Dry Riesling 2021

Producer: Dr. Frank Winery
Region: New York
Appellation: Finger Lakes
Country: USA
Classification: AVA
Wine Type: White
Variety: Riesling
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alcohol: 12%
Residual Sugar: 5.6 g/L
Soil: Shallow, shale-based
Awards: 91-James Suckling; 90-Wine Enthusiast; 91-Wine Align
info@buyersandcellars.ca www.buyersandcellars.ca

Cellar Profile

Konstantin Frank arrived in New York from Ukraine in 1951. A PhD holder in viticulture and doctor of plant sciences, Frank was the first to experiment with vitis vinifera in the state, where plantings had been confined to vitis labrusca and Concord varieties. Situated at the heart of the Finger Lakes region, on the southwestern hills surrounding Keuka Lake, the winery has a collection of old vine plantings that few others in North America can rival. The work is done in the vineyard, with a very deft touch by the winery, focusing on food-worthy, lively wines of elegance and depth, wines that keep the palate fresh, inviting another sip. Grapes are sourced primarily from the original estate Keuka Lake vineyards, where shale soils provide minerality and acidity, but also from Seneca Lake vineyards, which are warmer, imparting more weight and upfront fruit.


The Finger Lakes region of New York State is an exciting, emerging area for cool climate wines of freshness and elegance. Despite its relative anonymity, it is a region that has been around for some time. Less than a 5 hour drive from both Toronto and New York City, this bucolic area is now home to over 160 wineries. Grapes here range from the obscure (Rkatsiteli) to the familiar (Riesling) and plenty in between. Regardless of the variety, the wines all exhibit Old World freshness, bright flavours and elegant structures that are perfect accompaniments to a wide variety of foods and festivities. The slate soils are perfect for working with Riesling and the region’s dry versions are fast becoming the darlings of wine critics.


Sourced primarily from the original Keuka Lake Vineyard (plantings in ’58, ’74, ’81 and ’86). Soils here are shallow and shale-based, which add minerality, acidity, and elegance. A smaller amount of fruit comes from the Seneca Estate, where silty loam soils and a warmer mesoclimate provide riper, upfront fruit flavours.


One of the wine world’s great white grapes, Riesling is best grown in cooler climates where it thrives from a long, slow growing season that develops its intense aromatics and renowned acidity. It is home in Germany but is also grown successfully throughout the wine world, notably in the Alsace region of France, cooler areas in Australia and South Africa and, of course, here in Ontario. Styles vary according to site and producer, from sweet and fruity to bone-dry, austere and everything in between. Riesling was first brought to the Finger Lakes region of New York State by Dr. Konstantin Frank, the founder of this winery, in 1958. Those original vines are still in production today!


The 2021 vintage was marked by a mild winter and a rather typical growing season, with cooler temperatures resulting in wines of great structure. The grapes were hand-harvested at full phenolic ripeness, de-stemmed and then pressed into stainless steel for fermentation. Aged on lees for 5 months to add complexity.

Tasting Notes 

Delicate and elegant, harmonizing lime zest, granny smith apples, and mineral stoniness from the Keuka site with citrus and nectarine from the Seneca vineyards. Bright and persistent with zingy freshness. Pair with soft goat cheeses, green salads or simply-prepared chicken, pork or fish.