Rooftop Reds

Today we want to talk about a true wine of high. As much as 1,400 meters. At that distance, on top of a skyscraper in New York, will be harvested, for the first time, a vineyard planted on a roof.

The 1,400-meter-tall building is located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard industrial area, and a vineyard is planted on its roof from which it is expected that 300 bottles of the Rooftop Reds wine can be produced.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard might not be exactly what comes to mind when envisioning a terroir that is suitable for viticulture. But with the help of Finger Lakes industry leaders and Cornell University, we have developed an urban planter system that is the first of its kind. Rooftop Reds has commissioned 42 of these state-of-the-art planters to fill our 14,800 square-foot rooftop at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. With these in place, production of a sustainable and completely Brooklyn vintage will be possible
As their vines mature (first harvest in October 2017), the winery produces three wines made from grapes sourced from New York State's Finger Lakes region. These bottles, along with a carefully-curated selection of wine from other Finger Lakes producers such as Sheldrake Point, Hermann J. Wiemer, and Chateau Lafayette, will be available to customers who visit the rooftop this season. It's a rare opportunity to sample unique, lesser-known wines from the Finger Lakes, an under-appreciated wine region area still largely unknown even amongst New Yorkers.
You don’t need a high level of wine fluency to experiment with blending wines, according to Countryman and Shomaker (Both co-founders of Rooftop), and the event is geared to all wine drinkers, from beginners to expert tasters. Even the most knowledgeable wine connoisseurs can learn something from an event like this, Shomaker said, because no one has ever tried these particular wines in any combination.
“I think events like this really are for everyone, because it comes down to the wines themselves, the blend itself,” Shomaker said. “Everybody is going to learn something, whether you’re a high level Somm or just a casual wine lover, because it is based around a unique experience.”

Guests will get a little bit of tasting education as part of the event, but Countryman plans to dive right in and get attendees thinking about the way different aspects of the wines work together or against each other.

“One wine may actually overpower another, or one wine might be a little higher in acid and the other a little lower, so when they blend together they actually soften each other up and marry together well,” Countryman said. “They’ll be able to see the art behind the winemaking, and get a feel for the way we taste them, the way we blend percentages together to actually make a better blended wine than the individual wines on their own.”

Guests will receive some guidance on the general direction that Rooftop Reds is thinking about for its blend, but will be allowed to experiment in groups and come up with their own percentage blends. After a taste testing and discussion, in which everyone will participate, Countryman and Shomaker will use the feedback from the initial influencers in the group to decide on the exact final blend.
For this, scientists have developed special ecological planters with a floor containing 40% of recycled broken glass. In it, the strains are planted. It seeks to imitate the poor soils in which, in a traditional way, the strains would be planted.
The resulting wine will be a mixture of the five vine varieties planted on the roof: merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot.
The project has been made possible by a crowdsourcing campaign. Will they be pioneers in a new way of making wines?
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