Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Peter Bell, winemaker at Fox Run, Lauded As Winemaker Who Makes a Difference

In the May/June 2006 issue of Vineyard & Winery Management Fox Run Vineyards winemaker Peter Bell picked up an endorsement of considerable weight. It seems that in the January 5, 2006 Vintage Experiences (Santa Rosa, CA), Dan Berger comended Bell as winemaker of quality wine who had not recieved the recognition he probably deserved.

According to Fox Run:
"Winemaker at Fox Run since the summer of 1995, Peter Bell shares owner Scott Osborn's conviction that the Vinifera revolution is still a young one. With proper clone and rootstock selection, trellising systems and cellar refinements, the world will begin to take notice of the superior wines of which the Finger Lakes region is capable.

"Born and raised in Canada, Bell began his winemaking career in Australia, where he earned a degree in enology at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, where he also worked in the school's own winery. Upon graduation he became assistant winemaker for Hunter's Wines in New Zealand, producing Chardonnay, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc and experimenting with Pinot Noir. Leaving New Zealand, he turned down offers from Portugal and British Columbia in favor of the natural beauty and outstanding potential of the Finger Lakes. For five years he was winemaker at Dr. Konstantin Frank's Vinifera Wine Cellars on Keuka Lake where he made a number of award-winning wines.

"For Bell, the flip side of laissez-faire winemaking is the risk involved. The art is to know when not to do something to the wine, to apply a sort of benign neglect, yet to be ready to intervene when a hands-off approach would be disastrous. He describes himself as "extremely fussy" about hygiene -- "spoilage organisms are invisible and ubiquitous" -- and about minimizing oxygen contact, especially with aromatic wines, during racking, filtration, and bottling."

We on the east coast knew it all along.

Congrats to Peter Bell!