Since its founding, Rooster Hill has prided itself on producing high-quality wines,
the vast majority coming directly from our estate.
FROM THE FRUIT IN THE VINEYARD
TO WINE IN THE BOTTLE
The Rooster Hill team believes in the old adage that "the wine is made in the vineyard" and is committed to producing the highest quality grapes.
Our focus on regulating crop yields and achieving superior ripeness has earned Rooster Hill wines high ratings from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast and has established Rooster Hill as one of the leading Finger Lakes wineries.
We also select high-quality grapes from premier growers in the Finger Lakes and Long Island. We make multiple vineyard visits to ensure that our growers employ the most stringent vineyard practices. Our wines are true to the uniqueness of the fruit we select, with a focus on quality. We strive for the ultimate balance between flavor, texture, acid, and tannin structure followed by distinguishing characteristics of terroir.
The Catherine Estate Vineyard was planted in the spring of 2003. This four-acre site has more than 5,000 feet of drainage tile. This vineyard includes Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Lemberger, and Gewürztraminer. The Catherine vineyard yielded its first fruit for harvest in 2005. Catherine was the daughter of Savina and Amy's great aunt.
This three-acre vineyard is planted with Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Lemberger, and Pinot Noir. Approximately 4,000 feet of drainage tile was installed to ensure that the vines have the best possible conditions to establish their root structure. The location of the land has such excellent exposure that we are able to produce wines that are well structured and suitable for long aging. This vineyard is named after Amy's great-grandmother, who emigrated from Northern Italy in the late 1800s.
In 2007 an acre of Vidal Blanc was planted in anticipation of experimenting with late harvest or ice wines in the near future. Today our Vidal Blanc is used primarily in the Silver Pencil blend. This vineyard is named after Amy's great uncle Joe, a retired professor from UC Berkeley.
BARBARA ANNE ESTATE
The Barbara Anne vineyard was planted in 2013 and includes three acres of Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. This vineyard is named in honor of Amy's mother, who passed away in December 2012. Barbara raised five kids on her own after her husband died unexpectedly at the age of 37. She managed to buy a house and put herself through nursing school and spent 30 years in health care.
Savored, favored and honored, Rooster Hill Vineyards has grown into one of the most highly respected wineries in the region. Rooster Hill's estate vineyards on the east side of Keuka Lake produce red and white vintages recognized around the world. Rooster Hill wines have earned hundreds of medals since the winery opened. Wine Spectator and other national wine magazines have rewarded Rooster Hill with high ratings.
How It All Began
The highest quality wine experience was the goal when Amy, a former marketing executive for a Fortune 500 high-tech company, and David, a financial planner and tax adviser with a private practice, decided to leave Southern California and move closer to their hometowns of Akron and Clarence. They had discovered Keuka Lake in the 90s and agreed it was the place where they would eventually like to spend more of their time than annual family vacations.
The birth of rooster hill
In early 2000, they traded their business suits and briefcases for jeans and work boots and never looked back.
They planted the Savina Estate Vineyard in 2002 with Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Lemberger. Savina yielded its first fruit for winemaking in 2004. Named after Amy's great grandmother, who emigrated from Italy in the late 1800s, Rooster Hill's Savina vineyard faces west on a gentle slope and enjoys warm sun and cool breezes.
Fruits of the labor
In early 2003, they planted the Catherine Estate Vineyard. Named after Amy's great aunt, this vineyard is at a slightly higher elevation and includes Lemberger, Riesling, Cabernet Franc, and Gewürztraminer. In 2007, the Giuseppe Vineyard, named after Amy's great uncle, was planted and includes Vidal Blanc, which is used as a key component in the popular white wine called Silver Pencil. The Barbara Anne vineyard, planted in 2013, is named in honor of Amy's mother, who passed away in December 2012. Grape varietals include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.
Fruit is carefully monitored during the growing season and is harvested only when sugars, acids, and flavors are at the optimal levels for wine production.
Our wines are produced with the intention of highlighting the high quality of the fruit we work with and showcasing each unique growing season the Finger Lakes provides us with. We strive for the ultimate balance between flavor, texture, acid, and tannin to create the truest expression of the vintage.
The red wines are de-stemmed and gently crushed as soon as the fruit arrives at the winery. The fermenting juice is then punched down by hand numerous times daily to extract color, tannin, and flavor from the skins.
After fermentation, the wine is pressed to tanks for settling and then racked to oak barrels for aging. The resulting red wines are balanced, yet complex, with all the components (fruit, tannins, acids, and oak) proportionate and working with each other in the aging process.
When the white grapes reach the winery, they are removed from the stems and crushed. After the juice is pressed from the skins, it is transferred into tanks, where it is fermented. A variety of yeasts may be used depending on the grape varietal and the wine to be made.
Fermentations are carefully monitored to ensure that the delicate flavors and aromas are retained.
Some of our wines undergo a second "fermentation" known as malolactic fermentation. This conversion transforms the wine's aggressive malic acid into the much softer lactic acid, creating a creamier texture in the wine. After all of the fermentations have been completed, the red and white wines will age in barrels and tanks until they are ready to be bottled.
High-quality barrels, stainless steel tanks, laboratory equipment, and grape processing equipment allow the team at Rooster Hill to pay careful attention to every detail — from the fruit in the vineyard to the wine in the bottle.