You probably know that Champagne is a wine region in France, famous for making the best sparkling wines in the world. But are all Champagnes from France? And what is the meaning of the term “Méthode Champenoise,” found in so many sparkling wine labels from around the world?
After World War II, there was a growing interest in drier, European-style wines in the United States, but no such grapes were grown in the Finger Lakes until Dr. Konstantin Frank, a Ukrainian viticulturist, relocated to Cornell University’s Geneva Experiment Station in 1953 and began planting European varieties. Dr. Frank had written his PhD thesis on cold-climate growing techniques of Vitis vinifera and ultimately proved that common grapes could be grown in the region with proper grafting and care.
This bracing white wine is one of my perennial favorites from the Finger Lakes. Dr. Frank pioneered European vinifera grape varieties in the Eastern United States. Still family-owned, the winery is now in the hands of Dr. Frank’s grandson, Frederic, and great-granddaughter, Meaghan Frank.
One of the most popular wineries in the Finger Lakes, this Dry Riesling is a balanced and tropical dry white wine with fresh acidity and excellent persistence with hints of citrus. But beyond the crispness, there’s a unique subtle creaminess that will keep you reaching for a second taste.
A good way to start your vineyard touring is at Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery on the western banks. This is where the Finger Lakes went through a “vinifera revolution” as they call it. In 1957 that Dr. Frank, a Ph.D. in plant sciences, planted the European varieties (Vitis vinifera) against nearly everyone’s advice.
Established in 1962 and fourth-generation family owned, Dr. Konstantin Frank Wines features over 40 bottles, including chardonnay riesling, pinot gris, brut rosé, and grüner veltliner, with new varietals planted over the years by generations of the Frank family.
As one of the most historic vineyards in the eastern United States, Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery offers a perfect date destination for couples. For its romantic setting and high-quality wines that allow couples to connect and relax, Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery has earned our Editor’s Choice Award.
In just a few decades, riesling has become the unofficial grape of New York’s Finger Lakes region. Since 1957, local winemaker Dr. Konstantin Frank (and the subsequent four generations of the Frank family) have been working wonders with the fruit at their winery on Keuka Lake.