When I arrived at Anthony Road Wine Company on a Saturday morning in November, I didn’t know what to expect with regard to tasting arrangements. A tasting room associate greeted me and I said, “I am not sure if I have a formal appointment or not, but this is when I was supposed to arrive.” The associate checked with someone else and returned with another lady and said, “You will be with Johannes (Reinhardt),” and left me with the other lady to chat. I discovered she was Ann Martini, co-owner of Anthony Road. We chatted a bit, then Johannes joined us. He invited Ann to taste with us and she accepted. Johannes didn’t tell me he was the winemaker, but I soon figured it out on my own. I must admit I was a bit star struck. I’ve only tasted with two other winemakers in the past. In my opinion, winemakers are like Renaissance men and women, as they are both scientists and artists.
We tasted 11 wines, including Anthony Road Rosé of Cabernet Franc, Anthony Road Cabernet Franc-Lemburger blend, Martini Reinhardt Selection Cabernet Franc, Tierce Dry Riesling (joinly made by Anthony Road, Fox Run, and Red Newt), Anthony Road Semi-Dry Riesling, Martini Reinhardt Selection Riesling, Anthony Road Gewürztraminer, Martini Reinhardt Selection Riesling Berry Selection, Martini Reinhardt Selection Riesling Trockenbeeren, and Martini Reinhardt Selection Vignoles Trockenbeeren. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted reds before whites, but in retrospect, it dawned on me that we were perhaps tasting from dry to sweet. All of the wines were simply amazing. I took photos, but I didn’t take notes because I wanted to focus on the learning experience of tasting with a winemaker.
While tasting the Rieslings, Johannes asked me what I was like growing up, and I told him I was rather shy and introverted. He opened an unlabeled bottle and we tasted what was inside. It was a “spontaneous yeast” Riesling still in development, not yet ready for release. A spontaneous-yeast (or native-yeast) wine is fermented only with yeasts native to its terroir.
Johannes observed that this wine was like me: quiet on the surface, but has a lot going on underneath. In just a short period of time together, he had discovered my personality’s perfect paring. The wine, fondly dubbed my wine, is the 2010 Art Series Riesling, set for release in early 2013. I’m excited to taste the finished product.
The tasting concluded. To be honest, I didn’t want to go to my next tasting. I was still savoring this experience and knew the next winery’s tasting wouldn’t be nearly as personalized as this one. I was correct. This was the most personalized tasting of my Finger Lakes trip. I recall it often and look forward to returning to Anthony Road in the near future.