Hermann J. Wiemer Cabernet Franc Finger Lakes 2020
|Available in store:||Check availability|
Hermann Wiemer found himself in New York's Finger Lakes in the 1960's, having grown up in Germany's Mosel Valley and after having interned in the Pfalz. His mother's family had been vine growers in the Mosel for generations and his father worked at the leading Agricultural Experiment Station in Bernkastel--it was here that Hermann would learn how to graft vinifera vines to American rootstock by hand, which would prove crucial in the Finger Lakes. By 1973, Hermann had planted a nursery on the property he had purchased the previous year; and by 1981, he was hauling in his first harvest, having been serendipitously let-go from his previous gig. The nursery continues to this day, with an annual output of more than 300,000 vines, which truly sets their operations apart from others across the nation. Fred Merwarth, current winemaker and co-owner, joined the fray in 2001 and became Hermann's sole assistant after the previous winemaker left later that year.
And, that's pretty much all he has done to-date. Work. At. Wiemer. Albeit, with a unique level of devotion and meticulousness--the sort of which lands you on various tastemaker lists and makes you Wine Enthusiast Magazine's 2021 Winemaker of the Year. Fred, and his business partner Oskar Bynke, took over the estate after Hermann's retirement in 2007. Herbicides were eliminated in 2003 and biodynamic viticulture trials began in 2015, no small feat in a region like the Finger Lakes. Picking and sorting are now done by hand and fermentation takes place via native yeasts. What sets these wines apart from others in the Finger Lakes, though, is their purity of fruit and balance.--Brian Acton