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Since 2004, one of his most exciting collaborations with the region’s top winemakers has been the creation of a Riesling named Tierce (Latin for ‘third’). Critically acclaimed, Tierce represents a unique collaboration between three close friends and three leading wineries: Fox Run Vineyards, Anthony Road Wine Company and Red Newt Wine Cellars.
Working together, not only do the varying vineyard expressions of Seneca Lake come into play, but as well, so do the individual philosophies of the participating winemakers. With each vintage, Peter Bell (Fox Run), Peter Becraft (Anthony Road) and Kelby Russell (Red Newt) draw from their three distinct winegrowing subregions along Seneca Lake.
This innovative, "shared" venture brings into play complexities and nuances that set it apart from all other bottlings coming from single wineries – making it uniquely Finger Lakes. Says Bell, “It’s a one-third each blend of lots from each winery. It’s all done by a series of punishing tastings where we do lots of trial blends, mostly based on hunches. Such as, what will this smoky-scented lot do to the wine in differing percentages? And ultimately we’re looking for an austere style. We talk about minerality, electricity and tension. Can you quantify them? No, but we know what we’re looking for.” Produced in limited quantities, each vintage year sees approximately 200 cases.
"The Tierce project has always been an expression of each vineyard and winery, but the spirit of collaboration that underpins it has always been its strength. Now that the project is in its second decade, we're seeing that the spirit and idea of an ultimate Finger Lakes Riesling has a legacy of its own beyond any one person or year," adds Kelby Russell.
“What makes the Tierce Riesling slightly different from year to year is simply the diversity of each growing season. Each year’s unique ‘finger print’ is being captured in every bottle. It is important to allow the vintage to show its true face of its growing season,” continues Peter Becraft.
In January 2013, Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that Tierce 2010 would be served at the Presidential Inaugural Luncheon. A great honor for a great wine.