Press Releases

PENN YAN, NY — 11-21-2016

ROOSTER HILL VINEYARDS HONORED WITH EIGHT MEDALS AT THE NEW YORK WINE & FOOD CLASSIC COMPETITION

PENN YAN, NY – Rooster Hill Vineyards is proud to announce that our celebrated winery has been honored with eight medals in the prestigious New York Wine & Food Classic, including a Gold Medal for our new Sparkling Cider.

Under the direction of new winemaker Paige Vinson, Rooster Hill on Keuka Lake also was awarded four silver medals and three bronze medals when the competition results were announced Aug. 11 at the Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen.

Celebrating its 31st year, the Classic is organized by Teresa Knapp of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, and is open to all 406 New York wineries. This year's competition included 893 New York wines, 20 Hard Ciders and 38 Craft Spirits from several regions across New York State including Long Island, Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes, Niagara Escarpment and Lake Erie.

The awards were based on blind tastings by 22 expert judges - five from California, nine from New York, seven from other states, and one from London. Judges included prominent wine writers, restaurateurs, retailers and wine educators.

The Rooster Hill wines honored with medals are: 

  • 2015 Dry Riesling, Silver 
  • 2015 Estate Riesling, Silver 
  • 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Silver 
  • 2015 Cabernet Franc, Silver 
  • 2014 Pinot Noir Reserve, Bronze 
  • 2015 Cabernet Franc/Lemberger, Bronze 
  • 2015 Silver Pencil, Bronze

“Our standard from the beginning has been excellent, high quality wines,” said Amy Hoffman, President and Co-Founder of Rooster Hill, “and we are pleased that this most recent recognition has confirmed our success. I congratulate our winemaker Paige Vinson for her great start at Rooster Hill.”

Often cited in the national wine press for its wines’ quality, Rooster Hill has won more than 340 medals in its 13-year history. For more details, call (315) 536-4773, e-mail info@roosterhill.com or visit the website at www.roosterhill.com.

Rooster Hill, which grows its own Estate grapes, is in the heart of Finger Lakes Wine Country in upstate New York. Finger Lakes Wine Country is the largest concentration of wineries east of California, boasting more than 100 wineries producing world-class wine. For more about the region, go to this website: www.fingerlakeswinecountry.com.

Penn Yan, NY — 11-21-2016

ROOSTER HILL WINEMAKER TOOK WORLD WINE TOUR

With a wealth of wine experience beyond her years, Paige Vinson is off to a fast start as the winemaker at Rooster Hill Vineyards on Keuka Lake.

Vinson, 28, took herself on a globetrotting journey of learning while working at far-flung wineries for much of the past three years. Now, with this year’s grape harvest about a month away, Vinson is excited about the prospect of turning Finger Lakes grapes into Rooster Hill wines.

Her winemaking work has already won accolades. Under her direction, Rooster Hill won eight medals at the recent New York Wine & Food Classic, including a Gold Medal for the winery’s new Sparkling Cider.

“I am more excited than nervous about this harvest,” Vinson said. The upcoming harvest/winemaking cycle will be the first she will guide from start to finish, and she is looking forward to it with a mixture of “pure excitement and terror.” She became Rooster Hill’s winemaker in December 2015.

Vinson, who lives in Geneva, grew up in Honeoye and graduated from Alfred University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts and Philosophy. She has worked at wineries around the world, in part to see how other regions compared to the Finger Lakes, the place she wanted to work.

“I knew the Finger Lakes was a popular region and I wanted to be part of that,” she said. “The Finger Lakes is an open, welcoming place — so much positive feedback, so much willingness to help” among those in the region’s wine community.

Energetic and eager to keep learning, here is the trail that Vinson followed to become a winemaker at 28:

After graduating from Alfred, she worked at her father’s company, where duties included driving a diesel truck and training employees. She decided she wanted a more process-oriented career. Just as a sculptor creates a piece of art from clay, — a winemaker creates wine from grapes. “I do consider winemaking an art and a science,” she said.

