FROM THE FRUIT IN THE VINEYARD TO WINE IN THE BOTTLEOur team believes wine is created by the earth, and crafted by us. Maintaining the "Art" while applying the "Science" of grape growing and winemaking is what bring creating and crafting together in perfect harmony.
Focusing on ideal grape harvests, differing for each season, is what bring our fruit to maturation, giving us the very best juice to bring to wine. We grow the grapes the earth gives us, and make the wine the grape wants to be. Enjoy each harvest as we will craft wines of varying varieties, and bring varying nuances to varietals from year to year. Afterall, why change what Nature gives us ...
CATHERINE ESTATEThe Catherine Estate Vineyard was planted in the spring of 2003. This four-acre site has more than 5,000 feet of drainage tile. This vineyard includes Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Lemberger, and Gewürztraminer. The Catherine vineyard yielded its first fruit for harvest in 2005. Catherine was the daughter of Savina and Amy's great aunt.
SAVINA ESTATEThis three-acre vineyard is planted with Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Lemberger, and Pinot Noir. Approximately 4,000 feet of drainage tile was installed to ensure that the vines have the best possible conditions to establish their root structure. The location of the land has such excellent exposure that we are able to produce wines that are well structured and suitable for long aging. This vineyard is named after Amy's great-grandmother, who emigrated from Northern Italy in the late 1800s.
GIUSEPPI ESTATEIn 2007 an acre of Vidal Blanc was planted in anticipation of experimenting with late harvest or ice wines in the near future. Today our Vidal Blanc is used primarily in the Silver Pencil blend. This vineyard is named after Amy's great uncle Joe, a retired professor from UC Berkeley.
BARBARA ANNE ESTATEThe Barbara Anne vineyard was planted in 2013 and includes three acres of Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. This vineyard is named in honor of Amy's mother, who passed away in December 2012. Barbara raised five kids on her own after her husband died unexpectedly at the age of 37. She managed to buy a house and put herself through nursing school and spent 30 years in health care.
Rooster Hill's Estate Vineyards are wonderfully positioned on the North East side of Keuka lake. Here, you'll find our estate vineyards, reds and whites planted nearly twenty years ago, now alongside our newest planting for the future. Rooster Hill wines have earned hundreds of medals since the winery opened. Wine Spectator and other national wine magazines have rewarded Rooster Hill with high ratings.
How It All BeganThe highest quality wine experience was the goal when Amy, a former marketing executive for a Fortune 500 high-tech company, and David, a financial planner and tax adviser with a private practice, decided to leave Southern California and move closer to their hometowns of Akron and Clarence. They had discovered Keuka Lake in the 1990s and agreed it was the place where they would eventually like to spend more of their time than just the annual family vacations.
The birth of rooster hillIn early 2000, they traded their business suits and briefcases for jeans and work boots and never looked back. They planted the Savina Estate Vineyard in 2002 with Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Lemberger. Savina yielded its first fruit for winemaking in 2004. Named after Amy's great-grandmother, who emigrated from Italy in the late 1800s, Rooster Hill's Savina vineyard faces west on a gentle slope and enjoys warm sun and cool breezes.
Fruits of the laborIn early 2003, they planted the Catherine Estate Vineyard. Named after Amy's great aunt, this vineyard is at a slightly higher elevation and includes Lemberger, Riesling, Cabernet Franc, and Gewürztraminer. In 2007, the Giuseppe Vineyard, named after Amy's great uncle, was planted and includes Vidal Blanc, which is used as a key component in the popular white wine called Silver Pencil. The Barbara Anne vineyard, planted in 2013, is named in honor of Amy's mother, who passed away in December 2012. Grape varietals include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.
Wine ProductionFruit is carefully monitored during the growing season and is harvested only when sugars, acids, and flavors are at the optimal levels for wine production. Our wines are produced with the intention of highlighting the high quality of the fruit and showcasing each unique growing season the Finger Lakes provides. We strive for the ultimate balance between flavor, texture, acid, and tannin to create the truest expression of the vintage.
Red WinesThe red wines are de-stemmed and gently crushed as soon as the fruit arrives at the winery. The fermenting juice is then punched down by hand numerous times daily to extract color, tannin, and flavor from the skins. After fermentation, the wine is pressed to tanks for settling and then racked to oak barrels for aging. The resulting red wines are balanced, yet complex, with all the components (fruit, tannins, acids, and oak) proportionate and working with each other in the aging process.
White WinesWhen the white grapes reach the winery, they are removed from the stems and crushed. After the juice is pressed from the skins, it is transferred into tanks, where it is fermented. A variety of yeasts may be used depending on the grape varietal and the wine to be made. Fermentations are carefully monitored to ensure that the delicate flavors and aromas are retained.
FermentationSome of our wines undergo a second "fermentation" known as malolactic fermentation. This conversion transforms the wine's aggressive malic acid into the much softer lactic acid, creating a creamier texture in the wine. After all of the fermentations have been completed, the red and white wines will age in barrels and tanks until they are ready to be bottled.
EquipmentHigh-quality barrels, stainless steel tanks, laboratory equipment, and grape processing equipment allow the team at Rooster Hill to pay careful attention to every detail — from the fruit in the vineyard to the wine in the bottle.