At Red Newt, we’ve got a really great crew of folks who make the wines that you love. Over the next few months, you’ll have a chance to get each of us a little bit better.
Our first installments of Red Newt Write are penned by Austin Lamb, freelance journalist in Ithaca NY. We are excited to have Austin spend some time with our family and pass our conversations along to you!
Each year as summer comes to a close several interns arrive at Red Newt Cellars. Over the years, they have come from Australia, Switzerland, and various states from around the country. Some have worked harvests before, some come looking for a different experience, other come to learn more about wine. Every year their hard work helps the Red Newt winemaking team create carefully crafted wines reflective of time and place. So, let’s meet the 2020 Red Newt Intern Crew who have been hard at work.
Meet Taylor Stember!
She hails from Carmel, California. As a UC Davis graduate, she enjoys traveling and working harvests around the world. In fact, Taylor spent the past two years working the harvests ‘down under’ in Australia. Her favorite variety of grape is Frappato. The variety is Italian, and mostly grown in Sicily. Frappato produces a light bodied red with juicy aromatics.
Harvest is physically demanding work and therefore, harvest snacks are essential for one’s survival! Taylor relies on apples and peanut butter to get her through. Demanding work requires great music. You will frequently see her dancing on the crush pad. Her favorite music jam while working harvest is anything Beyonce!
Many interns return home or head off to another harvest once the Finger Lakes harvest is complete. We have a feeling you’ll be seeing Taylor around for quite a while following this year’s harvest!
Meet Jamie Schlicht
Jamie Schlicht is Brooklyn born and Long Island grown. She says, “Hospitality is my thang!” Jamie began in the hospitality industry in high school. Since then she’s worn the many hats of hospitality including server, bartender and sommelier. When not working in the hospitality industry Jamie is a perennial student who works with economically underserved GED and adult TESOL students while taking her own graduate classes.
When asked why the Finger Lakes, she admits, “I’ve had so many compelling wines from the region, but as yet had not actually been to the area.” Since NYC restaurants closed, an opportunity presented itself to come work a harvest.
Doing something you have never done before presents many challenges and Jamie has loved learning how we make wine from the ground up. What’s her favorite wine? Chardonnay! Jamie loves the endless expressions of the variety, which match any mood and many of the different foods she loves.
Favorite snack and harvest music? Well, it’s a tie between Swidish Fish and beer! As for her music choice, she likes to keep things festive, so jammin’ to Samhain keeps things interesting!
Meet Katie Cochrane
Katie hails from Philadelphia by way of Brooklyn, with numerous other stops along the way. Katie’s background is in food science. In fact, her various food science work has had her formulating chicken mcnuggets to cake mixes and ice cream to yogurt. Now, she’s a brewer who specializes in mixed culture fermentations. For the most part, this means she works with mostly sour beers.
Katie wanted to diversify a bit and try working a wine harvest. However, she wanted to do it a bit closer to home, so the connections and relationships she built during harvest would not seem like a completely separate world. So, naturally the Finger Lakes was one of her first choices. Each day brings something different and new to learn, and she hopes this is not her only stint in the region.
Katie is still learning about wine so she doesn’t necessarily have a favorite varietal. Each day she learns something new about wine and gets closer to figuring out what she likes! Her favorite grab and go snack to keep her energy up for harvest are apple slices. What song keeps her going during harvest? “Running Up that Hill” by Kate Bush.
Meet Jamie Rubin
Last, but certainly not least! Meet Jamie Rubin. When asked where he’s from, he responds, “Bad things happen in Philadelphia.” Jamie comes from a diverse background having worked at a dog kennel, a pet shop, cleaning offices, as a puppeteer, in filmmaking, retail, fast food delivery and a handful of other jobs. Most recently he has worked extensively as a restaurant general manager and sommelier. Jamie worked the 2016 harvest at Element Winery and fell in love with the area, the people and the wines. When COVID shut down restaurants in Philly and the opportunity presented itself, Jamie decided to return to the Finger Lakes for another harvest and has worked with Red Newt Cellars since September.
Jamie’s favorite time of year is harvest in the Finger Lakes. He thrives on the massive load of information he learns each day he works and loves the ability to be away from a city right now. Jamie loves the people of the Finger Lakes, and the spirit of genuine collaboration between the communities and the wine industry community.
Hey Jamie! What’s your favorite varietal again? “ZINFANDEL! Yes, I like my wine to taste like fruit, and sometimes I don’t want to decide whether to drink something full or light bodied. Besides, Zin brings people together!” He loves grapes so much it is also his favorite snack at harvest. We have warned him though, he will eventually tire of that and if you ask about his favorite music while working harvest – 1990s hip hop. Who’d have thought? Jamie is full of surprises!
We thank our interns for their great attitudes, hard work and dedication to harvest 2020! We look forward to seeing where you go from here.
When the world seems dismal, being able to smile, feels like a blessing and a gift. The Finger Lakes wine industry prides itself on our sense of community and good spirit. Perhaps it is a function of being the underdog for so long, but when a challenge rears up we are keen to meet the moment.
“With that said, the CoVid-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented hardship to our region and the hospitality industry that has been so supportive of our wines. What to do during a time of social distancing and the closure of the industry that we wish to support? We are winemakers after all, it is a niche skill during a public health and business crisis.
