Founders' Red & Brut (click on individual products to purchase) - 20% Anniversary Discount -
From September 2-26th: Use Promotion Code - 60YEARS
ONE-CLICK ANNIVERSARY BOXES:
Remember to use Promotion Code 60 YEARS for 20% discount!
Two Founders' Red + One Brut
Four Founders' Red + Two Brut
Johnson ESTATE: Celebrating the Founder’s 100th Birthday
NYS’ oldest estate winery has multiple anniversaries to celebrate this year!
Until Sept 26th: Founders' Red & Brut - 20% Anniversary Discount! Use Code - 60YEARS
Westfield, (NY) – If you had been in the winery on September 5th, you might have been greeted with a glass of Johnson Estate’s Brut sparkling wine so that you could join in a toast to the winery founder, Frederick S. Johnson Sr., who would have been 100 years old. And that’s not the only anniversary being celebrated by Johnson Estate, NY’s oldest estate winery. This year is also the 60th anniversary of the winery’s establishment, as Fred Sr. began the winery on his father’s fruit farm in 1961. Both the winery building and the old barn are now 100 years old and the farmhouse, where third-generation Fred Johnson Jr. lives with his wife, Jennifer, is 200 years old.
Fred Sr. would be proud to see the vineyards loaded with fruit, ready for harvest. And he'd be proud to see over forty award-winning wines filling the shelves of the century-old Tasting Room, formerly his father’s apple cold storage facility. And on those shelves he would see our award-winning Founders' Red, named for Fred Sr. and his father. Founders’ is made from Fred Sr.’s favorite Chancellor grapes (plus a little Pinot Noir), planted on the site of his father’s favorite cherry orchard. And estate-grown, hand-picked and lightly-pressed Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are used to make the new dry Brut, the perfect celebratory wine with elegant effervescent bread notes. To celebrate these Labor Day Anniversaries, we're offering a 20% discount on both Founders' Red and our new Brut sparkling wine from September 5-26th. The discount is available in the winery or online (use the promotion code 60YEARS).
This year’s anniversaries make it a fitting year to open FLIGHT, the name of the winery’s new outdoor wine and food pairing location. It has beautiful vineyard vistas and permits guests to enjoy the sights and smells of harvest while savoring flights of wine, wines by the glass, and curated cheese and charcuterie boards which include locally-sourced seasonal fruits, nuts, crisps and more. FLIGHT will be open well into October, weather permitting and reservations are not required. And yes, the name FLIGHT was inspired by Fred Sr.’s service as a Navy pilot during World War II and Fred Jr.'s love of flying.
The 2021 harvest has begun and the winery’s Great Grape Walks have started - they are the perfect way to experience the estate’s vineyards, most first planted by Fred Sr. sixty years ago. These are self-guided walks during which guests sample and fill their baskets with premium estate-grown grapes, including Fred Sr,’s favorite, Chancellor. Afterwards, guests enjoy a flight of three wines and a "petite" cheese board at FLIGHT. Families with children and dogs with leashes are welcome. Visit our Event Calendar to learn more and to make reservations.
Johnson Estate Winery, with 110 acres of vineyards, is the oldest estate winery in NYS and a founding member of Lake Erie Wine Trail. For more information please visit www.JohnsonWinery.com, or www.facebook.com/johnsonwinery, or call 716-326-2191.
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FLIGHT IS OPEN!
FLIGHT, our premier outdoor wine & food pairings location, is now open!
Take in beautiful vineyard vistas and the sights and smells of harvest while savoring flights of wine, wines by the glass, and carefully curated cheese & charcuterie boards that feature thoughtfully-sourced and seasonal fruits, nuts, crisps, spreads, and more! Here's the menu.
HOURS - WEATHER PERMITTING
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 11am - 5pm
Sunday 11am - 3pm
NO RESERVATIONS NEEDED
What Takes Five Years?
To change a field from one variety of grapes to a new variety. Here are the steps:
Before we can harvest our first berry of Chardonnay from this new vineyard, another three years will pass during which we add more trellis wires, trim, train and tie the growing vines, and pinch all the new fruit blossoms off in the first two years so that the vines can put all their energies into growing roots and canes. This is, of course, in addition to the regular seasonal jobs of pruning and controlling weeds, insects, and fungal diseases.
