PRESS RELEASE: Swedish Hill Rieslings shine in California and Florida!

Swedish Hill Winery, located on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, is thrilled to start off the 2017 competition year with five gold medals from two recent events, the International Eastern and the Florida State Fair International Wine Competition.

Established in 1975, the International Eastern is one of the oldest and longest-running wine competitions in the nation. For the past few years this event was combined with the West Coast Wine Competition creating the International “East Meets West” Wine Challenge. Swedish Hill claimed gold medals for both their 2015 Dry Riesling and 2015 Riesling.

The Florida State Fair International Wine Competition announced that amongst the winning wines Swedish Hill was honored with one double gold medal, and two gold. The 2015 Blue Waters Pinot Grigio was awarded the double gold medal with the 2015 Riesling and Blanc de Blanc being the gold medalists.

The 2015 Riesling has now won 4 gold medals overall, while the 2015 Dry Riesling has won 3. The 2015 Blue Waters Pinot Grigio has won 5 gold medals, and the Blanc de Blanc has won 3 gold medals.

Swedish Hill Winery produces all of its wines at the Romulus, NY facility that was founded and remains in operation today by the Peterson family. The Romulus location features a tasting room and gift shop that is open year round for visitors to experience their wines. Customers can also taste Swedish Hill wines at two satellite tasting rooms located in Saratoga Springs and Lake Placid, NY.  For more information about Swedish Hill’s wines, awards, and tasting rooms visit

Swedish Hill Red and Rosé Wine Shelf Talkers

White Wine Shelf Talkers


PRESS RELEASE: Kicking off 2017 with Gold!

Swedish Hill Winery, located on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, is maintaining its position as a top award-winning winery with its recent addition of one double gold and two gold medals from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (SFCWC). The winery won a double gold medal for its 2015 Riesling and a gold medal for both its 2015 Blue Waters Pinot Grigio and Blanc de Blanc. In addition to the gold medals, they brought home five silver and two bronze medals.

The SFCWC was held in Sonoma County, CA and is one of the nation’s largest competitions with 6,850 entries received from 28 different states this year. 60 prestigious wine experts from a variety of wine-related industries including media, trade, hospitality and education came together and diligently chose these winners.

This is the second gold medal for the 2015 Riesling, which also won at the New York Wine & Food Classic. The 2015 Blue Waters Pinot Grigio is up to four gold medals, winning at the Indy International, Pacific Rim and San Francisco International. This is also the second gold medal for the Blanc de Blanc which won double gold at the New York Wine & Food Classic.

Swedish Hill Winery produces all of its wines at the Romulus, NY facility that was founded and remains in operation by the Peterson Family. The Romulus location features a tasting room and gift shop that is open year round for visitors to experience their wines. Customers can also taste Swedish Hill wines at two satellite tasting rooms located in Saratoga Springs and Lake Placid, NY. For more information about Swedish Hill’s wines, awards, and tasting rooms visit


Harvest 2016: Handpicking Cabernet Franc

Cab Franc Harvest

NEW Vintage Release: 2014 Maréchal Foch

One of our top selling dry red wines, experience the bright flavors of it’s new vintage!

2015 Harvest Report From Our Winemaker


Each vintage is more than a simple weather report. As a perennial crop, grapevines and the wines they yield are a product of more than one growing season. So it was with the 2015 harvest. Two successive cold winters kept the grapes produced by many varieties down appreciably. Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Merlot are some of the vines that produced a quality crop but not an overly bountiful one.

Pinot Noir grapes hanging on the vine at Swedish Hill Winery

Pinot Noir grapes hanging on the vine at Swedish Hill Winery

A vintage can go from okay to great with a warm dry August and September. A relatively cool and wet spring this year gave way to a warm and dry late summer and fall. The result was not exceedingly high sugar levels but nice flavors and initial acid levels that are nearly ideal.   Early season varieties such as Diamond, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are particularly flavorful and fruity. In general all the dry red varieties are very fruity and will produce a slightly lighter style than the very warm 2012 vintage.

