NY Winery Of The Month



Picture of Finger Lakes Distilling


Red Tail Ridge

Red Tail Ridge is a 35 acre vineyard and winery located on the western shore of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of up-state New York. The winery is named after the two nesting pair of hawks who live in the woods surrounding the vineyard. Mike Schnelle (viticulturist) and Nancy Irelan (winemaker) are a husband and wife team, who share the work of vineyard development, winegrowing, winemaking and management, with some helping hands as well.  




Red Tail Ridge Winery specializes in limited production wines because they believe that quality is more important than quantity. Keeping their production down allows them to better monitor the details of the wine making process. They produce small-lots (sometimes less than 50 cases) to further preserve and enhance the varietal characteristics that they generate in the vineyard.


They believe that experimentation is an important step towards unlocking their vineyard's, and this region’s, potential. They have 21 acres of cool climate varieties: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. They are also examining some more obscure red varieties that work well in cooler regions of Europe.