So for this new field of Chardonnay, we expect our first partial crop in the fall of 2023, after picking our last crop of Delaware in 2018.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 16, 2021 CONTACT: Jennifer Johnson 513-502-0123
Johnson ESTATE Winery: Celebrating the Onset of Spring with Golden Awards
Results from two recent competitions reaffirm Johnson Estate’s commitment to producing quality wines
Westfield, (NY) – Pandemic or no, farms wineries, like Johnson Estate, do not stop growing grapes, nor making wine, nor receiving accolades for the good ones! We're grateful for our region’s special “Lake Effect” microclimate which plays an important role in permitting us to grow excellent grapes and to produce award-winning wines.
2021 NY Wine Classic – Gold Medal for Freelings Creek Traminette
We are pleased to announce that in the 2021 NY Wine Classic, which will be celebrated online this year on Friday, March 19th at 6pm, Johnson Estate’s semi-dry Freelings Creek Traminette was awarded the Best of Class designation. Traminette, developed by Cornell University, is a wine grape variety whose parentage includes Gewurtztraminer and Seyval Blanc. The grape makes wines similar to Gewurtztraminer with floral lycheé aromas and a spicy finish. .
2021 Eastern International Wine Competition – Five Gold Medals, Two Best of Class
Johnson Estate Winemaker Jeff Murphy, 2017 Ice Wine Harvest
The results of the 2021 Eastern Int’l Wine Competition were just announced this week and the medals which Johnson Estate’s wines received recognize the quality of the wines produced – both dry and sweet. Five wines were awarded five gold medals, including two with Best of Class designations:
2017 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, Gold & Best of Class & Best Dessert/Late Harvest, 93 Points
2019 Pink Catawba, Gold & Best of Class, 90 Points
2019 Concord, Gold, 92 Points
2019 Niagara, Gold, 90 Points
2019 Seyval Blanc, Gold, 92 Points
Winemaker Jeff Murphy, whose contributions to the winery’s portfolio of award-winning wines are too numerous to count, is depicted above during the 2017 ice wine harvest. The vintage year was a good one. This vintage of Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, which is still for sale in the winery, has been awarded four other gold medals and the 2017 Chambourcin Ice Wine (now sold out) also earned 98 Points at the 2019 Eastern Int’l Wine Competition.
2021 Beverage Testing Institute, 2019 Chambourcin Ice Wine, 94 Points
Winemaker Jeff Murphy has high regard for the evaluations of the Beverage Testing Institute. They just awarded our 2019 Chambourcin Ice Wine 94 Points, Exceptional: “An outstanding expression of Chambourcin; this is a great Ice Wine to let the grape’s best characteristics shine”.
Johnson Estate Winery, with over one hundred acres of vineyards, is the oldest estate winery in New York State and a founding member of the Lake Erie Wine Country. For more information please visit www.johnsonwinery.com, or www.facebook.com/johnsonwinery, or call 716-326-2191.
Mid-Winter Pillar of Fire Sunrise
This Sunday morning, January 24, was dawning grey and still, with about a foot of snow on the ground when I walked to the bay window with my first cup of tea in hand and was greeted by one of the most unusual sunrises I’ve ever seen. It lasted less than two minutes, and I think that it was caused by the sunrise being focused through a hole in the clouds just behind the ridge of hills that make up the Allegheny escarpment two miles south of Lake Erie. This is the so called “Chautauqua Ridge” which is notorious on the evening weather shows for its Lake Effect snow accumulations.
Fifty year ago today, it was likely also a grey day in Massachusetts where I was an 18 year-old headed off to the required Sunday Chapel with about 800 other boys. Dark suits, white shirts, and neat ties required, and as a dorm proctor I would have been responsible for making sure that my various tenth-grade charges made it to church on time and then, as a student deacon, for helping to pass the collection plates during the offertory. Hopefully, the sermon and the service lifted our sights above our teenage worries.
Always an early-rising farm boy, I’ve seen a lot of sunrises since; on at least five continents and three oceans, and it's a joy to see this, one of the most uplifting sunrises right out the back bay window of what was, originally, my grandfather’s house to which we have returned in our “retirement”.
Over the years, I have experienced far beyond my just allotment of good fortunes and adventures, yet I am thankful this morning that in returning to one of the places of my beginning, that in this Sunday sunrise over vineyards, I should be granted such an inspiring glimpse of a more fundamental perspective.
MULLED OR SPICED WINES: Red Ipocras and White Ipocras
The Germans call it "Gluhwein" - literally, wine that makes you glow - and it is a staple of their Christmas markets to this day. The Swedes call it Glogg and the Italians borrow some French to call it "Vin Brule’". Ipocras is sweet and generously flavored with several of the spices popular in old England. These include ginger, cinnamon, and clove, and they leave a wonderfully warm and lingering aftertaste. In fact, the recipe we use is an adaptation of an Elizabethan formula.
