Influencer Status – Reviewing Ravines Wine Cellars

A lovely, 20 something, social media manager of a winery, reached out to me with a desire that I would review some wines for her.

I thought that was funny.

She told me it was because I was a “Wine Influencer”. Yes, she really said that.

I Google’d (ha ha) the definition of an “influencer”. The first thing that popped up was a website focused on “How to Up Your Influencer Game” – spotlighting, or really selling me, Influencer marketing software. I can’t make this up. From what this website was telling me, my opinion now needs a marketing platform, a nice wardrobe, maybe some new boobs, a guide on relationship management, and much much more. I’m semi used to this thought process; starting something from nothing, being an underdog, and speaking a coded language- that is not popular and highly judged- is an every day thing in my world. What I LOVE about social media, or just starting a conversation about wine, is watching the build. When you are the witness of someone developing skills with out TELLING them how to do it – asking open ended questions, being observant, and by holding their hand down the road of discovery – – – – that’s golden. That is causing effect, that is changing behavior, and that is where my heart flutters.

So, I told this lovely social media manager at Ravines Wine Cellars that she could count on me to give my honest opinions and perceptions of a lineup of wines from the Finger Lakes.

And then I called the POD, cooked up a charcuterie board, and made them pose for pictures (I know, I am annoying). Most importantly, I wanted their opinion too.

Here we go: https://ravineswine.com

Let’s take a moment to think – where are we in the world, why is this important, and how is this fun:

Location; In, around, through, and expanding upon Seneca Lake, NY. “Stored heat is released from the deep lakes during the winter, keeping the local climate mild relative to surrounding areas and preventing early season frost. Most vineyards are planted on steep hillsides overlooking the lakes, which help provide the vines with good drainage, better sun exposure, and a reduced risk of frost.” (thank you Wikipedia) Soils in this location – excellent slope and drainage giving wines a leaner profile with pretty floral notes and a racing mineralality – I absolutely love that in Riesling and all white wines in general.

The Ravines Family – European Winemaker with a wife that is a chef. As soon as I read this, I just KNEW I would be experiencing wines of character, and wines that speak to all the senses. Morten Hallgren (winemaker) calls his approach “transparent winemaking”; he looks for a “vine balance”, in this world we live in, through sustainable practices. He is responsible. He is thinking of not just his future but the future of the land he cultivates. Thanks Morten.

What did we taste:

2017 Dry Riesling –

  • Acidity is a bit high here, nice to see on a ’17
  • Medium length
  • Alcohol in balance – “cozy” was the term used…
  • Flavors of lemon/lime curd, hard lemon candy (from the dish in your Great Aunt’s living room), lavender honey, peach, green apple
  • Suggested drinking; “After the Beach” wine when you are showered and sitting on the veranda, in the Spring after work or in your coffee cup on the Zoom meeting! (I never do this…)

2017 Chardonnay

  • We felt the oak tannins before we tasted them
  • Lower in alcohol perception than the Riesling, but higher in acid
  • Medium Body
  • Flavors of honeysuckle, raw honey, sunflowers, slate
  • Suggested drinking; A “sipper” while you are cooking. This was the least favorite, but can still find a place in our drinking life. We did like that the oak was in line with the fruit composition.

2018 Cabernet Franc

  • I was VERY excited about this one. My Rhone Valley ears started to tingle a bit. I didn’t tell the POD any background concerning this grape, or any notions I may have about what would happen when we tasted it. This wine showed a VERY light body – which surprised me.
  • Medium to high tannins
  • The “feeling” of the alcohol was not a desirable situation, but I didn’t mind it. It was a bit obtrusive, but did blow off a bit after re tasting.
  • Strong blackberry nose, which as quite alluring. The jammy-ness got to us. Defined eucalyptus was new for the POD – great point out by someone very observant. Bravo!
  • Flavors of malted chocolate, tobacco, strong steeped tea, and defined bell pepper.
  • Suggested drinking; Pair with stinky cheese, sitting by the fire. Reminded the POD of Fall; defined harvest flavors were definitely present.

Final Thoughts; I like these wines, I like these people, I like their responsible and authentic approach. I also like the idea I could GO there at some time in my life. (not right now friends – Seneca Lake isn’t going anywhere, and can wait for me.) The wines are straight forward, and there is something for everyone. You can’t always say that with a line up. Was every wine a winner? Eh, so so – but what do you expect. I am so happy with this wine discovery, and I thank that 20 something social media manager for bringing these wines into my life. (And look at you creating a new marketing platform for your job. I’m impressed missy) As far as the influencer part, I’m not buying it yet – but, let’s see where this river flows…

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