By Scott Scanlon – Refresh Editor
The impending release of two new blends from Freedom Run Winery is shrouded in a bit of mystery – deliberately.
What would you expect from wines called Conspiracy Red and Conspiracy White?
The “wine design team,” made up of a half-dozen staffers, has spent the last couple years developing and nurturing the taste of the new wines, said Lawrence Manning, owner of the seven-year-old winery on Lower Mountain Road in Cambria.
“We don’t allow one person to make decisions here,” Manning said.
Conspiracy White combines Cayuga, Pino Grigio, Chardonnay, Reisling, Semillion and Sauvignon Blanc varietals.
“It’s good with roasted vegetables and garlic, great with chicken,” Manning said.
The red mixes Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Pinot Noir and Syrah grapes. The combination gives the wine a smoky, leathery taste that pairs well with most meats, including barbecue.
“Try drinking some of the red wines with tuna,” Manning also advised.
Many of the varietals used in the blends are grown in the vineyard behind the tasting room, next to a historic barn that has been renovated and is used for weddings. Some of the grapes come from other sources in nearby wine regions.
Which ones, and what are the percentages of each variety in the pair of new wines?
Manning isn’t saying.
“It’s top secret. It’s a conspiracy.”
I spoke with Manning on Sunday at the winery, during a fundraiser for the Western & Central New York Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Why am I writing about wine?
Because it’s healthy, say researchers and doctors, some of whom helped me with this story last year on the health benefits of wine.
Manning looks to get the labels for the two new blends as early as today and start selling them in the winery for $14.95. The wines will be available at local wine retailers in the coming weeks.
My tip: Conspiracy Red is well worth the price. Manning is having second thoughts about that price point, understandably, but vows to stay with it during the first vintage.
He also plans to grow hops in a “hops hut” out back of the winery this summer, and maybe do a bit of beer tasting.
It’s all part of a growing Freedom Run operation on the growing Niagara Wine Trail.