasting. Our large collection of Sheldrake Point library wines, wines we have cellared since our beginning, gives us an opportunity to revisit our work. By conducting a vertical tasting, we can investigate and evaluate our library wines to determine more»

  • Gamay Noir, Uvae Incognitus

    Gamay Noir is a light-bodied red wine that’s a wonderful little secret for anyone who loves Pinot Noir, but seeks a more affordable alternative. The variety, a cousin of Pinot Noir, hails from Beaujolais, the region just south of Burgundy (Pinot motherland). Gamay’s reputation dates back to the late 14th century when Philippe the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, decided he didn’t like the grape’s flavor. At all. more»

  • Vine Pair does wine education

    Sheldrake Point Winery specializes in growing grapes and making Finger Lakes wine. Wine education is also important to us; we write this blog, put out a newsletter, and spend a lot of time equipping our tasting room team to be knowledgeable ambassadors for enjoying wine. This is why we turn to websites like Wine Folly and Vine Pair, where wine more»

  • Cabin fever got you down? Embrace Finger Lakes winter events

    Sheldrake Point winter events

    Sheldrake Point is just a bit north of the 42nd parallel, situated in that sweet spot of the American northeast that experiences each of the four seasons. But for even the most enthusiastic lover of snow, there is no denying that our winters can be tough to endure. So we do our part by embracing Finger Lakes winter events. more»

  • Macro, Meso, and Micro: Finger Lakes Climate

    Successful grape growing depends on knowing your climate. Our Finger Lakes climate is a critical concern in the vineyard, and so it is a serious course of study on Sheldrake Point. We know that vine survival, productivity, and fruit quality may be limited by temperature extremes in winter, or springtime cold episodes. For once, I’m not actually talking about the weather.  more»

  • Winter on Sheldrake Point

    The winter solstice is just one week past, and meteorological winter almost four weeks gone by. Visitors this time of year stopping by for a holiday tasting often ask, “So, what do you do in the winter on Sheldrake Point?” Many assume that we roll up the carpets and head for the Bahamas until April. more»

  • Shout Out to Wine Folly

    In our Sheldrake Point Winery Cayuga Lake tasting room, most of our wall space is taken up with our wine displays or windows overlooking our gardens and vineyard. With what little wall space is left, we decorated with posters by Wine Folly, a group that is reinventing how we learn about wine through vibrant posters, regional wine maps, and effective wine tools. more»

  • Harvest 2015 Part II: The Fog

    Harvesting Caberent Franc on Sheldrake Point

    The dry 2015 season also kept berry size down. Both of those factors prepared me for less fruit coming in than expected as we began picking in mid-September, but the quality was really good and that weather was certainly beautiful. more»

  • How about those Greeks and Romans?

    Sheldrake Point is in the town of Ovid, named for the Roman poet who wrote so much about life and love. Other nearby Fingers Lakes towns are also named for notable ancients, both real and imagined – towns like Homer, Ulysses and Romulus. While winemaking was a developed art in the days of the classical Greeks and the Romans, their more»

  • Harvest 2015, Part I

    During those sun-drenched late summer days when we started picking back in mid-September, someone asked me about my expectations for Harvest 2015. I began my answer by saying, “Barring a hail storm that takes out the vineyard…”—because, at the time, there had been enough summer heat to nicely ripen our fruit, rain came when we need it, and as a result there was not much disease pressure on the fruit. Harvest 2015 on Sheldrake Point started out glorious!  more»

  • Sheldrake wins big at Canberra International Riesling Challenge

    We knew our 2014 Wild Ferment Riesling Ice Wine was rather spectacular. Now the whole world knows it: just two weeks ago, the Sheldrake Point Winery 2014 Wild Ferment Riesling Ice Wine took the top prize at the Canberra International Riesling Competition in the Australian capital city, beating nearly 500 Rieslings from around the world for Best Wine of the 2015 Challenge. more»

  • Sheldrake Point is a Wine & Spirits 2015 Top 100 Winery

    Wine & Spirits magazine’s 2015 Annual Buying Guide issue has hit the newsstands and Sheldrake Point is a Wine & Spirits 2015 Top 100 Winery! more»

  • Winery Weekend Wisdom

    Cayuga Lake Tasting Room, Sheldrake Point Winery

    It is that wonderful time of year when a winery weekend beckons, as October is your last chance to get out before the cold winds of November begin to blow from the north. For this reason, we call October “weekend month” in Finger Lakes winery lingo.

