red hook winery

On October 6 our Wines of New World class visited the Red Hook Winery. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the winery. It was overwhelming to learn so much about the process of making wine. Red Hook Winery is located in Red Hook section of Brooklyn behind Pier 41. The scenery was beautiful because the sunny was bouncing off of the water. We were lost for about fifth teen minutes but after we found the cave-like located winery the wait was worth it. We experienced how grape were being grown, the way the wine is fermented and how to put them into barrels. We were being toured by the owner Mark Snyder. He was wonderful! He explained the wine process through. He did well into making our class welcomed. We tasted about six or more different wines. My personal favorite was the merlot and the chardonnay. Both wines were full of body and depth. Overall, I enjoyed the whole experience of visiting this winery. I will come back on my free time to enjoy one of their lovely wine tastings.

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Red Hook Winery Visit

On October 6 our Wines of New World class visited the Red Hook 10600549_10153158670748943_7599472616953599329_nWinery.¬† I really enjoyed our visit and can’t wait to go back next week. ¬†Everyone there was friendly and funny, they taught us a lot of new things about blending wine and how wine is made. ¬†The location they were at was beautiful the view of the river and the city. ¬†It was also a beautiful sunny day. ¬†We also went into a room where all the barrels of wine were kept. ¬†We learned a little about barrel sizes and stainless steel barrels. ¬†Although it was a small little winery, the atmosphere was very comfortable and welcoming. ¬†We tried many different types of wines and blended wines. ¬†They also taught us a little about the difference with taste, texture and smell.

We also Got split into groups for making our own wine next week.  Richard and Irma is in my group and we already started talking about the wine we will make, we want to make a white wine, more on the sweet side but not too sweet.  I also really enjoyed the buttercup blend so we might add that to our blend of wine.

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Wine Making Journal

On October 6th my New World Wine class went to the Red Hook Winery. Since I actually been to Martha Clara Vineyard in Long Island this was definitely a different experience, but the only thing was they weren’t actually doing tours at the time I went to visit the vineyard so I just went there for a wine tasting. I really enjoyed the experience of visiting the wRed hook wineryinery and taking a actually tour with Bob Folly. He was very informative with information on the wine making and blending process. Also the idea of doing our own wine blending as a group effort is also very exciting because that allowed us to communicate with others in the class and get to know about each other as well. The was a great experience and I’m definitely going back in the future to not only by wine but the tasting as well to continue to expand my palate for the different wines there are to offer from the Red Hook Winery.

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Wine Making Journal

On October 6th, 2014 our Wines of the New World class went to Red Hook Winery. In our visit to Red Hook Winery we were able to get more information on how wines are made and the process of making them . They also explained to us their process of blending different types of wines and how these blends can make exquisite delicious tasting wines. We were able to taste different types of whites and reds on our trip. We were able to distinguish different flavors , textures and smells of the wines .

I am partnered up with Gloria and our team has to create a Red wine blend. From the different red wines we had to taste in order for us to pick out which ones we would like to blend , Gloria and I decided to pick the Cabernet Franc 100% variety from the North Fork and the Merlot wines.  The Cabernet Franc has a black cherry aroma , also a hit of black pepper . Its a ruby red color and its high in acidity . As for the Merlot , its high in alcohol , we could smell the black berries , it has a smooth finishing touch but you can feel the tannis afterwards and it lingers.  We believe this blend will create a well balanced red wine with an exquisite flavor to the pallet .

Red hook winery

redhookwinery 2

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Visit to Red Hook Winery

New York Magazine once listed Red Hook Winery as one of the many reasons to love New York City “because we’re making serious wine in Red Hook.” And it’s true. The concept was birthed in 2008 by owner Mark Snyder and two notable wine makers from Napa, Abe Schoener and Robert Foley. Although they credit themselves as a small, handcrafted operation, Red Hook Winery locally produces over twenty different wines per each vintage from as many as fifteen different vineyards all from the North Fork of Long Island. Not bad New York, not bad.¬†And if you’ve ever encountered those who question the quality of wines produced in New York or deem it as subpar to say, Californian wines, it’s probably because they haven’t tried the wines of Red Hook Winery.

Example: The¬†2012 Red Hook Winery Buttercup’s Cuvee is a delectable blend of mostly Chardonnay and Riesling, along with some Tocai, Pinot Blanc, and Muscat (which I later discovered online.) It was unexpectedly well-balanced; the notes of petrol which you would routinely suspect¬†in grapes such as Riesling and even Muscat, were tamed by the roundness of the Chardonnay … thus producing a lightly floral, crisp, and an elegant ode to the Alsace. The retail price is $25, although I wouldn’t be too surprised if I saw this on a wine list for double the price and neither would I be displeased if this were served¬†to me at a restaurant.