She looked into graduate-degree programs around the nation and came upon one in viticulture and enology at nearby Finger Lakes Community College in Hopewell, Ontario County. “I joined the program and didn’t look back,” she said, noting that she was also attracted to the Finger Lakes food scene.

While going to FLCC, Vinson also worked at the Geneva location of Ravine’s Wine Cellars and at the New York Wine & Culinary Center, in Canandaigua. She received an associate’s degree in Viticulture and Wine Technology from FLCC in 2014.

Next, she lined up a harvest job at Domaine Serene winery in Oregon’s Williamette Valley and drove across the United States to work there on the 2014 harvest with an international group of seasonal employees.

Then she flew to Australia, where she worked 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shifts during the harvest season at the Domaine Chandon winery in the Victoria region. This was quickly followed by stints at Greystone Winery and Muddy Water Wines in Waipara, New Zealand. During the 2015 harvest, Vinson was at Red Newt Cellars Winery & Bistro in Hector, where she worked with Winemaker Kelby Russell.

While on her world wine tour, Vinson said, she learned wine vocabulary from vineyard to cellar, acquired a collection of techniques and styles of making wine and met many people who expanded her wine education.

Her winemaking philosophy: “I like to give myself as many pieces of the puzzle as possible to work with. There’s no one right way to do it. I feel like I am learning something every day.”

Vinson credits Fox Run Vineyards Winemaker Peter Bell with spreading the word about her availability when she was ready to return to the Finger Lakes, and Paul Brock of FLCC with letting her know about the Rooster Hill position, which opened up last year when Winemaker Barry Tortolon left Rooster Hill to become winemaker at Heron Hill Winery.

As evidence of the Finger Lakes wine industry’s welcoming nature, Vinson already belongs to a “tasting group” that also includes Bell, Tortolon, Russell and a few other local winemakers.

Vinson expects the upcoming grape harvest’s quantities to be down because of the drought, but of high quality. It “stands to be a good year” for grapes such as Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc, she said. “You can’t do anything without great fruit.”

What are her favorite wines? It’s an eclectic list. “I love Riesling. I’m a sucker for Pino Noir, but Cabernet Franc would be close, too. I like to try new things.”

Her latest new thing is winemaker at one of the Finger Lakes most honored wineries. The opportunity came faster than she expected, but Vinson is proving herself up to the challenge day by day.

PENN YAN, NY — 10-22-2016

TASTING RESULTS ARE IN; ROOSTER HILL WINES ARE ‘VERY GOOD’

Rooster Hill Vineyards has received a very good report card from Wine Enthusiast magazine, with three of its wines rated at 89 points.

Wine Enthusiast editors reviewed and rated the Rooster Hill wines and recently notified winery president and co-founder Amy Hoffman of the results. 

 The three highly rated Rooster Hill wines are the 2015 Estate Riesling; the 2014 Reserve Estate Grown and Produced Lemberger; and Bubbly Bantam, a white wine blend that is Rooster Hill’s first sparking wine. 

 “It is exciting to have such a high level of quality at Rooster Hill and to have that quality recognized by a prestigious national wine magazine,” said Paige Vinson, the winery’s winemaker. “I look forward to using my education and international wine experience to bolster this already impressive wine portfolio.” 

 According to Wine Enthusiast’s scale, wines rated at 87 to 89 points are “Very Good; Often good value, well recommended.” Wine Enthusiast is one of the nation’s leading wine publications. 

 Rooster Hill’s 2014 Barrel Reserve Pinot Noir was also “Very Good,” receiving an 87 rating from Wine Enthusiast. 

 The 2015 Estate Riesling sells for $16 a bottle, the 2014 Lemberger $25, the Bubbly Bantam $15, and the Pinot Noir $25. 