Riesling and similar aromatic whites such as Viognier and Pinot Grigio have shown very nice flavors from the very start of fermentation. Slightly lower acid levels from the warm late summer will mean that balanced wines will have lower final residual sugars than most recent vintages. If vintages get a letter grade the winemaking staff rates 2015 an A-.

– Derek Wilber, Winemaker

Derek watching over Pinot Noir grapes going into the press.

Derek watching over Pinot Noir grapes going into the press.

Click HERE to see our Facebook 2015 Harvest Photos!

NEW Vintage Release: 2014 Blue Waters Riesling

Already a three-time gold medalist and rated 92 points at the San Francisco International, this Riesling is quickly becoming a fan favorite with its loaded peach flavors.

Upcoming Event: Sparkling & Dessert Wine Festival


Spark your holiday spirit at our annual Sparkling & Dessert Wine tasting event on Saturday, November 7th from 9am to 6pm at our Finger Lakes tasting room.

Sparkling-WinesThis event features all of our sparkling wines and select dessert wines where you’ll not only save big on your purchases, but we’ll treat you with a complimentary dessert pairing with your paid tasting.  You’ll be able to choose from a delicious Pumpkin Carrot Care or Decadent Chocolate Fudge to pair with your tasting!

ONLY on Saturday, November 7th, online & in our Finger Lakes Tasting Room, will ALL of our sparkling wines and dessert wines be on sale, 25% OFF 3 or more bottles, mix and match!
Sale includes (sparkling wines) 2006 Brut, Naturel, Riesling Cuvée, Blanc de Blanc, Spumante Blush, Celebration Blush, (dessert wines) Late Harvest Vignoles, Raspberry Infusion, and Cynthia Marie Port.

After your tasting be sure to browse our stocked inventory of holiday gifts in our gift shop ranging from special labeled wines, wine baskets, wine accessories, to home decor and tons of great stocking stuffer ideas!

Click HERE to shop our Sparkling Wine & Dessert Wine Sale NOW!


NEW HARVEST VIDEO: Pressing Niagara Grapes

This morning our crew pressed 20 tons of Niagara grapes.  Check out this quick video that shows them going into the destemmer and the fresh, sweet juice coming out of the press!

Continue to see our winemaking crew in action by following us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!

For more information on our 2015 harvest check out our winemaker’s blog!

2015 Harvest Update

Harvest Happenings

Diamond-into-pressRight on time, our 2015 harvest season kicked off on Wednesday, September 9th with pressing Diamond grapes for a majority of the first week.  Towards the end of the week our crew hand picked and pressed 5 tons of Pinot Noir grapes. This week we’re on to Cayuga White along with some of the sweeter varieties, Niagara and Golden Muscat!

So far the results are coming in favorably for the 2015 vintage.  With the weather being ideal at just the right time for ripening, we’re seeing excellent flavors developing across all varieties.
Zach-Raking-Pinot-NoirIntroducing our NEW second winemaker!
What better way to induct the newest member of our cellar team than with the bustle of harvest! Zach Pegram, seen right raking Pinot Noirs into the press, recently joined us as our second winemaker.  Zach has a Masters in Professional Studies in winemaking from Cornell University along with winemaking experience from Oregon and the Finger Lakes.  He has been working side-by-side with winemaker Derek Wilber in preparation for the incoming 2015 vintage.  It will surely be exciting to have another set of eyes and taste buds on the crafting of our wines, and we’re extremely happy to have him on board!
Experience Harvest!
Harvest is the best time of the year to take one of our complimentary winery tours! While we cannot guarantee that you’ll be able to see our press deck in action, it is likely that you’ll witness some behind-the-scenes action during your already very informative tour through the end of October.  Click here for FAQ’s about our tours including tour times.
Want to see more photos and stay up-to-date on our 2015 harvest? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram!

NEW Vintage Release: 2013 Reserve Chardonnay

A true reserve style: big, rich and complex. 100% barrel fermented with 100% malolactic fermentation gives this bone dry wine buttery, coconut and mango-like aromas and a creamy smooth finish. Our boldest, oakiest Chardonnay.

