Lemberger thrives at this site, year after year producing a wine with lush fruit, exotic flavors, and unique almost perfumed aromatics. DWC sources Lemberger from other high-quality sites, but none have such intensity and expression. Sunrise Hill Lemberger is one of the few wines DWC bottles as a single vineyard EVERY vintage because it is so consistent, so good, so unique. At DWC each vintage, every varietal from every vineyard is vinified in separate lots. Each barrel goes through a rigorous taste test looking for power, flavor, mouth feel, expression, elegance, and uniqueness. Only the best barrels are chosen for single vineyard or reserve designation, and only make the cut in certain years when the winemaker and owners agree it would be criminal to blend away such unique and fantastic cuvée.
One of the attributes that makes Sunrise Hill great is its geology. Across the Finger Lakes exists a complex soil matrix with significant variations of soil slope, proximity to the lake, fertility, depth, drainage and mineral composition. Sunrise Hill has excellent characteristics, including a gentle slope (2-8%) close to Cayuga lake that not only benefits from early sun, but also provides good air movement especially important in preventing freeze damage in the winter and spring. The soils are deep well-drained loamy till derived from limestone, dolomite, and calcareous shale, and from lesser amounts of sandstone and siltstone. Grape vines love good drainage and access to plant nutrients, especially minerals such as limestone and calcareous shale. Limestone in soil helps vines in multiple ways, including balancing soil pH, improving root nutrient uptake, and providing appropriate water retention and release. This leads to healthy vigor, healthy fruit, and bright flavors. By properly farming on a great site like this, one can achieve great aromatics, concentration, and depth across the palate. In young vines, much of the plant physiology takes place above ground and in the first few feet of soil depth that make up its active microbiome. As the vine matures, it sends roots down into the deep layers where it finds pockets of different minerals and extracts from them additional unique qualities that set it apart from young vines and which are truly expressive of site. The unique combination of geologic attributes, with passionate farming and winemaking, allows Sunrise Hill to express flavors, aromatics, and mouth-feel that are as unique as they are beautiful. Truly this is a coveted single-vineyard bottling from Damiani Wine Cellars, production is limited to about 175 cases.