Thursday, March 01, 2018

Schulze Vineyards & Winery Sparkle!! (NY)


I first tried Schulze wines at the Eastern Wineries Exposition 2017, so I am a tad late with this review. Apologies. Schulze Vineyard and Winery is owned by Martin Schulze, and is located in Burt, NY,in Niagara County. They make quality estate produced wines, both still and sparkling. They grow vinifera grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, and they also grow Siegfried Riesling and Vidal Blanc, as well as Niagara, Concord and Catawba.

OK, a few things first...I tried two wines, both sparkling. Both were absolutely lovely!And then I also realized that the wines were made by Jonathan Oakes who has developed a cult following over the last few years.

Here's a history of the place: 1969 – The land that now houses Schulze Winery is purchased. This includes a small established Niagara and Concord vineyard which will later be used for juice production. 1970 – Contract begins with Welch’s for juice. 1972 – Contract begins with Great Western for juice. 1974 – The vineyard is expanded. 1980 – Hybrid Siegfried Riesling grapes are planted and a first attempt at producing still and sparkling wine is made at home. 1985 – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes are planted as a trial run. Opening a winery becomes an idea and the vineyard is prepared to produce grapes for this venture. The contract for supplying grape juice continues. 1986 – Contract begins with Cliffstar for juice. 2000 – The vineyard expands by planting Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes. 2002 – The vineyard expands by planting Vidal Blanc grapes. 2003 – Additional grapes are planted. Contract starts to supply several local wineries with grapes. 2004 – Grafted and cloned Siegfried Riesling grapes are planted. 2005 – Domenic Carisetti is hired as winemaker. Produced and bottled first harvest for our own use. 2006 – State Liquor License and federal permits are granted. 2007 – Schulze Winery opens. A dream is realized. 2010 – Jonathan Oakes is contracted as winemaker.


First I tried the Schulze Tiny Bubbles, this light, off dry, fruit fizz was exceptional. Like a lightly styled prosecco, it was fruity but with enough acid, and super easy to drink with a lovely fruity nose with a nice touch of yeast and green apple. Absolutely lovely!!! For the price, everyone should have a bottle of this wine on their table for whatever the celebration is.


The Schulze Blanc de Blanc Cuvee Reserve Brut Sparkling Wine was more of a classic French-styled sparkling wine. The wine opened with the notes of apple, pear, and baked bread. Tropical notes also wafted out of the glass. A soft, slight creaminess provided a lovely finish. A perfect, sophisticated wine. Very impressive.


Both of these wines just made me want to drink more. Great to see another quality producer in the region, adding to its growing reputation. Looking forward to trying more!