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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Wiemer Sells Finger Lakes Vineyard to Winemaker Merwarth

One of the icons of the Finger Lakes wine scene, Hermann J. Wiemer, has sold his winery to his winemaker, Frederick Merwath.

Wiemer Riesling is recognized among the best in North America and the 65-year-old German-born vintner is credited with playing a major part in building the worldwide reputation of Finger Lakes wine. Merwarth, 29, takes over the 15,000-case winery that was started in 1979 at a time when most wines in the region were made from Niagara, Cayuga and other non-vinifera grapes. He has worked with Wiemer for the last six years.

My wife, Sandy, and I were lucky enough to meet Hermann Wiemer during one of our first visits to the Finger Lakes in the 1980s. We were impressed by the quality of his wines, along with his commitment to building a presence for Finger Lakes wines on a world level. His winery is still the most orderly and clean winery, distillery or brewery that I have ever toured.

Besides riesling, Wiemer makes some pretty solid gewurztraminer, pinot noir and sparkling wines. Wiemer Dry Riesling has won the Governor's Cup twice as the state's top wine.

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