There aren’t many producers nearer and dearer to our hearts than Kim Engle and Debra Bermingham, the fiercely individualistic and jovial duo behind Bloomer Creek in the Finger Lakes. This isn’t a region known for organic, natural winemaking to say the least- when they started out, they were met with skepticism- told it couldn’t be done. What they have achieved is a singular gift to the cold-weather dwellers on the east coast- they are a gem of the region.
Bloomer Creek Vineyard started when Kim and Debra purchased the house and land, planting vines in 1999, but the inspiration came much earlier. In 1978, Kim, then a student at Cornell, worked at a vineyard near Cayuga Lake, and fell in love with vineyard life. Before completing his studies at Cornell, he studied viticulture and enology in California, and got to work buying land and planting vines upon his return. He met Debra through a mutual friend- she is an accomplished artist, showing work nationally and internationally since the 70s. It’s no surprise that Bloomer Creek possesses the identity they do, one of committed and detailed work paired with sensitivity and artistry – the result of two insightful souls pursuing a dream together.
They have a few different distinct parcels: Morehouse Road and Auten Vineyard, planted in 1999, with Barrow Vineyard added in 2012. They take care to bottle the wines from each vineyard separately, highlighting each site’s unique terroir.
From 1986- 89 our friend, artist Jimmy Wright, documented his dreams each night in ball point pen on library cards. This 2017 Auten Dry Riesling, from our 30-year-old vineyard on the west side of Cayuga Lake, features “dream card 4/15/89.” Auten Vineyard – our “secret garden” – produces highly aromatic wines, undercut with taught minerality. Compared to 2016, this 2017 is a more sumptuous expression of the terroir, evoking a restrained Wachau Riesling. Spontaneously fermented, unfined and unfiltered, with minimal S02 only at bottling.
-From the producer