Fifteen winemakers, twelve wineries, twelve sommeliers, and one dynamite creative team later, we have a 2021 Winemakers’ Pin-Up Calendar that we are now proud to present to you. From fun to flirty to fabulous, these images capture some of your favorite Finger Lakes winemakers in a new light, and certainly in a way you never expected to see them or their wine!
But most importantly, these images capture our winemaking community doing what it does best: coming together to help out our communities, friends, and neighbors.
So with that, we hope you enjoy revealing each month of this calendar as much as we enjoyed making it! We cannot wait to share the excitement, and to share 100% of the funds raised with local food access and restaurant relief programs.”
Another beautiful day in the neighborhood! Fall weekends are here and we want to remind you we will continue to seat outdoors as long as the weather holds. Please dress a bit warmer when you join us over the next few weeks as we continue to take advantage of this glorious fall weather.
The changing colors of fall mean more visitors to our area so we highly recommend making a reservation. Your reservation guarantees you inside seating should the weather be poor. Book your reservation today!
Planning your next quick get away from the city? Make a reservation today to enjoy a relaxing afternoon seated on our decks (weather permitting). Sip on wines by the glass, tadpole or bottle, while enjoying our lite fare. A recent article by Condé Nast Traveler recommends Red Newt Cellars for pleasant day trips outside the city. Fall is the perfect time to visit the Finger Lakes!
Cool breezes, clouds and sunshine. What’s better than our warm baguette accompanied by blackberry balsamic vinegar and olive oil. What do you pair it with? Try our tadpoles of 2010 Merlot Glacier Ridge, 2013 Cabernet Franc Glacier Ridge or our 2016 Pinot Noir Glacier Ridge.
Glacier Ridge Vineyards is a small, perfectly located and managed vineyard that lies along the eastern shore of Seneca Lake in the glacially formed Finger Lakes region. Wines from Glacier Ridge Vineyards have a density and structure that is unique to the Finger Lakes; a credit to the spectacular vineyard and grower Tony Damiani. Our goal is simply to stay out of the way and let the fruit and vintage speak for themselves.
The 2010 Merlot Glacier Ridge is from a warm vintage and has a lush forward fruit on the palate the nicely gives way to the structure we expect from Glacier Ridge reds and tannins that are approachable following 8 years of bottle aging.
The 2013 Cabernet Franc Glacier Ridge has cranberry, black cherry, and raspberry fruit that combines with aromas of lavender and spice to produce a nose that is rich and ethereal. The palate is firm, but supple, with hints of vanilla and spice. Tastes great paired with pork tenderloin medallions sautéed with a garlic cherry glaze.
2016 will be remembered for being one of the driest growing seasons ever recorded in the Finger Lakes, which is not a trivial concern in a region that does not use irrigation. From June 2nd until mid-August there was almost no rain to speak of, but fortunately the vines showed no major signs of drought stress.
Another perfect pairing for a beautiful day in the neighborhood!! We’re open daily from 12pm until 5pm.
Hot days call for seriously chilled wine! Come try our vertical of Pinot Gris from the Curry Creek Vineyard. We have the 2007, 2010 & 2014 in tadpoles.
The 2007 produced a leaner style of Pinot Gris. This rich and complex wine has a light menthol/eucalyptus nose. Light phenolic textures, starfruit, baked tropical fruit. 14% alcohol nicely integrated. Floral and melon notes, almond, white pepper on the finish. Pair with smoked trout bahn mi.
The 2010 Pinot Gris is very different. With a small crop, open canopy, and late season hang time, we dial in the rich and mouth filling aspects that make this wine a treasure in Alsace and now the Finger Lakes. Ripe peach and melon flavors balance the dry and crisp nature of this expressive Pinot Gris.
The 2014 vintage of Pinot Gris showcases the perfectly ripened fruit, which was picked on a cool October morning and tractored to Red Newt to enjoy an overnight cold soak before being pressed off. Aged on the lees for 8 months before being racked off, filtered and bottled. A dry, crisp fruit-forward wine this has been aging in the bottle since 2015 and it is drinking beautifully.
Reserve your spot today at Red Newt Cellars or, stop by for tadpoles ‘TO GO!’ We’re open 12PM until 5pm daily.
The heat of summer calls for relaxing days down by the water with some wine and cheese. Our local cheese plate pairs perfectly with four unique wines we offer as tadpoles. What could be better than a personal sized bottle of wine paired with cheese?
2015 Lahoma Vineyard-The Knoll
2014 Lahoma Vineyard-The Big H
2007 Curry Creek Vineyard Pinot Gris
2017 Pinot Gris
These tadpoles complement our cheese plate beautifully! Enjoy yours while seated on our spacious decks or grab it to go!
2014 Riesling, Bullhorn Creek – 2017 Pinot Gris – 2018 Cabernet Franc
Three wines that scream fun in the sun! The ’14 Riesling is bright with a refreshing acidity – perfect for bites of cheese while sitting outside on a hot day. The ’17 Pinot Gris has a lighter rounded mouth feel with a clean finish and makes a great pairing with grilled veggies, chicken, pork or fish. The ’18 Cabernet Franc is easy drinking and can take a slight chill of 15 minutes in the fridge. Pair this with your favorite grilled steak, portobello mushrooms, or burger!
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