The Finger Lakes has been blessed with some of the most challenging vintages over the past decade or so. Good winemakers know how to take what Mother Nature hands them and turn it into the best it can be. One producer in particular has consistently topped the charts with its Rieslings: Ravines Wine Cellars—four top hits on the world wine billboard.
That billboard is Wine Spectator Top 100, and it is released by that magazine’s editors as a selection of the best wines they have tasted over the past year. This list began in 1988 and has become a holiday wine bible to wine lovers everywhere. The chosen wines that make this list “reflect significant trends, spotlight successful regions, and recognize outstanding producers.” Well, there you have it. Riesling. Finger Lakes. And Morten Hallgren.
Morten (winemaker) and his wife Lisa (chef and ultimate foodie, above) are the founders of Ravines Wine Cellars. Morten was raised on his family’s winery, Castel Roubine, in Provence, France. After winemaking stints in Bordeaux, Texas, and North Carolina, he landed in the Finger Lakes working at Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars. He purchased vineyard property in 2000, and Ravines officially opened its doors in the spring of 2003. Just months later, their wine earned the title of “Best Dry Riesling” at the World Riesling Cup at the International Wine Competition. The awards have been owing ever since.
Making the Wine Spectator Top 100 list is no easy feat. Ravines Dry Riesling 2014 nabbed a much-honored spot at number seventy on the list this year. The wine received a ninety point score and sells for about eighteen dollars. This Riesling is a classic and can be described as having flavors of crisp apple, tangy citrus, and a distinct note of that amazing Finger Lakes “slate” minerality.
The very first American Riesling to make the prestigious list was Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling Reserve 2008 on the Top 100 list of 2010. Ravines has since managed to hold a spot for the Finger Lakes on four of those yearly tallies.
Congrats to Morten on a beautiful wine and on a great run on the Top 100. You have truly set the bar for the Finger Lakes, and we are looking forward to many more delicious Rieslings to come.