We had an amazing time last night at Casa Larga Vineyards & Winery in Fairport. We were fortunate to attend their Wine Lovers Club Party, courtesy of my friend Judy, who is a member. The evening began (after check-in) with an open bar which included many Casa Larga wines and beers, and a tasty array of hors d’oeuvres. We found available seating at a table with another fun couple (Louann and Ken) and proceeded to enjoy our beverages and snacks. The program soon began with our first speaker, Andrea, one of the current owners of Casa Larga. She spoke lovingly of the history of Casa Larga, which was established in 1974 by her father, Andrew Colaruotolo, and the planting of the first two acres of vines. He named the vineyards Casa Larga after his grandparents’ vineyards in Italy. Their first harvest was in 1978. Casa Larga is now run by Andrew’s three children: Andrea, Mary Jo and John. Our next speaker was the current Winemaker, Matt Cassavaugh, who gave us an overview of his “Core Four”, the vineyard team; they just finished their 3rd season together. He expressed his great appreciation for this team, who have to work well together and be able to do each other’s jobs as well as their own. We learned a lot from Matt about growing seasons, rainfall, soil conditions, and everything that has an effect on the final product. The tasting portion of the evening began with the 2017 Wild Ferment Riesling, which was a delicious medium-dry Riesling. This (for me) was one of the best Rieslings I have tasted in a long, long time! With 1.6% residual sugar, it wasn’t too sweet for the dry wine lovers, and was bursting with fruit; we all seemed to think there was an underlying apple flavor to it. The next tasting was the 2017 Winemaker Field Blend, which included Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Vidal Blanc. It was tasty, but at 2.8 residual sugar, it was a little too sweet for most of us at our table. Next up was the 2016 Block 3 Pinot Noir, which was a favorite for many of us. It was barrel fermented in new French oak, which gave it a nice, light oak flavor. Absolutely delicious right now, or they say even better in a couple of years, but I don’t think I could keep it around that long … no will power!! The last tasting was a 2017 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, which was still fermenting, so it was cloudy; it won’t be ready until late this year. I am not very experienced with ice wines, so I can’t really comment on this one. They are very sweet (25% sugar for this one currently; ultimately, it will be about 20%), but very fruity and I’m sure wonderful for dessert. It was fun to taste wines that are not yet available to the public. Following the tasting, we were all treated to a pasta dinner, complete with beautiful macarons for dessert. By the end of the evening, we were on board with becoming members of the Wine Lovers Club, with its many benefits (free tastings, great discounts) and fun events, such as last night’s. Check it out if you’re in the market for great wine and a great time! The Casa Larga team goes above and beyond!
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