If you take a look at¬†a bottle of their wine and find¬†on the front label with the words, “PRODUCED AND BOTTLED BY THE RED HOOK WINERY UNDER THE DIRECTION OF ROBERT FOLEY,” that is because he is the mastermind behind the wine as well as a graduate of UC Davis’ Viticulture/Oenology program and¬†the proud owner of Robert Foley Vineyards. Though he claimed to “not work here at Red Hook Winery,” his expert¬†knowledge on vinification was (more than) enough to take us on a tour through this winery.

A few things that I learned: Must is the product of what comes out of a grape-crusher. This includes all the skins, seeds, and stems. For red wines, skin contact is crucial; for white wines, it is necessary that all skins are separated from the pressed juice. But because the red pigment is only from the skin, it is possible that red wines can be used to blend with wine wines without giving off any red hue (unless that was the intention, in that case, that would be a rosé.)

I also learned that the balance between the utilization of old and young barrels is¬†very crucial to creating characteristic to the wine. Texture, aroma, and flavor compounds of a wine comes mainly from the oak. If you pour wine into a young barrel, it will extract too many tannins or what he calls “board-yness.” However, if you use an old barrel, it will refrain from extracting oak and instead create a very fruity wine. This is where blending comes in between using the old, the young, and the in-betweens. Barrels are chosen all based on the characteristic of the wine that you are trying to achieve.

This experienced opened my eyes about the wonderful setting that we live in which has truly an underestimated potential to create quality wines. I would like to thank the Julia Child Foundation and everyone at Red Hook Winery for providing this wonderful opportunity.

“…the prospect of Foley and Schoener fermenting and blending wines in an unmarked Red Hook storefront might be the oenological equivalent of Alice Waters opening a little caf√© on Van Brunt Street. Unexpected, bizarre, and more than a little thrilling.”

– Robin Raisfeld, New York Magazine.

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Red Hook Winery

On October 6, 2014, my Wines of the New World class had the pleasure of visiting Red Hook Winery in Brooklyn. The winery is located about fifteen minutes away from City Tech which was a lovely surprise. When we arrived I noticed the beautiful Manhattan sky line as the winery sits right by the water.

My class was fortunate enough to receive a tour by a wine maker named Bob Foley. Foley does not work at Red Hook Winery. He is a very knowledgable and enthusiastic wine maker from Napa Valley, California. His passion for wine making was obvious by the way he spoke in detail in which he answered questions, and the overall joy he seemed to have simply by speaking about how wine is made.

One new thing I learned is that it is a common practice for wine makers to add yeast to the wines. Yeast is naturally present but one of the benefits to adding it is to ensure a good vintage. White wines use yeast with more esters to have a more floral aroma. Yeast affects flavors of wines.

Overall, I enjoyed the trip to Red Hook Winery. It was great to see the stainless steal and wooden oak barrels. I also enjoyed the wine tasting. I am looking forward to our next visit and to blending a wine with my group.

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Wine Making Journal

I was surprised with our visit to the¬†Red Hook Winery in Brooklyn¬†because I did not know that we had a winery in the city. I thought that they were all in Long Island and upstate New York. Red Hook winery compared to other wineries that I’ve visited such as¬†Millbrook winery in Long Island and Moet and Chandon winery in France as well as the¬†research I did¬†on winemaking and wine blending many of the things that Mr. Foley mentioned were familiar to me and expected.¬†¬†Such as the procedures after harvest, the way its stored and aged and the different procedures taken to¬†perfect the wine¬†whether its blending with other wines or transferring from one barrel to another to give it another flavor¬†before the finished product is bottled.¬†However, the one thing¬†that did¬†caught my attention was when Mr. Foley said a drop of milk in the wine could fix its bitterness. It was something that I did not come across during my research and I would have never imagined milk being used as¬†a tool to improve the wine.¬†Furthermore, during my research one of my sources stated that white wines are not good for blending however, Red Hook winery had a¬†beautiful blend of Riesling and Chardonnay sweet and buttery to the palate.¬†Learning at the winery is always so much better then learning through research because with just doing research questions are left unanswered and every winemaker has a personal touch that makes their wine unique.

The base wines we tasted were Riesling, ¬†Sauvignon Blanc, two Chardonnay’s ¬†(one aged in stainless steel and the other in oak), Cabernet Franc,¬†Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. My favorite wine is¬†German Riesling, but¬†at this winery their version of Riesling¬†wasn’t my favorite.¬†It was dry and¬†I¬†felt tannin on the palate.¬†It’s appearance¬†was¬†greenish yellow possibly from the grape skins, but its aroma is true to its kind.¬†Nothing compared to the German Riesling¬†close to¬†opposites. Also the Chardonnay aged in stainless steel¬†was very pleasant. It was sweet and moist, but¬†high in acidity. I think it was¬†perfectly aged¬†and one of the best¬†base wines I had.¬†After¬†a while of tasting so many wines they all started to taste¬†the same. In addition, I’m not a¬†fan of red wine, but¬†I did like tannin levels of the¬†red wines we had. They¬†weren’t as strong as other wines that we’ve tried in class.¬†The red wine with the least tannin was Cabernet Sauvignon¬†and it was slightly lower in alcohol compared to the other red wines. I enjoyed this wine¬†most from the reds and its something that¬†could be enjoyed with duck fillet.