Swedish Hill Awarded “Best Sparkling Riesling” in California

Best-Sparkling-RieslingSwedish Hill continues to impress at wine competitions, this time the San Francisco International Wine Competition awarded our Riesling Cuvée “Best Sparkling Riesling,” 95 points and a double gold medal!


This is the seventh gold or higher honor for the Riesling Cuvée which includes a 90 point rating at the 2015 Los Angeles International and a double gold medal from the 2014 New York State Fair.


The San Francisco International also awarded Swedish Hill a double gold and 94 points for the 2014 Riesling, along with a gold medal and 92 points for each the 2014 Blue Waters Chardonnay Riesling and 2014 Blue Waters Riesling.

Swedish Hill’s total medal count for this event was 13 including four silver medals and five bronze.


To see a complete list of our awards, click here!

Swedish Hill Won Second Eastern US “Winery of the Year” Title for 2015!

For the second time this year Swedish Hill Winery has been named the Winery of the Year for the Eastern United States at a highly acclaimed wine competition. California’s Critics Challenge International Wine Competition awarded Swedish Hill with nine medals including three silver, two gold and an impressive four platinum, all for Rieslings.

Critics-Challenge-WinnersSwedish Hill entered all four of its Riesling wines into this competition, and each of them were nominated for Best of Show which automatically awards them a platinum medal. The 2013 Dry Riesling, 2013 Riesling, and the 2013 Humphrey’s Vineyard Riesling were all rated 94 points. The 2013 Blue Waters Riesling, which now has totaled eight gold medal or higher honors, was rated an astounding 99 points by the judges at this event.

Swedish Hill’s Owner, Dave Peterson, was thrilled to receive the Critics Challenge results remarking that, “winning our second Winery of the Year award for 2015 along with this being the fifth such a title in the past four years is exciting for us. It is a tribute to the consistency of our wines and production teams as these awards are based on the combined scores of all of the wines we enter to each competition. The fact that all four of our Rieslings scored 94 and above is yet further confirmation of the Finger Lakes ability to be a competitive producer amongst some of the world’s top regions. And while this region is a premium producer of Riesling, receiving high scores for other wines including Gewürztraminer and Cabernet Franc is an attestation that the Finger Lakes has become a truly world class producer of other varietals as well.”

In the past four years Swedish Hill has been recognized as “Winery of the Year” from five esteemed wine competitions. In 2012 the winery was honored at the Riverside International in California, then in both 2013 and 2014 it was acknowledged at the New York State Fair Commercial Wine Competitions, and just this April it was awarded the Eastern US “Winery of the Year” at California’s Winemaker Challenge International. These titles uphold Swedish Hill’s reputation as one of the most award-winning wineries of the Finger Lakes and a consistent producer of nationally renowned quality wines.

The Critics Challenge awarded gold medals to Swedish Hill’s 2013 Doyle Vineyard Gewürztraminer with 92 points and the 2012 Cabernet Franc rated 91 points. The three silver medalists were the sparkling Blanc de Blanc, 2013 Reserve Chardonnay and the 2014 Blue Waters Dry Rosè.


For a complete list of Swedish Hill’s accolades, click here!

To read other recent press releases, click here!

Riverside International Awards Swedish Hill Two Chairman’s Awards

Swedish Hill Winery was honored with two Chairman’s Awards, two “Best of Class” honors and a gold medal at California’s 34th Annual Riverside International wine competition this month.

Riverside InternationalThe Chairman’s Awards and “Best of Class” titles went to the 2014 Late Harvest Vignoles and the 2014 Cayuga White. The Chairman’s Awards were presented to wines that were voted as a gold medalist unanimously by the judges. Each of these recent vintages are showing promising results in competitions to come as they have both claimed gold or higher two or more competitions. The 2014 Late Harvest Vignoles also won a double gold medal at the Tasters Guild where the Cayuga White won a gold in addition to a gold and “Best of Class” from the Pacific Rim.

