Heron Hill Winery

Heron Hill Winery
Heron Hill Winery

As I was planning my Finger Lakes trip in November 2012, the first winery that reached out to me was Heron Hill Winery. Tambi Schweizer, the tasting room manager, added me to the schedule immediately and made sure my visit was at a time where she would be available to give me personal attention.

View of Keuka Lake from Heron Hill Winery
View of Keuka Lake from Heron Hill Winery

Heron Hill was also the first winery I visited upon my arrival. The view from above Keuka Lake was breathtaking. Equally pleasing was the tasting at Heron Hill and the graciousness of Tambi, my hostess.

Side-by-side Riesling tasting
Side-by-side Riesling tasting

Tambi allowed me to taste an wide selection of their wines, including side-by-side tastings of some of their Rieslings and Pinot Noirs.

My Heron Hill selections
My Heron Hill selections

I selected three wines for purchase, two Rieslings (one for me, one for a friend) and a Pinot Blanc. Heron Hill was the only Finger Lakes winery that offered me free shipping, so I took Tambi up on the offer. Heron Hill was also the only winery I visited that offered a Pinot Blanc, which was surprising to me as I think the cool-climate Finger Lakes region would be a suitable location for Pinot Blanc production.

2010 Heron Hill Ingle Vineyard Riesling
2010 Heron Hill Ingle Vineyard Riesling

Five months quickly passed by and Easter arrived. As I was selecting a wine, my first thought was “Easter and Riesling.” I have grown to enjoy contrasting flavor pairings with Riesling, so I prepared potato-encrusted cod and a side of green beans and potatoes in an olive oil Parmesan sauce. The dense, white meat of the cod as well as the buttery, salty potato crust paired well with the Riesling, enhancing its sweeter fruit flavors. The acidity of the Riesling cut through the creamy Parmesan sauce of the green beans and potatoes.

My Easter meal
My Easter meal

According to one source, 2010 was a challenging vintage for Finger Lakes Riesling as it was a very long, warm growing season that impacted acidity levels. However, I found this Riesling to be lovely. It was pale lemon in color, with beautiful floral aromas and a luscious mouthfeel. As the wine warmed and opened up, it had complex flavors of apple, citrus, and tropical fruits, and the acidity was juicy and mouthwatering.

As it turns out, Easter and Heron Hill do pair together nicely. Thank you, Tambi, for introducing me to Heron Hill and welcoming me to the Finger Lakes.

Wine specs
Vintage 2010, $19.99 at heronhill.com
100% Riesling
Appellation: Finger Lakes
Harvest Date: Oct. 5-12, 2010
Acid: 10.5 g/l
PH: 2.78
Fermentation: stainless steel tanks, no malolactic fermentation
Bottling Date: Nov. 9, 2011
Residual Sugar: 1.57%
Alcohol: 12%
Drink through 2020


    1. It was a great place to start my trip and Tambi was an amazing hostess. Heron Hill’s first Riesling plantings were in 1972, so the winery has some history behind it as well.

  1. Great review, Elizabeth. Heron Hill is one of my favorite Keuka Trail stops and Tambi is absolutely fantastic. Love the view, the wines and the food at the Blue Heron Cafe. Enjoy your stay in the FLX.

    1. Thank you, Joe. I really enjoyed Heron Hill and having Tambi host me. This was my first view of the Finger Lakes, so it made a lasting impression. When I was there in November, the Blue Heron Café was closed for the season, so perhaps I will be able to eat there on my upcoming trip.

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