 Often cited in the national wine press for the quality of its wines. Rooster Hill has been awarded more than 330 medals in its 13-year history. For more details, call (315) 536-4773, e-mail info@roosterhill.com or visit the website at www.roosterhill.com. 

Rooster Hill, which grows its own Estate grapes, is in the heart of Finger Lakes Wine Country in upstate New York. Finger Lakes Wine Country is the largest concentration of wineries east of California, boasting more than 100 wineries producing world-class wine. For more about the region, go to this Web site: www.fingerlakeswinecountry.com.

PENN YAN, NY — 03-29-2016

MORE GOLD FOR ROOSTER HILL’S 2014 DRY RIESLING

Two of the nation’s largest wine competitions now have singled out Rooster Hill Vineyards’ 2014 Dry Riesling as an outstanding wine.

Just last week Rooster Hill was awarded a gold medal for its 2014 Dry Riesling at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Rochester.

In January, the 2014 Dry Riesling won a Double Gold Medal at the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

The competition in Rochester bills itself as the largest charitable competition in the world. This year 3,824 wines were entered. The San Francisco event says it is the largest competition of American wines in the world. Wineries entered 7,162 wines this year.

Amy Hoffman, President and Co-Founder of Rooster Hill on Keuka Lake, said the staff is thrilled that the winery has been recognized again. “We strive for a consistent high standard of quality,” she said, “and it’s rewarding when the hard work pays off with recognition from wine experts.”

Often cited in the national wine press for its wines’ quality, Rooster Hill has won more than 330 medals in its 13-year history. For more details, call (315) 536-4773, e-mail info@roosterhill.com or visit the website at www.roosterhill.com.

Rooster Hill, which grows its own Estate grapes, is in the heart of Finger Lakes Wine Country in upstate New York. Finger Lakes Wine Country is the largest concentration of wineries east of California, boasting more than 100 wineries producing world-class wine. For more about the region, go to this website: www.fingerlakeswinecountry.com.

PENN YAN, NY — 01-11-2016

ROOSTER HILL DRY RIESLING STRIKES DOUBLE GOLD IN FRISCO

Rooster Hill Vineyards’ 2014 Dry Rieslingwon a Double Gold Medal at the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Billed as the largest competition of American wines in the world, the 2016 San Francisco contest broke all of its records this year with a total of 7,162 wines entered. The contest was founded in 1983 and has grown steadily over the years.

The event is the first wine competition of the year and entries from across the nation for the 2016 contest were judged in the first week of January.

To win a Double Gold Medal at the California competition, a wine must receive a unanimous Gold Medal vote by a five-member judging panel.

“We are ecstatic,” said Amy Hoffman, Rooster Hill president and co-founder. “To have our Dry Riesling selected for this high honor in one of the most respected wine competitions reflects well on all of us at Rooster Hill and our standard of quality.”

Proceeds of the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition support the non-profit Cloverdale Citrus Fair and help support wine and food education at educational institutions and nonprofit organizations in California.

Rooster Hill’s 2014 Dry Riesling costs $16.99 a bottle. 

In addition to the Double Gold, the winery’s 2014 Gewurztraminer won a Bronze Medal at the San Francisco competition. The Gewurztraminer is made from Estate Grown grapes from Rooster Hill’s Catherine Vineyard. It costs $17.99 bottle.

The competition will host a public tasting of winning wines from the contest on Feb. 13 at 1:30 p.m. in the Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, in San Francisco.

Often cited in the national wine press for its wines’ quality, Rooster Hill has won more than 330 medals in its 13-year history. For more details, call (315) 536-4773, e-mail info@roosterhill.com or visit the website at www.roosterhill.com. 

Rooster Hill, which grows its own Estate grapes, is in the heart of Finger Lakes Wine Country in upstate New York. Finger Lakes Wine Country is the largest concentration of wineries east of California, boasting more than 100 wineries producing world-class wine. For more about the region, go to this website: www.fingerlakeswinecountry.com.