Getting to Know Nutt Road

Nutt Road Vineyard

The geographic outlier within the vineyards we work with at Red Newt, Nutt Road Vineyard is farmed by our dear friends the Martini family on the Northwest side of Seneca Lake.  Also owners of Anthony Road Wine Company, our colleague winery in the Tierce Riesling project, the Martini’s moved to the Finger Lakes from Maryland in 1973. Beginning with a home farm of hybrid and native plantings, in the decades since they have become vinifera specialists, particularly on the rolling hillside that constitutes the Nutt Road planting.  High-toned, bright, and fruit forward in style, the Cabernet Franc we harvest from their farm has always been the sole fruit source for the Kelby James Russell Rosè and Cabernet Franc wines.

The Winery Laboratory

winery lab

Welcome to the spiritual and physical center of the cellar, the lab!

Welcome to the spiritual and physical center of the cellar, the lab!

In this cozy cornerof the cellar, tucked away behind tanks and barrels, is where Kelby and Meagz can often be found like badgers at the heart of their underground burrow. (Fun Factoid of the Day: Wikipedia informs us that a badger burrow is known as a sett, but we’re assuming you didn’t know that either.) Coming up with cellarwork plans, tasting samples, running lab numbers, answering emails, or staring at the calendar and counting how many weeks until harvest; it all happens here. Meagz even has enough Gummy Bears and chocolates stashed away in the cupboards to hibernate through winter.

It’s quaint, if a bit cramped. And it’s hidden location makes it an excellent defense against roving salespeople.

Getting to Know Sawmill Creek Vineyards

Sawmill Creek Vineyard

Sawmill Creek Vineyard is a quintessential, Finger Lakes icon.  Less than one half mile from Red Newt Cellars on Seneca Lake’s southeast side, it’s steep slopes, shale soils, and exposition towards the long afternoon and evening sun have made it a prime grape growing location for decades.  Located to the immediate north of the Tango Oaks Vineyard, grapes have been farmed on Sawmill Creek by the Hazlitt family since 1862. Today, Eric Hazlitt, has become the fourth generation of the family to grow, own, and manage these amazing vinifera vineyards, keeping the tradition and site very much alive.  Known for Riesling fruit that is particularly green apple and mineral driven, Sawmill Creek has also been a spectacular source of Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and more over the years at Red Newt.

Curious to learn more? We’ll be featuring the Sawmill Creek North Block in Wine Stories this week.  Also, feel free to take a look at the old NooTTooB video from 2002 featuring Jim Hazlitt. Low on wine? Check out the online store! We ship to over 25 states, and are offering FREE shipping  on purchases of 6+ bottles of wine! 


A View From the Cellar …

Drains, Drains, Drains!

Today’s ‘View from the Cellar’ is starting with a look from the very bottom: our drains. While they may not be picturesque, at least not in a classical way, they are crucial to our day to day work. Keeping them clean and flowing is important for the wines in the cellar, as well as our own olfactory health.

Designed with the ‘best’ of 1970s winery architecture, the drains in our old cellar unfortunately don’t always… drain well. Quite the problem, given their name. In reality, between their pit construction and too-gentle exit slope, we sometimes joke that they have more in common with the trash compactor on the Death Star. Overly dramatic? Perhaps. But in cleaning them, James would normally wear a safety harness lest a tentacle grab his leg.