A BRIEF HISTORY
Warm, spiced wines have a long tradition going back to the early Greeks who believed that the combination of warmth, alcohol, and spices had excellent medicinal properties to combat the infirmities of the cold winter season. They called the mixture “hippocras” after Hippocrates, the father of medicine. The medieval French called it Ypocras, which the English often changed to Ipocras. Chaucer mentions it in his first work: The Book of Duchess in 1370, a dirge he dedicated to Blanche, the Duchess of Somerset who died of the plague at age 26.
In 16th century England, both white and red Ipocras, had become a drink of the highest nobility. At a time when both sugar and spices were rare and precious, Ipocras was reserved for the use of royalty at the most precious ceremonial occasions. Indeed, Ipocras was the libation presented by the Lord Mayor of London to Queen Elizabeth I at her coronation.
Johnson Estate's founder, Fred Johnson, was inspired to produce Ipocras to celebrate the commissioning of the Sea Lion, an authentic replica of a 16th century merchant ship which was built nearby on Chatauqua Lake.
Serve it warm in a mug or cut it 50/50 with hot apple cider and serve it in a beer stein with a stick of cinnamon. Some traditions fortify it with apple or grape brandy for extra warmth, but that sometimes can be too much of a good thing. And here are some food pairing suggestions including Triple Ginger Cookies!
TRY IT NOW
By way of introduction, we are offering you a 20% discount on our Red Ipocras or White Ipocras
this month to encourage you to try it! Here's a "one-click to try them both!
Some years ago, at the Westfield Farmer's Market, I saw some pretty paper ornaments made by Brenda McCutheon. I got the idea of decorating the whole tree in the winery with wine-label ornaments - getting rid of the "fake Chinese brass" ornaments - and "dressing" the winery tree in something unique for our tasting room Brenda was able to accommodate by making dozens of ornaments - and you see the beautiful tree as a result on the right.
And yes, the ornaments have been so popular that we have asked Brenda to make additional ones so that we may sell them in the winery (S=$15.00, M=$17.50, L=$20.00) - they are a great substitute for gift bows!
We would be remiss not to add that this year, our twelve-foot Fraser fir tree was purchased from Bear Lake Christmas Tree Farm - worth a visit if you still need a tree! Bruce has beautifully shaped trees in all sizes ready to be freshly cut.
Chautauqua County is defined by its beautiful agricultural and forest vistas and landscapes. One of the special ones is the College Lodge Forest - and here's an opportunity to help preserve it.
The College Lodge Forest in Chautauqua County near Fredonia is one of the most exquisite natural areas remaining in Western New York. The heart of the forest is anchored by a large grove of towering old-growth trees, hundreds of years old. This is extremely rare in Western New York. Trillium, orchids, and lilies cover the forest floor. The forest is part of a major flyway for migratory birds that come from as far south as the Amazon rainforest in the spring, and from as far north as the Arctic tundra in the fall.
But the land is threatened, and the old-growth trees could be logged. Thanks to the dedication of people who have fought to protect this land, the Western New York Land Conservancy has an opportunity to purchase it right now. When the land is protected by the Land Conservancy, it will be protected forever from logging and open to the public.
Would you consider donating to ensure the College Lodge Forest is protected forever? You can donate with this link (When you donate, note "College Lodge Forest" in the dropdown menu) or by sending a check to Western New York Land Conservancy, P.O. Box 471 East Aurora, NY 14052.
Be sure to stop at College Lodge Forest for a beautiful walk, next time you are near Fredonia.
Thank you Elyse Perruchon for writing this summary of the College Forest!
As many know, our winemaker, Jeff Murphy, has been with us for nearly two decades, and we are proud to say that each year, he continues to introduce new award-wining wines to our porfolio using our estate-grown grapes. In some cases, these wines make for interesting taste comparisons since sometimes small differences - as in the sweetness levels of our Rieslings - can have bigger than expected impacts on flavor.
Another example is our new Hand-Picked Seyval Blanc which was made with estate-grapes which were frozen and then thawed prior to pressing and fermentation, a wine-making technique used in particular in New Zealand, to preserve the peach and passion fruit flavors of Sauvignon Blanc. While our two wines are made with the same grapes - there are subtle differences between the two, with the Hand-Picked being more dry - but we'll let you decide!
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