Thirty years ago, Kim Engle and his artist wife, Debra, had a love affair – with wine!
In 1978, Kim took a leave of absence from Cornell University (where he and Debra met) and found himself pruning grapes on a vineyard overlooking Cayuga Lake. The hard work – outside all day in frosty temperatures – suited him. His passion intensified a year later, when he found himself in the Alto Adige region of Northern Italy. After finishing a day spent laboring in the vineyards, drinking a glass of wine he had made himself, he realized he had found his life’s passion: to become a vigneron.
He returned to Cornell to complete his studies (including a stint at CSUF in Fresno, CA for viticulture and oenology, a program not yet available at Cornell) and shared with Debra his dream of buying land and starting a vineyard. She also had fallen in love with wine – and Kim! – over the years, and the decision was easy. In 1999, they moved to the Finger Lakes and bought a farmhouse that overlooked a small creek – Bloomer Creek.
Bloomer Creek Vineyard was established by combining 10 acres of two different vineyard designations which lay on the west side of Cayuga Lake. In 2012, Kim and Debra purchased an abandoned site on the east side of Seneca Lake, one mile from their production cellar in Hector, and planted four acres of Riesling. Now, Bloomer Creek has small plantings of Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Riesling. This diversity of terroir and grape variety is a direct expression of Kim and Debra’s passion to explore and produce world class wines in a burgeoning wine region.
The cool climate of the Finger Lakes lends itself to Old World-style winemaking. They don’t use any pesticides or machines, and rely on indigenous yeasts in the winemaking process. As a result, their wines are a little wild – but in that effortless way that defines pure elegance.
When their Tanzen Dame Edelwicker and White Horse Red Blend came across our tasting table, it was love at first sight.