All together Swedish Hill brought home 15 medals including one gold, eight silver and four bronze. The gold medal was awarded to the sparkling Blanc de Blanc. Silver medals were awarded to the sparkling Riesling Cuvée, 2013 Dry Riesling, 2013 Blue Waters Gewürztraminer, 2013 Blue Waters Riesling, 2013 Vidal Blanc, 2012 Cabernet Franc, 2012 Cabernet Franc Lemberger, and the 2012 Optimus. Bronze medals went to the sparkling Naturel, 2013 Humphrey’s Vineyard Riesling, 2013 Riesling, and the Cynthia Marie Port.

Swedish Hill Wins 7 Golds at Tasters Guild

tasters-guild-wineSwedish Hill brought home a total of 13 medals from the Tasters Guild International, including one double gold, six gold, two silver and four bronze.

The 2015 Taster’s Guild was held last week at the Grand Rapids with 30 judges evaluating over 1600 wines from seven countries. This competition is held each spring in hopes to judge newly or soon to be released wines.

The double gold winner for Swedish Hill was the 2014 Late Harvest Vignoles, which is available for tasting and purchase in the winery’s Saratoga Springs Tasting Room. The gold medalists include the sparkling Naturel and Riesling Cuvée, along with 2014 Cayuga White, 2013 Vidal Blanc, 2012 Cabernet Franc and 2012 Cabernet Franc Lemberger.

To see a complete list of Swedish Hill’s awards, click here!

Swedish Hill Wins 6 Golds & “Best of Class” at Pacific Rim

Swedish Hill Winery showcased their ability to produce quality wines of different varieties with winning six gold medals and a “Best of Class” honor across a range of products at last weeks Pacific Rim Wine Competition in San Bernardino, California.


The “Best of Class” and one of the gold medals was awarded to Swedish Hill’s 2014 Cayuga White (not yet released), a semi-dry white wine. The Cayuga White grape was developed by at Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York.


Pacific-Rim-Winning-WinesFive more gold medals went to two of Swedish Hill’s sparkling wines, Naturel and Riesling Cuvée, along with the 2013 Blue Waters Riesling (not yet released), 2013 Vidal Blanc, and the dry red blend Viking Red. This brings the winery’s gold medal count to 23 for competitions thus far in 2015 in addition to the recent “Winery of the Year” title awarded for the Eastern US at the Winemaker Challenge. The winery had totaled 68 gold or higher honors in 2014 for 21 different wine products.

Most of these gold medalists have been consistently impressing judges at competitions across the country.  This was the fourth gold medal for the Riesling Cuvée, the sixth for the Viking Red, and the Naturel, 2013 Blue Waters Riesling and the 2013 Vidal Blanc now each have seven gold or higher honors.

Altogether the Pacific Rim awarded Swedish Hill with 16 medals including five silvers for the 2013 Dry Riesling, 2013 Riesling, 2013 Blue Waters Gewürztraminer, 2012 Cabernet Franc (not yet released) and 2012 Optimus (not yet released); along with five bronze medals for the 2006 Brut, 2013 Reserve Chardonnay (not yet released), Blanc de Blanc, 2013 Blue Waters Pinot Grigio, and the 2012 Cabernet Franc Lemberger.


For more information about Swedish Hill’s awards, click here.

For more press releases from Swedish Hill, click here.

NEW Sales!!!!

Check out the NEW sale we’re featuring online and at our Finger Lakes winery! Discounts as high as 45% off select wines!


Swedish Hill Releases New Dry Rosé to Retail Stores!

The Blue Waters Series at Swedish Hill has expanded once again with the winery’s first ever Dry Rosé.

Dry-RoseThe 2014 Blue Waters Dry Rosé is a blend made mostly of Cabernet Franc with the slight addition of Pinot Noir and Riesling. This new release is crisp and fruity yet dry with a residual sugar of 0.6 percent. With aromas of cranberries and citrus with a delightful refreshing finish when served chilled, this is rosé is food friendly wine pairing well with anything from turkey to Asian cuisine, and ideal for lighter summer fare.

