March - Maple Madness - Celebrate at Johnson Estate with Maple Liqueur & French Crêpes!
In Western New York and Pennsylvania, the maple tapping season usually begins in March and we begin to see tubing and pails attached to large sugar maple trees. Soon the maple syrup will be simmering away and the local sugar shacks and pancake houses will be open for business.
Johnson Estate's Maple Liqueur
Winemaker, Jeff Murphy, loves maple syrup and made an aperitif using estate-grown grape spirits, Vidal wine, and local syrup. The Maple Liqueur tastes like a combination of ice wine and sherry, with a hint of maple on fhs finish. Johnson Estate released this new liqueur in March 2015, just as the region’s tapping season began. To celebrate NYS Maple Weekends, Fred suggested that the winery serve Maple Liqueur and crêpes, which Fanny Tauzin-Dauga, a 2014 French winery intern, made for us during her stay here. So each year, Johnson Estate, a member of the NYS Maple Association participates in Maple Weekends.
A Tasting Room Tradition - Celebrating with French Crêpes
It has become Johnson Estate's annual tradition to serve Julia Child’s French Crêpes and Fancy Ground Nuts with a glass of the Maple Liqueur on the NYS Maple Association’s designated weekends. This year, Chef Edward Work from the Athenaeum Hotel will be flipping crêpes both weekends ($5/person). We’ll also be selling French Crêpe kits (white flour as well as gluten-free, buckwheat) so that you can make these treats at home. We also sell locally-made maple syrup and other maple products.
All About Ice Wine at Johnson Estate!
What it is, how it is made, and why it is packaged in small bottles. Come see!
Three years ago, at the Westfield Farmer's Market, I saw some pretty paper ornaments that Brenda McCutheon had made. Then 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 (which also decorate our "Partridge in a Pear Tree" tree at the Patterson Library) 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).
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.
Every year, the Patterson Library hosts an August auction - and this year loyal supporters of the Library purchased a dinner hosted by Johnson Estate Winery
(actually, there were two dinners, but that is another story).
We are sharing photographs and Chef Edward Work's menu for the dinner held on December 13th in the tasting room when it was all decorated for Christmas. Chef Ed is the head chef at the Athenaeum Hotel, but off-season, is able to share his talents with us and others. The meal was delicious and perhaps offers readers some food and wine pairing ideas!
Artisan Cheese and Charcuterie Board with Assorted Pickles, Olives & Jams
Bacon-Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Blue Cheese
House-Made Fettucinne with Butternut Squash Cream Sauce &
Wilted Greens, Roasted Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Seeds
Red Wine & Herbed Beef Bourguignon, Parsnip Potato Purée,
garnished with Crispy Root Vegetables
Shaved Kale & Brussel Sprouts with Hard Boiled Egg, Hazelnuts, Craisins, Pecorino Cheese,
Rye Croutons & Sherry-Bacon Jam Vinaigrette
Orange & Almond Cake with Chantelle Cream,
Orange Supreme, Almond Bark & Dark Chocolate Shavings
Stephanie Burdo, editor and publisher of Edible Western New York, shares an afternoon in Jennifer Johnson's fall kitchen.....here's her article, complete with photographs by Jill Bornand.
This article includes recipes for quince - the "prehistoric" apple which has been grown in North American since the Colonial days - but alas is not always so easy to find today. A number of our customers are interested in purchasing quince fruit - and as our quince trees were decimated by fire blight, we have little fruit and not of the quantity or quality which I would feel comfortable selling. I've contacted three orchards which I thought were likely to have quince - but have struck out so far.
We'll keep looking for some resources on quince fruit to share.
As Edible Western New York's focus is good, local foods, I would be remiss not to remind readers to visit its website, where one can search articles and events and sign up for the Edible WNY Newsletters. In addition, three other resources for those who are interested in locally produced
fruit and vegetables as well as meats.
www.postapples.com (North East, PA) - vegetables and apples
Cornell Cooperative Extension Website - Chautauqua-grown
What is Veraison?
Taken from the French, veraison is the change of color of grapes. It is a signal that the plant and its berries are putting their energies into ripening the berries instead of berry
The unripe grapes, all a bright green color, begin to turn either pale yellow or dark blue/purple in the case of “red” wine grapes. This is a photograph of Johnson Estate's Pinot Noir grapes which have started but not completed veraison. At this stage, the vines have begun to transport energy stores to the grapes and they increase in size as sugar levels increase.
