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Finger Lakes Riesling on tap, in Manhattan

SENECA LAKE—Several New York City restaurants are offering Finger Lakes Riesling, on tap.
Grapes from Lodi on Seneca Lake are being turned into wine stored in “kegs.” The Gotham Project started selling Riesling in 20 liter stainless steel kegs last year. The two men behind the idea are Charles Bieler, winemaker for Three Thieves and New York City resident, and Bruce Schneider, owner of Schneider Vineyards in Long Island.
According to the Gotham Project’s “Wine Tap Manifesto,” storing wine in stainless steel kegs prolongs freshness, has a low environmental impact and works with traditional beer keg systems. Once tapped, this kegged wine will stay fresh for three months if properly maintained. In New York state, there is even a $30 deposit for recycling a keg.
“I think that Rieslings being made in the Finger Lakes are world class and the thing that New York state does best for the price, so we thought that it was a perfect wine to lead out project,” said Bieler. “We are starting to offer other wines on tap from North Fork, Calif., and even some imports (Germany and Chile), but we felt that local wine for the local market was very important.”
“Getting our wine and juice, by any means, down state is good,” said Seneca Lake Wine Trail President Paul Thomas. “It’s a prudent decision picking Riesling for the Finger Lakes region.”
He added many Seneca Lake wineries grow Riesling grapes and that is the variety that is getting the Finger Lakes region known. Thomas explained he likes that this venture is getting a Finger Lakes wine noticed in New York City.
Keg wine isn’t completely new to the Finger Lakes, though.  Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyards wine is served at Vesta, a restaurant in Astoria, N.Y.




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