The Blue Waters Series originally started with two products, an unoaked Chardonnay and a medium-sweet Riesling. In the last few years this series has had quite the expansion to also include a Gewürztraminer, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir. All of the wines, including the dry reds, continue to boast fruit forward flavors and offer some of the Finger Lakes most notable wine varietals with an emphasis still on quality, but at a more modest price point. This series has proven to be one of Swedish Hill’s more popular lines, especially in the retail division.

Owner and CEO, Dave Peterson, mentioned that “Americans have finally discovered that pink wine is not synonymous with sweet. In fact, it is one of the hottest wine categories in the country right now and the Finger Lakes climate is ideal for making world class Dry Rosè. We are excited to not only expand the popular Blue Waters series, but also to meet the demand of our customers in the retail markets with this new product.”

The 2014 Blue Waters Dry Rosé will be available for purchase only in retail stores (see list below) and will not be available for tasting or purchase at any Swedish Hill location.

Swedish Hill Winery, located on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, produces over 40 different wine products at the Romulus, NY facility that was founded and remains in operation today by the Peterson Family.


Want to purchase this NEW Dry Rosé? You can find it at:

OR ask your local retailer to carry it!

For Retailers: Click below for the Blue Waters Dry Rosé , Bottle Shot & Shelf Talker!


Tech Sheet

Dry Rose



Shelf Talker


Wine Enthusiast Rated Three Swedish Hill Red Wines!


We are very excited to announce these latest ratings from Wine Enthusiast Magazine! Wine Enthusiast is a comprehensive database of wine ratings and reviews reflects the depth, breadth and variety in the U.S. market, all reviewed by their tasting panel in blind tastings.  Ratings between 87 and 89 are considered “very good” and are “well recommended” by the panel.

While we have each of these wines available for purchase, the vintages that were rated are not yet available.  Stay tuned for release dates of these vintages.

Swedish Hill Sparks at the Monterey International with Four Golds!

Swedish Hill Winery’s sparkling wines made an impression at California’s Monterey International Wine Competition winning three out of the four gold medals that the winery was awarded. All together Swedish Hill proudly brought home 13 medals including nine silver from this event.
Sparkling-WinesThe 22nd Annual Monterey International Wine Competition judged 567 wines in a blind tasting by some of the most experienced wine judges from across the United States at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds the first week of March.
It was announced last week that Swedish Hill Winery was awarded four gold medals, all rated 90 or above for three sparkling wines including the Naturel (90), Riesling Cuvée (91), Spumante Blush (92) along with a gold for the 2013 Vidal Blanc (91). Each of these wines have had previous success at wine competitions together accumulating 18 gold or higher honors, nine of which were awarded this year.
The silver medalists for Swedish Hill at the Monterey International include the 2013 Reserve Chardonnay, 2013 Dry Riesling, Blanc de Blanc, 2013 Riesling, 2013 Blue Waters Riesling, Viking Red, 2012 Cabernet Franc, 2012 Cabernet Franc Lemberger, and the Cynthia Marie Port.


For a complete list of Swedish Hill awards, click here!

Swedish Hill Wins “Best Varietal” and “Best of Class” at NWIWC

Swedish Hill Winery is honored to announce that it won ten medals at Jerry Mead’s New World International Wine Competition (NWIWC) this week, including a “Best Varietal” and “Best of Class” and a gold medal for their Cynthia Marie Port. Swedish Hill also won a gold medal, six silver, and two bronze.

nwiwclogoEstablished in 1991, the NWIWC takes place in Claremont, California and is the only competition in the United States where the best wines from each price category are judged against each other in a double-blind tasting to determine an overall best of variety or type. This year’s competition awarded 192 wineries from across the world.

The Cynthia Marie Port, named after the winery’s co-founder Cynthia Peterson, is a multi vintage, oak aged blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, Lemberger, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. This premium port also won a gold medal at the 2013 Indy International and is available for tasting and purchase at Swedish Hill’s Romulus and Saratoga Springs tasting rooms.

