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Our vineyards
Hermann J Wiemer

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Hermann J Wiemer

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W=F Nickname:               “The New Cornell Kids”

Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes Wine Country, Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard stands on the western shores of Seneca Lake. The New York State winery – producing approximately 14,000 cases each year – was designed in 1982 by an award-winning team of Cornell architects. Enclosed within the shell of a 90-year-old scissor-trussed barn, the structure accommodates a full wine production area and tasting facility. Its unique white cathedral-like interior balances the bare wooden walls and sleek Italian stainless steel tanks.

Our winemaking processes pay homage to the ancient winemaking tradition and winemaking history of Hermann’s ancestry while incorporating the best of modern practices. We craft our wines in very small lots to focus on subtle differences between site blocks within vineyards and even clones within varieties. We utilize up to 25 different fermentation tanks within the winery to isolate vineyard sections and pickings dates to best showcase the varietal’s characteristics. Our small lot production allows for more control of the final product and is extremely labor intensive.

Our signature long fermentation on indigenous yeast is made possible by the ecologically balanced viticultural methods in our vineyards. We seek lower and balanced yields per vine, ensuring healthy vines that reflect the character of the soils in which they are deeply rooted.

As a native of Bernkastel, Germany who emigrated to the Finger Lakes in the 1960s, Hermann J. Wiemer was uniquely qualified to help establish and create a wine region now known for its Riesling identity. His mother’s family had been making wine in Germany’s Mosel Valley for more than 300 years. His father, Josef, a skilled nurseryman, had been in charge of the Agricultural Experiment Station in Bernkastel and was responsible for restoring vines in the Mosel region after WWII. As a result, he recognized the importance of grafting vinifera on American rootstock. Ultimately, this conviction led Hermann’s father to convince Dr. Thanisch – who maintained the most famous Riesling vineyard in the world – to graft Mosel Rieslings onto American rootstock.

Hermann spent the summers of his youth learning to graft by hand and later complemented the skill and knowledge passed from father to son by attending Germany’s premier winemaking and viticultural institutions. However, it wasn’t until his experience in the Pfalz at the Viticultural Research institute in Neustadt (Forschungsinstitut fur Reblausbekampfung und Wiederaufbau der LLFA Neustadt) that Hermann was finally able to put his life experiences and education to practice. This practical training and research institute, headed by the influential Dr. Helmut Becker, only accepted three admissions per year… and Hermann was one of them.

Were it not for the two young gun business partners that have taken over here: Oskar Bynke and Fred Merwarth, (the winemaker), I would have nicknamed this winery “The Godfather” after Hermann.  

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