Birds Looking for Early Ripening Grapes
In western New York and Pennsylvania, where 30,000 acres of vineyards are found along Lake Erie, the end of September is known for the aroma of ripening grapes and the commencement of the region's harvest of Concords. When this begins to happen, it is a signal that the grapes are becoming sweeter. The majority of the region's vineyards are Concord grapes which tend to ripen later than some wine varieties. As a result, the early-ripening wine varieties, like Johnson Estate's Maréchal Foch and Pinot Noir need to be protected from birds whose choices are fewer at the beginning of the season.
At Johnson Estate, these two early-ripening grape varieties are protected from hungry birds through the use of ballons, kevlar streamers, and periodic cannon shots. In addition, there is a recording of a hawk attacking a starling and all of these efforts help to diminish the birds' interest in these first-ripening grapes.
More Information may be found here:
Fred Johnson, Owner
April 21, 2019 For Immediate Release Contact Monica Mazur, 877-326-6561
Lake Erie Wine Country Wineries Strike Gold at the 2019 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
Westfield (NY) – Eight local wineries went up against over 650 competing wineries from all over the world and came away with a disproportionate share of the top honors. There were over 2800 wines entered in the 19th Finger Lakes International Wine Competition held on April 13th and 14th in Rochester NY. This event has become the largest charitable wine competition in North America, as each of the over 2800 entries contributes over $50 to Camp Good Days and Special Times, a camp dedicated to bringing smiles and memories to children with cancer.
Of the 64 top honors awarded (Best of Class or Double Golds), twelve were won by the over one-hundred New York and Pennsylvania wineries entering the competition. Of those twelve Best of Class or Double Gold awards presented, four of them – or one third - were earned by Lake Erie Wine Country wineries! In addition, the eight LEWC wineries who submitted wines to this competition also earned seven gold medals and multiple silver and bronze recognitions as follows. Complete results available at https://fliwc-cgd.com/winners-2019.asp.
Summary of Awards Earned by Lake Erie Wine Country Wineries:
21 Brix (Portland, NY) - Best of Class, Sparkling - 2017 Bruttella
Gold - Ella’s White Niagara
7 silver and bronze medals
Johnson Estate Winery (Westfield, NY) - Double Gold – 2017 Freelings Creek Semi-Dry Riesling
Gold - 2017 Freelings Creek Sweet Riesling
Gold - 2017 Maple Liqueur
Gold - 2017 Solstice Sangria
7 silver and bronze medals
Presque Isle Winery (North East, PA) - Double Gold – Eskimo Kisses (dessert wine)
5 silver and bronze medals
Yori Cellars Winery (North East, PA) - Double Gold – Famiglia (red wine)
12 silver and bronze medals
Arrowhead Wine Cellars (North East PA)
Gold - “Midnight Proposal”
3 silver and bronze medals
Lakeview Wine Cellars (North East PA)
Gold – 2017 Traminette
4 silver and bronze medals
Liberty Vineyards & Winery (Sheridan NY)
Gold – “Lucy in the Sky Sweet Rosé”
5 silver and bronze medals
Heritage Wine Cellars (North East PA)
10 silver and bronze medals
Lake Erie Wine Country (LEWC) is a marketing association of 23 wineries located along the shores of Lake Erie in western New York and Pennsylvania amidst 30,000 scenic acres of juice and wine grape vineyards. Additional information found on the LEWC website, www.LakeErieWineCountry.org.
TASTES OF GERMANY, April 12-14, 2019 at Johnson ESTATE Winery
Last night's hail storm would not make one believe that we are on the cusp of spring - but here are some other signs!
April 12-14, Wine & Cheese Weekend, Lake Erie Wine Country
Johnson Estate Winery featured Flammkuchen, or Flame Cake, paired with Sweet Riesling.
April 13, ESTATE Dinner: A Taste of Germany - May Wine Release
Featuring Exec. Chef Edward Work, Heirloom Restaurant, Athenaeum Hotel
Tablescape by Mary Marzec
Chocolates from Le Rouge by Aarti, Westport, CT
Keep up to date on the latest wine releases, events, and promotions!
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