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Wine making Journal

red hookOur trip to Red hook was a great experience. Being from New York I had thought I experienced everything you could but I was wrong. The view alone was breath taking. It was a great experience full of information. Being that we had to write a paper before going on the trip a lot of what was said I had already studied and understood, which was definitively a plus . I must say one of the subjects that stood out was hearing the tips and techniques of an actual wine maker, he mentioned adding a drop of milk to help with the astringent taste of wine, this was never mentioned in text so it was great to hear how wine makers perfected their wines. I personally believe if the paper was due after our October 6th trip to Red Hook Winery It would have been a better experience. Having actual information from a wine maker would have been essential to our research paper. It would have provided factual and first person data. Besides that Our trip to Red Hook winery was amazing. I cannot wait for our next trip!

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Wine Making Journal

On the day of October 06 the New World wine class offered us to take trip to the winery called Red Hook Winery located in pier 41. We had a little trouble to get into the winery because our tour bus got lost when we were almost there and yes it was hidden place where no one can think there will be an actual stores and factories in the pier.

First thing that I noticed when I arrived the winery was the view around the winery. There were a nice park outside with amazing views of Statue of Liberty. The atmosphere inside and waterfront were very nice. They had five large oak barrels in the middle of the winery and it was served as a tables for wine tasting. We had chance to talk to Bob Foley, who owns vineyard in Napa Valley, CA and worked over 40 year doing wine making. He studied viticulture and has degree from the college. While he was in college he studies and finished about components of the wines. He came to the winery just to share his experience on how viticulture and viniculture works and share his favorite wines with us. Bob said he loves every wine that he makes but his favorite was a blend between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

According to Bob the texture, flavor, color and aroma is the basics of wine making. For white wine the juice will be fermented. But before the fermentation they do co ferment which is that two varieties meet at the same time like white with red Syrah. For the red they ferment the musk for the base. During the fermentation carbon dioxide, sugar and yeast is converted into alcohol which enzymes in bacteria not the yeast though. White wines are fermented in 60¬įF and the red wine should be fermented between 85¬įF.

It was great experience for me to visit Red Hook winery. I never thought they would have hidden place like this in Brooklyn. All of the wines we had were spectacular even though I don’t really like to drink alcohol. We learned about how the viticulture works and get to see what happens after the harvest. I learned how the fermentation works. All the staffs there were very passionate and full of wine knowledge. It was great time that we got to taste the wines, seeing the barrels inside which is a one of the great experience for us and for people who loves the wine.

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Wine Making Journal

Wine Making Journal

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† My visit to Red Hook Winery was very exciting ‚Äď to find a real winery in an urban setting and the most ideal location was amazing. This was a class assignment that was made possible by a grant, to New York City College of Technology, from the Julia Foundation, in collaboration with Red Hook Winery, for the advanced wine class. Our speaker and¬†guide was Consulting Winemaker,¬†Robert Foley of Foley Estates and Winery in Napa Valley, CA. Mr. Foley, who has been in the business for over thirty years, is a highly respected winemaker in the industry and was in mid-harvest at his vineyard.

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† There was no itinerary, so I was a bit unsure of the order of the visit. I thought we would see the actual winemaking process or a part of it. I also thought the visit was too short, but I realized that it had to equal the number of classroom hours. Regardless of all that, Mr. Foley was able to paint a picture of the winemaking process for us to visualize and clarified many important points. For example, when making red wine, the unfermented grape juice with the skins, seeds, stems and pulp are referred to as the must. While the must is fermenting the heat has to be managed to between 60¬į-65¬į because a higher¬†temperature will kill the yeast which gives off ester. This is one of the reasons why different yeasts are chosen for different wines.¬† Once the alcoholic fermentation is completed a secondary (optional) fermentation ‚Äď malolactic fermentation, may be an option. This is the process by which lactic acid is produced from malic acid to create a buttery flavor in wines such as Chardonnay.

In the case of white wines when two varieties are fermented together this process is called cloning. Fining is the process where the wine is tasted when it is almost done. This is where any additional flavors or spices are added prior to bottling. The visit to Red Hook Winery really created a clear vision of the winemaking process to me because my initial research did not clarity the processes as effectively as Robert Foley.  Reading from a book is not as effective as when first-hand information regarding a process is being passed on.  Mr. Foley was extremely knowledgeable because he is an expert winemaker who was able to effectively translate his knowledge and love of the winemaking process to us.


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