Hermann knew it would work. At a time when few believed in the potential of vinifera varietals, when most thought that the harsh western New York winters would kill the noble vines, he believed that Riesling and Chardonnay could thrive on the western side of Seneca Lake.
Hermann had emigrated from Bernkastel Germany, bringing with him over 300 years of family winemaking tradition. When he first planted vinifera vines at the HJW vineyard in 1976, his experience convinced him that the lake would protect the vines, the roots of the vines would make themselves at home in the rich shale-dominated soil, the grapes would ripen with a good balance, and the wines would be the testament.
It is in pursuit of Hermann’s determined philosophy that we combine the best of old-world viticulture practices with sustainable modern techniques in our nursery, vineyard, and winemaking and ensure that our wines embody the finest expression of our vineyards.