Sometimes the best things in life are the result of all the right variables falling into place at the right time. Take Point of the Bluff Vineyards for example. What started out as a landscaping project on a steep slope overlooking Keuka Lake has turned into an award-wining winery.
The backstories for Point of the Bluff, which has been called an "accidental winery," and for winemaker Mike Countryman, who has been winning awards for his wines for over two decades, are interesting for a number of reasons including the fact that the owner of Point of the Bluff originally brought Mike in to help him make his vineyard more aesthetically pleasing.
The rest, as they say, is history. Or, in this case, the present and, hopefully, the future!
Mike "is a hands-on winemaker and vineyard manager who has been growing grapes and making wine in the Finger Lakes for over two decades. In that time, his wines have garnered top awards in competitions all over the world." He specializes in crafting European-style wines, including ice wines which have been named "Best in the World" and he believes great wines are made in the vineyard, which is why he works as hard growing the grapes as he does turning them into something special.
Mike's background - including a childhood growing up on his family farm in Rochester, college studies in agriculture and microbiology, and decades of experience as a winemaker - allows him to understand just what it takes to make great wines.
"In my opinion," he states, "the wine is made in the vineyard, the less you do outside of that the better....When you're fermenting, the best indicator of what's going on is your nose. You can smell what's happening right away." (quote taken from a recent article in Lucky Peach magazine)