I would describe my experience with wine is something that I am still learning. Far from understanding and learning how to gauge wine flavors. Not sure what I find enjoyable and what I find as overindulgence. Michael is the head winemaker at Hazlitt Winery here in New York. This winery is best known for its famous sweeter wine called Red Cat. Don’t be fooled, they are known who carrying some of the best wine in the region.
My roommate Tim Mason came along, drank some wine and helped us out. The day was beautiful for a drive up Seneca Lake.
Hazlitt Winery is about 30 mins from Ithaca. We were glad to take the most scenic route and we suggest you do to.
Pulling into parking and stepping out of the truck the winery was stunning. The view overlooking Seneca Lake, made everything look like diamonds, millions of them. Dancing across the valley and the lake. There were vineyards for miles in either directions. Spotting Michael from a distance I waved my hands and screamed his name. After introductions were made and we headed in to see where the winemaking process is started. Michael brought us into the wine storage room and literally took our breaths away. It’s almost overwhelming. The amounts of information Michael knew, the process, the size of the tanks and wine available. They have giant cylinders holding 17,000 bottles worth of different varieties of wine. Michael explains the complete process and let me say. WOW! This man knows his stuff. Hazlitt is definitely lucky to have this guy making their wine. Everything I had been super tasty and we had a great time.
We headed into the “wine lab” to see the science of making wine. The room was full of bunsen burner, tubes spiraling all over and wines being mixed. Michael showed us how he tested the acidity levels in the wine. As well as how to find how much alcohol is in each wine. After all of this, only one thing left to see. I believe it’s what everyone wants to see. The aging room or barrel house as it is known.
Entering the aging room you believe all the hype. It’s like a scene from the movies. Rows of oak barrels imported from France and Hungary. Michael told us how he only likes to use the best. All hand-made, all more impressive than the next. Showing us how the wine gets from the barrel to the bottle. We tasted wines that were still not mixed up or filtered. The flavor was excellent. I do have to say I was questionable seeing the wine cloudy, but after trying it I was impressed.
Everyone had a good time. Lots of laughs, good jokes and tasty wines. Michael thanks you again for taking the time to show us more about wine. We look forward to coming back soon and showing you more.
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