The Sheldrake Point Vineyard was established in 1997. The 155 acre winery is on the Sheldrake Point which is a point of land that juts into the Cayuga from the western shore. The winery is right on the lake and has vines growing nearly to the shore. The location of the vineyard on the point enhances the moderating influences of the lake. Cayuga has a depth of about 400 feet at the point which provides a significant heat sink effectively lengthen the local growing season by more than two weeks over the surrounding regions. The Devonian slate and shale provide the mineral backbone seen in the local region and certainly evident in the Sheldrake wines. The Rieslings are rich and confident wines. They show strength and structure with lots of fruit and terrific balance. Like the Senaca Lake banana belt, they show the impact of the extra two weeks of growing season that the Sheldrake Point provides the grapes.
The winery was founded by a partnership of a number of individuals. Bob Madill, was one of the founders and is the General Manager and Winegrower for Sheldrake Point and has a diverse background in high tech marketing as well as the Ontario wine business. He is also an evangelist for Cayuga Lake and Finger Lakes wines. Dave Breeden is the Winemaker for the vineyard and experienced in the winemaking business throughout the Finger Lakes. He holds a number of degrees in chemistry as well as philosophy. Both Madill and Breeden seem to take a very scientific approach to what ends up in the glass and how it got there. This brings a sense of precision to the balance and complexity of their better efforts.
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