    At Sheldrake Point, we see visitors all through the week during the summer months, but on weekends in October, visitors arrive at the winery in droves. Especially on Saturdays. more»

  • Aging Wine 101

    A common assumption about aging wine is that that longer that you keep it, the better it will get. However, it is a misconception that wine must be aged. So when we hear the frequent question “how long do I keep wine before drinking?”—the short answer is: It depends. Throughout the world, most wine is meant to be consumed ‘young,’ more»

  • Rooted in Sheldrake Point

    So much focus at a vineyard is on the vines and the fruit, and rightfully so! But growing always starts at the roots; if there’s magic in making great Sheldrake Point wine, it begins underground. Earth and water I’ve gotten to know a lot about what goes on under our 44 acre vineyard in the fifteen years I’ve been at more»

  • Introducing Whitney Elrod, Wine Club Manager

    Whitney Elrod

    Ithaca native Whitney Elrod got here the way so many others have—through the tasting room! Sheldrake Point Winery’s new wine club manager joined us this past spring. Here’s a bit more about Whitney: What’s your background and how did you get into the wine industry? I grew up in Ithaca and studied English and teaching at Hobart and William Smith more»

  • No vineyard? No Problem: Custom Crush

    Sheldrake Point Winery Sign

    *Please note: as of 2017 we are no longer accepting new clients for our custom crush program.* Back in 1997 when Sheldrake Point was just starting to be planted with grape vines, we obviously didn’t yet have our vineyard to provide the fruit for our wines. No vineyard? No problem! We purchased fruit from growers in the Finger Lakes and more»

  • Is Estate Bottled Wine a big deal?

    Sheldrake Point Winery wines are nearly all estate bottled wines. Is estate bottled wine a big deal? Depends on who you ask. It’s just the way we make our wine, and ‘estate wine’ is even part of our mission statement. However, we don’t get to arbitrarily call our wines estate bottled. The U.S. government, through the Alcohol, Tobacco, Tax and more»

  • Our Wine Library

    Our Wine Library at Sheldrake Point Winery contains over 4,000 bottles that we have set aside since 1998, saving small quantities of every single vintage. What’s a wine library, you ask?

    Wineries typically hold on to a stock of older vintages, for both aesthetic reasons and for future winemaking reference, and this collection is called a Wine Library. Sometimes Library wines are on display, and sometimes they’re just stored somewhere safe, but any wines kept by a winery is still referred to as “library wines.” more»

  • 2014 Vintage Report highlights sweet success

    This Sheldrake Point Winery 2014 Vintage Report highlights the sweet success of a spectacular growing season last year. In the months since harvest, Dave Breeden, our winemaker, and Julia Hoyle, our assistant winemaker, have been hard at work guiding the juice through fermentation, with a couple of notable revelations: 2014 Gewürztraminer First, Dave says it is important to know the more»

  • What’s Growing at Sheldrake Point, besides grapes?

    Sheldrake Point Winery is, we always say, a farm first. So, what’s growing at Sheldrake Point, besides grapes? A lot! Our grounds are designed with you, our guests, in mind. When you visit during the growing season, you’ll see ornamental grasses, established perennials, and evergreens surrounding the Tasting Room. This is our ‘home,’ and we garden to make ourselves and more»

  • 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon: Why We Waited

    We are pleased to announce the release of the Sheldrake Point Winery 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, and just as pleased to tell you why we waited so long to release this magnificent red wine. Sheldrake Point Winery is beginning a bottle aging program to deliver to our customers red wines that have had time to develop for a year or more. more»

  • Time for a new Tasting Experience

    It’s time for a new tasting experience at Sheldrake Point Winery! In the spirit of education, we will be offering an opportunity for our patrons to ‘train’ their palates and olfactory nerves to detect ALL the notes that professional sommeliers use to describe wines. more»

  • 2014 Dry Rosé: What every Rosé wants to be

    Sheldrake Point Winery 2014 Dry Rosé

    Sheldrake Point Winery is pleased to announce the release of our 2014 Dry Rosé, estate grown and bottled, and made from 100% Cabernet Franc grapes. It’s what every Rosé wants to be! As many of our fans know, Dry Rosé is also one of our top selling wines. But it wasn’t always that way. more»

  • Harvest 2014: Polar Vortex vs. The Sheldrake Effect

    View of Sheldrake Point Winery's vineyards during the Ice Wine grape harvest in 2014

    As the season of feasting and raising of glasses winds down, our Sheldrake Point Winery family is taking a moment to reflect on Harvest 2014. We are so excited about the high quality of the fruit that came in, and our 2014 vintages are expected to be stellar examples of what we do at Sheldrake Point Winery. Our vineyard crew more»

  • Pairing Riesling Ice Wine: Not Just for Dessert

    Sheldrake Point Ice Wine is for dessert, and more!

    We are well into the season of feasting and entertaining, and you’re likely picking out wines for your table. Sheldrake Point Winery Dessert Wines are always crowd-pleasers, whether you’re serving guests or you’re bringing a bottle as a gift. Our Riesling Ice Wines, though, are not just for pairing with dessert! At Sheldrake Point Winery, we want to help you more»

  • Our Blog is back!

    Sheldrake Point Winery Sign

    Did you miss us? We’ve been right here on the western shore of Cayuga Lake, tending the vineyard and making fantastic, award-winning wines. We have also been thinking about you, our friends near and far. Beginning today, you can plan on hearing from us more often. We want to tell you about everything happening here at Sheldrake Point. Look for more»