Eminence Road Farm Winery logo. A rabbit in front of a crown with grapevines in the background.
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ABOUT EMINENCE ROAD FARM WINERY

Eminence Road Farm Winery makes small lots of dry table wine in a barn on the western edge of the Catskills using grapes from sustainably managed Finger Lakes vineyards. All wine is bottled by hand, unfined and unfiltered with nothing added but a minimal amount of sulfite for stability and occasionally neutral yeast. Andrew Scott, Jennifer Clark, Brigette and Barry are the proprietors.


Jennifer, Andrew, Lester (dog) and the 800 plus pound pumpkin we grew.
Jennifer, Andrew, and the late Lester with a big pumpkin. (Photo credit: Andy Ryan)


ABOUT US: Prior to getting into the wine business Andrew worked in publishing as an art director and Jennifer did internet marketing in the apparel industry. Living in New Jersey and working in Manhattan they developed an interest in wine that soon turned into an obsession with France's Loire Valley. In 1996 Andrew made his first batch of homemade wine using a kit received as a Christmas present from his brother along with a note saying "If you really want to learn about wine why don't you make some?" That batch, from a grape concentrate alleged to be gamay, came out terrible. But the process was fascinating and soon fall centered around grape runs to the Finger Lakes and stomping fruit in the driveway. Each year the home winemaking grew bigger, moving from the basement to the garage and then to a barn in upstate New York where it set down roots as an actual licensed winery. In 2007 they relocated to their weekend place in Long Eddy, got the barn in shape and in 2008 made the first official commercial wines under the Eminence Road Farm Winery label.


25 plus year-old, spur pruned cabernet sauvignon vine in Elizabeth's Vineyard
An old cabernet sauvignon vine in Elizabeth's Vineyard.


ABOUT THE WINE: Grapes come from vineyards in the Finger Lakes region of New York, about a hundred miles west of the winery. All wines are made from single vineyard lots and labeled as such. We work with the same growers each season, taking fruit from the same blocs year after year. Grapes are harvested directly into our picking boxes and driven to the barn in Long Eddy where all processing, fermentation, elevage and bottling takes place. Annual production is on average one-thousand cases.


At the winery grapes are sorted and either foot crushed whole cluster or mechanically crushed and destemmed. Twenty to 30 parts per million of metabisulfite--about 4 teaspoons per ton--is added at crush. Fermentations are performed by native yeasts or occasionally by cultured yeast depending on the vintage conditions. Red grapes are fermented in one-ton bins with once daily manual punchdowns and pressed when the cap sinks, generally after two to 4 weeks. White, orange and rose wines are allowed one to five-plus days on the skins before pressing. Pressed juice is gravity settled for twenty-four hours and then pumped to stainless steel tanks or to oak barrels which range in age from from two to 15-plus years old. Barrels are topped up bi-weekly in conjunction with the new and full moon. Fermentations continue in tank/barrel until complete with no racking. Alcoholic fermentations last anywhere from two weeks to 2 years with the average length being about 6 months. Malolactic fermentations are not blocked and generally take place in the spring. Temperature control is not used and wines are allowed to go dormant over the winter. After ten to 12 months, if fermentation is complete, the wine is racked off its lees, given an additional ten to 20 parts per million of metabisulfite and then hand bottled by gravity flow without fining or filtration.

Coming from a home-winemaker background, with no formal training or winery experience, we have developed--for better or worse--a self-taught winemaking methodology that leans heavily on low-intervention, patience and trust in the natural processes of fermentation. Our goal is to make rustic, country wines full of texture and charm that shine brightest on the dinner table. To that end we let wine ferment at its own pace, leave it undisturbed on its lees for a complete season cycle and then bring it to bottle without extraneous additives or processing. Bottled alive!

Barrels and tanks stacked to the rafters
Barrels and tanks stacked to the rafters.


DIRECTIONS FOR USE: Because the wine is bottled without fining or filtration and only a minimal amount of sulfite it is important it be kept cool at all times. High temperatures can greatly diminish flavor, aroma and quality. Just a brief amount of time in a hot car can ruin a bottle of wine. Ideal storage conditions are a temperature of fifty-five degrees Farenheight with 70 percent humidity and complete darkness. Cork finished bottles should be stored on their side. An unfiltered wine will often have some amount of sediment in the bottle. This is a natural, harmless deposit that can be easily removed with careful decanting. Serve cool but never cold. For best results drink wine outside with good food and someone you love.


side of barn
The Winery is built into the hillside providing natural cooling.

ABOUT THE FARM: Eminence Road (the actual road) was named by settlers who came here in the 1850s from the hamlet of Eminence in Schoharie County. Sometime in the 1940s a dairy farm was established and was in operation until the mid-1970s. After the dairy shut down the house changed hands several times before we purchased it in 2001 as a weekend retreat. The winery is set up in what was originally a cow barn. With low ceilings, little to no insulation and rough concrete floors it is a less than ideal space for winemaking but we do our best to make it work. At least it has floor drains! Over the years we have established a small hobby vineyard of about one-half acre planted primarily to the French-American hybrid landot noir as well as rows of petit pearl, louise swenson and itasca. All are self-rooted. The east facing slope is fairly well drained but the surrounding mountains limit sunlight and that, combined with poor soil, short summers and extreme winter cold, creates a difficult growing situation for even the hardiest hybrid grapes. Raspberries and blueberries, on the other hand, seem to thrive. In addition to the struggling vines we also have extensive vegetable gardens and manage to grow a good portion of our own produce. Andrew also has a thing for giant pumpkins.

solar panels
Solar panels provide all of our electricity.

SUSTAINABILITY: It's difficult to make any great claims about being ecologically friendly when your business is producing wine, something the planet ultimately does not need. But here we are. Wanting to at least do something, in 2018 we invested in a 45 panel solar installation set up in the field across the road. It covers all of the power needs for the house and winery and also generates extra energy that goes back into the grid. In the winery we keep our packaging low impact by using light weight bottles, natural corks (made from tree bark) and kraft paper labels we print and cut ourselves, attached with non-toxic, water soluble adhesive. We strive to generate as little waste as possible (especially plastic), reuse everything and compost everything else.

2 dogs
Barry (age 2) and Brigette (age 6) have the run of the farm.

DOGS: We love them all.


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3734 Eminence Road, Long Eddy, New York 12760