It’s been a year since Living Roots Wine & Co., Rochester’s only urban winey, opened it’s doors, and it’s been exciting to see how they’ve evolved so quickly. Living Roots has truly become part of the Rochester community, using their space to teach classes on wine and cheese (shameless plug, I’ll be teaching again soon so sign up for their newsletter if you’re interested in taking my classes), hosting events for the Rochester Brainery, Upstate Social Sessions, and more, and now we’re seeing their wine pop up at a variety of local restaurants.
And yes, the wine is still fantastic, but that too has changed. In one year they’ve expanded their wine selection, dramatically expanding their offerings of both Finger Lakes and Australian wines.
So I thought it was about time we did an update of Living Roots’ wine.
Also, it was the perfect place to have our first winery outing with our two week old because we knew if we went early on a weekday it would be a little quieter and it’s only a ten minute drive from our house.
Wine Tasting at Living Roots
The tasting list is currently divided into three categories: Riesling, White & Rosé, and Red. Each flight includes four wines for you to sample, and you can add on an extra sample if there is something you’ve missed from another flight.
Like always, we decided to split two flights (Riesling and Red) and add on a couple samples from the White list that we had missed.
We started with sips of the 2016 Finger Lakes Sparkling Riesling, which is made using the traditional method. It has clear notes of citrus and bread crust, with some floral hints, and when sipped it tastes like a creamy key lime pie with a pastry crust. The acidity is fun and bright, and pops against the custardy palate.
One of the surprises of the afternoon was the 2017 Finger Lakes ‘Golden Bosc’ Pinot Gris. It has a big, bold, aromatic nose full of stonefruit and pear, that is complemented by a hint of sweetness and a creamy mouthfeel.
Of the red flight, my two favorites were the 2016 McLaren Vale Grenache Graciano blend, which has notes of strawberry, raspberry and baking spices that continued on the palate with a high acidity and mid tannin, and the 2016 ‘Coastal Wattle’ Cabernet Sauvignon, that starts with a nose of cherry and licorice, and ends with earthy, herbaceous notes and a grippy tannin.
While it wasn’t on the menu, we got a pre-release taste of the 2017 Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc, which was one of my favorite sips of the afternoon. Living Roots’ Cab Franc has a nose of raspberry, smoke, pepper, and green pepper, with a lingering chalky tannin. It is true to the varietal and region, which makes it fun as a counterpoint to the Australian reds.
Planning Your Visit
Hours: 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday.
Tasting Fees: $9 for the Riesling and White & Rosé, $10 for the Red flight, and $2 for extra samples of wine.
Wine Prices: The wine by the bottle ranges from $18 for the Rosé to low-$30s for the sparkling wine and some reds.
Other Amenities: They are consistently rotating their selection of cheeses and chocolates, currently you can pick from two different cheeseboards and one chocolate board.
They also host classes on wine tasting and pairing, have monthly yoga and live music on select nights.
Final thoughts? If you haven’t taken the chance to get out to Living Roots, you should! It’s fun to have easy access to a winery in Rochester, and they have a great selection of wine that is sure to please everyone.