King Ferry Vineyards is a small, hand-tended, 27-acre vineyard on the east side of Cayuga Lake. We grow Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Franc and Vidal grapes.
King Ferry Vineyard’s first planting took place in 1984. We planted Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir. Since then, the vineyard has been constantly growing and evolving. We have planted Cabernet Franc and Vignoles, as well as more Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer throughout the 90’s and early 2000s. Most recently, we planted 2.5 acres of Chardonnay overlooking Cayuga Lake. We currently have 27 functional acres in our vineyard, and are working on making those 27 acres as sustainable as possible.
Here at King Ferry Vineyards, we are dedicated to sustainability. To us, sustainability means that we won’t exhaust the land – it will be usable for generations to come. To achieve this, we have implemented and pioneered many practices that are unique to us in this region. Some of these practices include palissage, root pruning, native and naturalized cover crops, a dedication to not using herbicides or conventional insecticides, hand harvesting, and fastidious balance pruning.
Attention to terroir also has a huge impact on our practices. Terroir refers to the “specificity of place” – the unique set of environmental and social circumstances that make the vine, grapes and wine taste and act the way they do. Terroir can include soil, climate, microclimate, precipitation, native ecosystem, the people who work with the vines, etc.
Since 2009, we have been doing our own research on ways to become more sustainable, as well as bringing in other individuals and even Cornell to perform studies in our vineyards. Finding the best ways to care for our vines while caring for the planet is very important to us.