Other Swedish Hill medalists from the NWIWC include (Gold) Spumante Blush; silver for 2013 Riesling, 2013 Blue Waters Riesling, 2013 Blue Waters Gewürztraminer, Blanc de Blanc, 2012 Cabernet Franc, and 2012 Optimus; bronze for Naturel, and 2012 Cabernet Franc Lemberger.


To see all of Swedish Hill’s awards and honors, click here.

For other recent press releases, click here.

Swedish Hill Wins Three Golds at International Eastern Wine Competition

Swedish Hill Winery is honored to bring home three gold medals from the 2015 International Eastern Wine Competition in Sonoma County, California. Including nine silver and three bronze medals, Swedish Hill won a total of 15 medals at this event.

East_Meets_West_logo_OUTEstablished in 1975, the International Eastern is one of the oldest and longest-running wine competitions in the nation. For the second year this event was combined with the West Coast Wine Competition creating the International “East Meets West” Wine Challenge. The International Eastern along awarded 121 gold or higher honors at this year’s competition.

Swedish Hill claimed three of those gold honors with a double gold for the 2013 Vidal Blanc, and gold for 2013 Blue Waters Riesling, and gold for the sparkling Spumante Blush. This is the fifth gold medal awarded to the 2013 Vidal Blanc which claimed a “Best of Class” award at the 2014 NY Wine & Food Classic and a double gold at the 2014 Grand Harvest in California. All together Swedish Hill was awarded 15 medals including nine silver and three bronze medals.

To see a complete list of Swedish Hill’s award-winning wines, click here.

For more press releases, click here.

NEW SALE featuring Humphrey’s Riesling!

If you haven’t experience our first single vineyard Riesling, now’s the perfect opportunity! Check out our new sales, some available for a limited time! Available online and in our Finger Lakes tasting room.


Florida State Fair International Wine Competition Awards Two Swedish Hill Sparkling Wines

Spumante BlushSwedish Hill Winery was awarded with two gold medals at this week’s Florida State Fair International Wine Competition for two sparkling wines.

Wineries from 30 states and several foreign countries entered a total of 629 wines in the 28th annual commercial wine competition in Tampa, FL which began this past weekend.

Swedish Hill’s sparkling Spumante Blush and Naturel each brought home a gold medal from this event. This is the first gold medal for the current bottling of the Spumante Blush, whereas it is the fifth for Naturel which also claimed a gold at the San Francisco Chronicle just last month.

To see a complete list of Swedish Hill’s award-winning wines, click here.

To read past news releases on awards won, click here.

Check Out the “Sweet” Deals to This Weekend’s Event!

WEB SH Red Sale

SH dessert 2At this year’s Sweetheart of a Red Wine Sale we will be serving Decadent Chocolate Cake Brownies at Swedish Hill and Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies at Goose Watch!

Regular Tasting Room fees apply to receive the complimentary dessert.

Event will take place during regular tasting room hours at both Swedish Hill and Goose Watch Wineries.

Stay tuned for more details!

Producing Finger Lakes Ice Wines: Two Methods to the Sweet Flavors

Vidal-Ice-WinesJan 9, 2014 – ‘Tis the season for ice wine, which is what our wine crew has been focusing on the past few weeks. Here at Swedish Hill Winery we pressed two different grape varieties of the 2013 vintage for ice wines: Vidal Blanc and Cabernet Franc.

On December 12th we picked five tons of Vidal Blanc grapes that we left on the vines to produce a new ice wines for our sister winery, Penguin Bay.  The conditions couldn’t have been better for picking, with temperatures between 13 and 15 degrees Fahrenheit that morning, along with a breathtaking winter sunrise over Cayuga Lake.

Since the ice wine grapes are left on the vines for an additional couple months compared to our other varietals, it is imperative to keep them netted to protect them from the birds and also to catch any clusters that may fall off the vines. The additional time that they are left on the vine allows for dehydration of the grapes which results in higher sugar levels in the juice, around 41.5%. After fermentation this will decrease to about 20-24%.

