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Johnson Estate Winery

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Jennifer Johnson
 
November 30, 2021 | Jennifer Johnson

"The Empty Bottle Collection"


The "Empty Bottles" that traveled the world and ended up in Westfield, NY
On Display at the Patterson Library, Westfield, NY

Made in England or Holland and filled with wine or alcohol, traveled on sailing vessels to the New World and South America in the 1700s, were dumped into the river by sailors, and then collected 200+ years later by a Westfield man.... who was working in British Guyana and had them shipped by plane to NYC/Buffalo/Westfield in the 1970s.

In the 1950s through the 1970s, Frederick S. Johnson worked in many South American countries as an agricultural consultant.  He and his family lived in Venezuela for about ten years until his father died and they moved back to Western New York in 1961. He collected a wide assortment of wine and distilled beverage bottles while working in British Guiana and many may have come from Dutch Guiana (Surinam).  Here’s an excerpt from an article published in the Buffalo News in 1979:

Fred was intrigued to learn that the nets of native fishermen were bringing up old bottles from the Demerara River and the ocean channels where the river meets the Atlantic. Mr. Johnson learned that these bottles had contained wine shipped to colonists of British and Dutch Guiana/Suriname back in the 17th century. These early settlers built their settlements closest to the rivers and found it handy to toss empty bottles into the water. Sand and silt, swept downstream by the water, buried the bottles and then uncovered them as channels changed....They come from a time when bottles were hand-blown, when the size and thickness of the glass varied.......The color of the glass bottles from Surinam varies from dark-green to brown-green. Many of the bottles still contain dirt and gravel… Mr. Johnson shipped scores of bottles home to Westfield, NY from South America.

Time Posted: Nov 30, 2021 at 3:08 PM Permalink to Permalink
Jennifer Johnson
 
November 28, 2021 | Jennifer Johnson

Wine Duos - Act II


  As many know, Winemaker Jeff Murphy has been with us for nearly two decades and continues to introduce award-winning wines to our portfolio. In November 2020, we wrote a blog about "pairs" or duos of wines made from the same grapes.  These included Maréchal Foch and Ruby Dry Rosé as well as Pinot Noir and Dry Rosé of Pinot Noir.  Same grapes, but very different wines.  Sometimes the duos are similar but have differing subtle characteristics which result from a new vintage year or perhaps just a new - or old - idea for using wine grapes.  Small differences - as in the sweetness levels of our Rieslings - can have bigger than expected impacts on flavor.

This year, Jeff requested that some of our Estate-grown Pinot Noir, which was ripening well, be harvested very late when the grapes were partially dry to make an "amarone" Italian-inspired red wine. We will see how that goes next year when it is released! In the meantime, we have other wine "pairs" which merit your attention so that YOU can choose your favorites and decide!

 Brut and Sparkling Traminette
(same "methode champenoise, but different grapes.  Brut, a dry sparkling, is made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes)

Seyval Blanc and Hand-Picked Seyval Blanc
(machine-harvested, regular pressing versus hand-picked, frozen, and then pressed)

Toasted Oak Chardonnay and Bright Steel Chardonnay
(two different Chardonnay grape clones, one oaked, one not)

Black Locust, Dry, Semi-Dry, and Sweet Riesling
(different levels of sweetness, Black Locust also aged in acacia/black locust barrels)

Old Oak Ruby and Ruby Port
(the same grapes; the Old Oak is aged in Bourbon barrels for a year)

Old Oak Gold (SOLD OUT) and Cream Sherry
(the same grapes; the Old Oak Gold is aged in Bourbon barrels outside for a year)

Time Posted: Nov 28, 2021 at 8:03 AM Permalink to Wine Duos - Act II Permalink
Frederick Johnson
 
November 11, 2021 | Frederick Johnson

All About Torpedo Red for Veteran's Day

ABOUT TORPEDO RED
This label was designed by the Johnson’s son, Spencer, a US Navy active duty EOD officer, in honor of his grandfather, the winery’s founder, Frederick Spencer Johnson.

The dragon carrying a torpedo was the insignia of the WWII Navy Squadron Torpedo Three which flew off the Yorktown from 1943-1945.

The silhouette of the airplane is that of a TBM Avenger, designed by Grumman Aircraft and built by General Motors. to carry a 2,000 pound aerial torpedo. On November 11, 1944*, then Lt. (junior grade) Frederick S. Johnson, age 23, single-handedly torpedoed and sank a Japanese destroyer for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by Admiral John S. McCain (the recent Senator’s grandfather).

