At Bloomer Creek Vineyard we are devoted to the production of world class wines and our hands-on approach reflects this devotion. All vines are trellised Scott-Henry, a labor intensive system that splits the vineyard canopy. Training the vines in this way allows for maximum exposure to air and sunlight. In addition, leaf pulling in the fruit zone further promotes air circulation and sun exposure. Cluster thinning (dropping fruit) is done to balance crop load with vine vigor. No herbicides have been used for over 20 years. Weed control is done with a tractor mounted hydraulic hoe and aided by the use of cover crops such as buckwheat, rye, and clover. We do not use insecticides, finding them to be unnecessary in a healthy vineyard. Fungus disease is controlled by the use of sulfur for powdery mildew and copper for downy mildew. Seaweed/fish and compost formulations are sprayed to aid in disease resistance and vine health.
Bloomer Creek’s Auten Vineyard was planted over 20 years ago. Morehouse Road Vineyard was first planted in 1999. Small blocks of Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer are found in both vineyards. Auten Vineyard additionally includes a small planting of Gruner Veltliner and Morehouse Road Vineyard has a block of Chardonnay. In spring 2016 we are looking forward to planting a small amount of Chenin Blanc in our new Barrow Vineyard – a steep, rocky slope overlooking Seneca Lake. This diversity of terroir and grape variety is a direct expression of our passion to explore and produce world class wines in a burgeoning wine region.
Soil type is Lima, a fertile silt loam naturally high in lime. It runs deep with shallower sections occurring over shale outcroppings. There are also areas of heavy clay that reduce vigor and hasten ripening. The land slopes gently eastward toward the west shore of Cayuga Lake. Row orientation in Auten Vineyard is north-south and vines receive sunlight on both east and west sides of the trellis. Rows are oriented east-west in Morehouse Road Vineyard so vines receive sunlight primarily on the south side of the trellis while the north side remains in shadow. This, in part, explains the distinctive characteristics found in the wine produced from each vineyard. We showcase this distinction by bottling the two vineyards separately.
Harvest is done by hand and winemaking methods are what we consider traditional. Fermentation is with ambient or “wild” yeast. There is considerable use of stems in fermentation especially with red wine, but to a lesser extent with white wine as well. All fermentations are done in small lots which are later blended. Fermentations tend to be very slow. Malo-lactic, or secondary fermentation, is often completed during the summer following harvest, and therefore lees contact is extended. Lees are not stirred. Most wines are fermented dry and are not fined or filtered. These practices lead to the production of distinctive and long lasting wines.