Up on the Niagara Escarpment region, in Cambria, NY lies Eveningside Vineyards, a winery known for small production, well made European style wines. Opened in 2004 by winemaker Randy Biehl and his wife Karen, the winery slowly grew while keeping its production reasonable by not being all things to all customers. Their focus has been on dry reds, Chardonnays and Rieslings and for this reason they have achieved success, respect and admiration throughout the state with wine lovers and wine producers alike.
I am particularly fond of the Cabernet Francs they have produced over the years. This is a wine that is not thin or astringent which can certainly be the case with many young or poorly produced Cabernet Francs. Notes of Blackberry, Currant, cherry, black pepper, cedar, anise and even tomato leaf have been familiar in nearly all vintages, changing only in order of influence.
This wine is a versatile food pairing delight that works very well with, wild game such as elk to grilled pork or red meats.
In regards to white wines, much is written (deservedly) about Eveningside Chardonnays – oaked and un-oaked from Eveningside, I am a particularly strong fan of the semi-dry Riesling. This, simply put, is just a damn good Riesling with classic tropical fruit notes upfront, then settling into a juicy pear and slight honey sweetness with a lively lemon flavor in the finish. Serve this with a chilled Asian salad with mandarin oranges and a ginger citrus dressing.
Eveningside Vineyards is located at 4794 Lower Mountain Rd, Lockport, NY 14094. To schedule a tour or a visit, check out their website www.eveningside.com.