Getting to know Tango Oaks Vineyard

Tango Oaks Vineyard

  • tango oaks sod row middle
  • interesting stones
  • cluster of riesling
  • vineayrd at harvest time
  • tango oaks vineyard lookinig north-east
  • panoramic view of the vineyard

Tango Oaks Vineyards is located less than one half mile downslope from the Red Newt Cellars Winery and Bistro, on Seneca Lake’s Southeast side. A truly unique vineyard site, Tango Oaks represents how seamlessly ‘old’ and ‘new’ terroir can come together in the Finger Lakes. Historically, the site where Tango Oaks sits has been known as ‘Peach Orchard Point” since the 1600s; first to the native Iroquois who maintained it, later to the Wickham family, who took over the site in the 1790s after receiving it for their service in the Revolutionary War. With centuries of history for growing fantastic fruit, the Wickham family planted their first grapes on the site in the 1830s. On the ‘new’ terroir side, the newness extends beyond the relative youth of the five acres of Riesling vines Red Newt had planted there in 2007. At Tango Oaks, the soil itself is ‘new’, as the twenty-foot deep layer of gravel was deposited there by the epic flood of 1935. With Riesling vines erupting out of these stones, and not much topsoil to speak of, Tango Oaks always results in the most elegant, mineral, and filigreed style of Riesling from Red Newt. The fruit also lends itself to a full range of expressions that are now being explored, from method champenoise sparkling ‘Sekt” to dessert styles to icewine.

Even more curious? Join us Thursday at 4PM for Wine Stories. We’ll be live on Facebook tasting the 2013 Tango Oaks Riesling! Need wine? Easy, head to our online store to place an order. Tune in tomorrow for Our Memories – Opening Day 1999. See you Thursday!

View from the Cellar

Notes from a cellar dweller…

Greetings from the Red Newt Cellar! Over the coming weeks, we’re going to use Thursday as our excuse to give a mini-tour of the cellar we call home, and what ‘cellarwork’ actually means.

First things first, the Red Newt Cellar is legitimately just that: a cellar. Where ‘cellar’ now is colloquially used to refer to any winery production area, in the case of Red Newt our cellar is directly under your feet if you come to visit our tasting room. As owner and Founding Winemaker Dave alluded to with his Red Newt memory on Wednesday, this building was designed with the best of 1970s-era winery architecture in mind. That’s a polite way of noting that there are some… quirks… in the design that present our team with some distinct challenges.

But you know what? We love our cellar – quirks and all! And in some very fundamental ways, those design choices from forty years ago still have key impacts on our wines, and the ‘Red Newt style.’

Call it terroir, cellar-oir, or not: we call it home. Can’t wait to share more next week!

Kelby, Meagz, and James

Wine Stories – the KNOLL

Lahoma Vineyards & the Knoll

This tasting was live on Thursday, March 26th, 2020

If you missed the live stream, you can watch the recorded version archived on watch on facebook, or on the watch on the Red Newt youtube channel (AKA the NootToob)

Tastings  commence at 4PM. If you already have a bottle at home, feel free to enjoy a glass with us and join the discussion!

Would you like to taste along?  Click here to order wines to be shipped to your door (FREE shipping for 6 bottles or more)

about our virtual events…

Red Newt Cellars Winery and Bistro is excited to announce our Wine Stories and Virtual Tasting series available right on Facebook. Feel free to tune in and watch, enjoy a glass of wine, or better yet, if you would like to have the experience with us, order the package of wines online, we’ll ship them to you and we can enjoy them together!!


Lahoma Vineyards – an Introduction

Home of “the Knoll”

Lahoma is a vineyard that is close to Red Newt as the crow flies, at just over three miles away. Do not be fooled, however! Situated on the opposite side of Seneca Lake from the winery, growers Ken and Harlan Fulkerson know it is a much longer drive than three miles to reach Red Newt from their property. The payoff is worth it, however, as Lahoma showcases 20 acres of quintessential Finger Lakes Riesling on a series of rolling hills. At a higher elevation than most vinifera vineyards, Lahoma is above the ‘shale line’ that dominates most vineyards near it. Instead, it features rare, sandstone-derived soils (Dunkirk and Odessa) that lend themselves to an opulent and fruit-dense expression of Riesling. This weight and power are quintessential ‘Lahoma’ to us, and beyond the Single Vineyard bottlings that bear its name, Riesling from this site underpins many of our classic Red Newt styles.