The wine is a blend of Chancellor and Pinot Noir both grown here on the farm. It is a smooth but almost-dry, full-bodied wine that is ready to drink now but should also continue improving with age for at least another five years. 

This is a limited, special edition label we are now offering every November in honor of all veterans and active duty military.

* Coincidentally, November 11th is Armistice Day, now called Veterans’ Day.

Time Posted: Nov 11, 2021 at 6:16 AM Permalink to All About Torpedo Red for Veteran's Day Permalink
Jennifer Johnson
 
October 22, 2021 | Jennifer Johnson

The Sparkling Pair

Celebrate Christmas and Welcome the New Year with Two Sparkling Wines

Here are two wines which are perfect for toasting your friends and family!
Celebrate the season with Johnson Estate's Sparkling Traminette and newly-released Brut. These two sparkling wines, made from estate-grapes using the traditional French "methode champenoise", are a welcome addition to any holiday celebration.

Includes the gift box and complimentary gift card if you like!
ADD TO YOUR CART  $44.48

Time Posted: Oct 22, 2021 at 12:14 PM Permalink to The Sparkling Pair Permalink
Jennifer Johnson
 
October 22, 2021 | Jennifer Johnson

A Taste of the Holidays

Dry Rosé of Pinot Noir, Quince Paste, & Sharp Cheddar Cheese
 
Here's the perfect gift for your friends and family - to thank the host/hostess or to serve at your own Thanksgiving gathering.  Pair estate-made quince paste and sharp cheddar with our Provençal-style dry rosé made from estate-grown Pinot Noir grapes for a delicious bite! 

Includes the gift box and complimentary gift card if you like!
ADD TO YOUR CART  $27.47
Time Posted: Oct 22, 2021 at 12:05 PM Permalink to A Taste of the Holidays Permalink
Jennifer Johnson
 
September 14, 2021 | Jennifer Johnson

Anniversary Discounts on Brut & Founders' Red

Johnson ESTATE:  Celebrating 60 Years

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
 

 



 

Time Posted: Sep 14, 2021 at 1:18 PM Permalink to Anniversary Discounts on Brut & Founders' Red Permalink
Frederick Johnson
 
September 14, 2021 | Frederick Johnson

Celebrating 60 Years -

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.

Click here if you would like to share this Press Release.

Time Posted: Sep 14, 2021 at 8:33 AM Permalink to Celebrating 60 Years - Permalink
Jennifer Johnson
 
August 31, 2021 | Jennifer Johnson

FLIGHT - Our New Outdoor Wine & Cheese/Charcuterie

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

Time Posted: Aug 31, 2021 at 2:32 PM Permalink to FLIGHT - Our New Outdoor Wine & Cheese/Charcuterie Permalink
Frederick Johnson
 
March 23, 2021 | Frederick Johnson

Preparing for a New Chardonnay Vineyard - What Takes Five Years?


Taking advantage of early spring dry weather to prepare for 12,500 new Chardonnay vines. 
The seagulls from Lake Erie are looking for grubs and helping to fertilize!

What Takes Five Years? 
To change a field from one variety of grapes to a new variety. Here are the steps:

  • After harvest, we remove the old vines, and trellis system including the posts.
  • The following spring, we plant Sudan grass which is a kind of Sorghum that grows in very thick stands eight feet tall.
  • That fall, we mow and mulch the Sudan grass and then spread a generous weight of pomace (grape pressings from the winery).  We do this to rebuild the soil’s structure and to boost its organic matter.
  • The following spring, we disc the pomace and shredded Sudan grass into the soil, smooth the field, and plant Sudan grass again.
  • In the second fall, we shred the grass and add more pomace.
  • Finally, in the spring of year three, we disc in the prior year’s shredded grass and pomace, smooth the field, remove large rocks, to prepare to plant the new vineyard.
  • Before we plant, we will install perforated drainage pipe under every third row to help keep the vines’ roots from drowning during wet spring weather. This is disruptive enough that we will smooth those rows again.
  • Then the rows are laid out on 8.5 foot centers, vines planted, trellis posts installed, lowest wires strung, drip irrigation tubing hung and connected, and cover crop planted between the rows.  Then we hope for sunny weather!

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.

Time Posted: Mar 23, 2021 at 12:53 PM Permalink to Preparing for a New Chardonnay Vineyard - What Takes Five Years? Permalink

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