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Forge Cellars

Forge cellars debuted in 2011, with a few hundred cases of dry Riesling made by French winemaker Louis Barruol, the owner of Château de St-Cosme in Gigondas, and an inexhaustible force in the Rhône. He put down roots in the cool climate Finger Lakes wine region of New York State and formed an alliance with two like-minded friends: local New York winemakers Rick Rainey and Justin Boyette, and revolutionised the area with techniques that were well-tried in France, but were new to the Finger Lakes. Forge look for premier sites on the east side of Seneca Lake, the deepest of the eleven Finger Lakes, seeking out good slopes with an abundance of different clones and soils. They work closely with their growers, taking time to acquaint themselves with the vines, better able to unlock the potential of this special region in each vintage. In their Bellows Vineyard at Forge Home Farm, nearly 9 acres of organically farmed high density plantings are under vine to 8 acres of Pinot Noir and 1 acre of Riesling, with a mixture of clones. The soil here is exceptional, consisting of clay, limestone and shale – the holy trinity of soil types! Forge make wine in the traditional handcrafted manner. They hand-pick the grapes and use native yeasts to ferment spontaneously in very small lots, so that the expression of each parcel can be understood and maximised. There are hundreds of French oak barriques in their cellar dedicated to 16 different vineyards, ensuring the personality of each one – this is real small batch winemaking! They do not filter their red wines. This small artisanal producer crafts polished and sophisticated wines, bone dry Rieslings and elegant Pinot Noirs.