This year we picked all of the iced Vidal Blanc grapes with our harvester.  Since the nets were still on the grapes, our crew was on site to pull the netting apart so the grapes fell directly into the harvester. Using the harvester this year allowed us to extract a larger amount of grapes than if we had hand-picked them, which should result in a larger production than in years past.

After picking, the grapes are loaded directly into the press where the remaining frozen juice is pressed over eight hours. Since grapes have lost about half of their weight through dehydration one ton may only yield around 50-60 gallons, about one-fourth as much compared to the grapes we pressed in September.




Cabernet Franc Ice Wine

While the method of leaving the grapes on the vine until after the first frost produces delicious flavors for the Vidal Blanc varietal, it is not the ideal method for all ice wines. The favored Cabernet Franc Ice Wine that we produce for our sister winery, Goose Watch, is a result of pressing grapes that were picked during their peak ripeness in the fall and then frozen until the temperatures outside are ideal for pressing.

On October 28, 2013 our vineyard crew handpicked 4.7 tons of Cabernet Franc grapes that were left on the vine and picked just after the first freeze, that were then sent into a freezer to keep their condition. On January 8th those grapes were brought out of the freezer and placed on the pressing deck to await an ideal temperature of 14°F for pressing. The next morning we were able to press them as the temperature outside actually increased from the below negative digits from the previous day.

The reason for freezing the Cabernet Franc grapes versus leaving them on the vine is because this variety does not hang as well as Vidal Blanc grapes do.  The fruit is thinner skinned and are not as well attached to the stems.  The result would be that the fruit is more likely to fall off long before it would be cold enough to freeze on the vine.  Also, Cabernet Franc is more likely to develop bunch rots that would produce undesirable flavors.  We get a much fruitier and clean juice by freezing off the vine.  The juice yield is the same but the color from this technique is superior to freezing on the vine, and overall it makes for a delicious ice wine with natural sweet flavors.

-Derek Wilber, Winemaker at Swedish Hill, Goose Watch & Penguin Bay Wineries


March Madness Monday Coupons

Print this coupon and bring it into our Finger Lakes tasting room any Monday in March to receive great discounts on your favorite wines!

Swedish March coupon

Experience Swedish Hill Gallery

Here is gallery of some behind-the-scene photos at Swedish Hill Winery. Click here to go back to our homepage.

An insider's view to our bottling equipment.

An insider’s view to our bottling equipment.

Classics Vineyard

In 2012 we released our new classic series!

Pinot Noir Grapes

2012 Pinot Noir Grapes fresh off of the vines!

SH Bloom April Snow2

2012 had some unpredictable weather!

Snow Swedish Hill

View of our tasting room, shipping barn and offices after the first big snow fall in December 2012.

Bottles going in

Each we bottle your favorite wines right on site!

Swedish Pruning 2

Our vineyard crew manages all 87 acres of our four vineyards, most of the time by hand!


February Cellar Note

Wine Barrels on Racks

Since the beginning of the New Year the cellar crew has been concentrating on the transition from fermentation to clarifying and stabilizing the new vintage. The wines have been gently decanted several times off the dead yeast cells left over from fermentation in a process called racking. Each successive racking has helped to clarify the wines. This process of clarification promotes the wine’s maturation as the flavors of fermentation give way and the aromas underlying these new wines are revealed.

This is the point where the craft of winemaking takes center stage as the winemakers’ palates and vision of each wine’s style determines the final make up of each blend or lot. Swedish Hill’s cellar has been designed to allow individual grape varieties and vineyards to be kept separate from harvest to this stage to allow as wide range of options when wines are assembled. In addition, different yeast strains and fermentation regimes are used within each grape variety to provide additional options that add complexity and finesse to each finished wine. Samples of the distinctive lots are draw and brought to the wine lab to be blended on a small scale. Each wine for Swedish Hill, Goose Watch and Penguin Bay undergoes this evaluation with as many as 10-15 potential combinations evaluated in the lab before the top 5-6 are selected to be tasted blind by our in house tasting panel. The tasting panel then selects the final blend for each wine. First up are some of the aromatic whites from 2011, including Riesling, Cayuga White, Vidal Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Doobie Blues.