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Red Newt Cellars

David and Debra Whiting met in the late 1980s when David was working a...

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Red Newt Cellars Winemaker Kelby Russell Winery Image

David and Debra Whiting met in the late 1980s when David was working as cellar master at a Finger Lakes winery and Debra was supervising microbiology labs at Cornell University. David’s oenological career blossomed as he worked at three different vineyards in Finger Lakes and Debra’s passion for food led her to start a gourmet cheesecake business and then an upscale catering company. The couple founded Red Newt Cellars in 1998 and Debra opened the Red Newt Bistro alongside the first wine releases in June of 1999. In 2011 Debra’s life was sadly cut short, prompting David to delegate some of his duties and hire a winemaker. In 2014 Kelby Russell, a Finger Lakes native, joined the team as the head winemaker.

 

Today, the Red Newt Cellars winery and Bistro are located in the small town of Hector in the Finger Lakes region of New York, on the southeastern corner of Seneca Lake. At 600 meters below sea level, Seneca Lake is the deepest of the Finger Lakes and one of the deepest lakes in the United States. The effects of the lake and the resulting range of surrounding altitudes and soil types create a wide array of unique terroirs in a relatively small area.

 

All of the vineyards Red Newt work with for their vinifera program are located on and around the Lake. To the Northwest, Nut Road is comprised of limestone and sandstone and produces an aromatic, delicate Loire Valley-style Cabernet Franc used for Kelby’s rosé. To the west sits Lahoma Vineyard, Red Newt’s largest vineyard. This land is all sandstone and is one of the highest vineyards in the area. The Knoll, a parcel within Lahoma Vineyard that is used to grow the benchmark Riesling for Red Newt, is the highest point at 1,600 ft. Nearby, lower-lying vines provide grapes for some of the other wines including the Circle Riesling and the Dry Riesling. Near the bottom of the lake is Tango Oaks, a compelling site that is a flood plain offering a mix of silt and loam on top of the bedrock. This site features Riesling planted to Alsatian clones, as opposed to the more typical German style Geisenheim ones, which brings an interesting tropical fruit finish to wines from this spot. The east bank of the lake is called the “Banana Belt,” a reference to its warm climate that farmers used to joke was well situated for banana growing. This microclimate is where you’ll find Red Newt’s red varieties, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

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  • Red Newt Cellars Lahoma Vineyards Riesling 2014  Front Label
    Red Newt Cellars Lahoma Vineyards Riesling 2014
    Riesling from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
    • WS93
    • RP92
    • WE90
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  • Red Newt Cellars Cabernet Franc 2018  Front Label
    Red Newt Cellars Cabernet Franc 2018
    Cabernet Franc from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
    • WE90
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    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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  • Red Newt Cellars Glacier Ridge Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2015  Front Label
    Red Newt Cellars Glacier Ridge Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2015
    Cabernet Franc from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
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      Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    • Red Newt Cellars Gewurztraminer 2017 Front Label
      Red Newt Cellars Gewurztraminer 2017
      Gewurztraminer from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
      • WE91
      • RP90
      3.2 14 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $16.99
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      16 99
      16 99
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    • Red Newt Cellars Circle Riesling 2018  Front Label
      Red Newt Cellars Circle Riesling 2018
      Riesling from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
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      • Red Newt Cellars Semi-Dry Riesling 2017  Front Label
        Red Newt Cellars Semi-Dry Riesling 2017
        Riesling from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
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        • Red Newt Cellars Tango Oaks Riesling 2014 Front Label
          Red Newt Cellars Tango Oaks Riesling 2014
          Riesling from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
          • WS94
          • WE93
          • RP92
          3.4 8 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $24.99
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        • Red Newt Cellars Dry Riesling 2016 Front Label
          Red Newt Cellars Dry Riesling 2016
          Riesling from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
          • RP91
          3.6 8 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $18.99
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          18 99
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        • Red Newt Cellars Circle Riesling 2013 Front Label
          Red Newt Cellars Circle Riesling 2013
          Riesling from New York, Other U.S.
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          • Red Newt Cellars Semi-Dry Riesling 2016  Front Label
            Red Newt Cellars Semi-Dry Riesling 2016
            Riesling from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
            • WS89
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            Currently Unavailable $16.99
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          • Red Newt Cellars The Knoll Riesling 2015  Front Label
            Red Newt Cellars The Knoll Riesling 2015
            Riesling from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
            • JS95
            • WE92
            • RP91
            4.4 7 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $36.99
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            36 99
            36 99
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          • Red Newt Cellars Circle Riesling 2017 Front Label
            Red Newt Cellars Circle Riesling 2017
            Riesling from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
            • WW92
            • RP89
            3.7 21 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $14.99
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            14 99
            14 99
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          • Red Newt Cellars Finger Lakes Dry Riesling 2013 Front Label
            Red Newt Cellars Finger Lakes Dry Riesling 2013
            Riesling from New York, Other U.S.
            • WE92
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $19.99
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            19 99
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          • Red Newt Cellars Circle Riesling 2016 Front Label
            Red Newt Cellars Circle Riesling 2016
            Riesling from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
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              Currently Unavailable $14.99
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              14 99
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            • Red Newt Cellars Gewurztraminer 2014 Front Label
              Red Newt Cellars Gewurztraminer 2014
              Gewurztraminer from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
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                Currently Unavailable $16.99
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                16 99
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              • Red Newt Cellars Dry Riesling 2015  Front Label
                Red Newt Cellars Dry Riesling 2015
                Riesling from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
                • JS93
                • RP90
                • WE90
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $18.99
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                18 99
                18 99
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              • Red Newt Cellars Circle Riesling 2010 Front Label
                Red Newt Cellars Circle Riesling 2010
                Riesling from New York, Other U.S.
                • WS87
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                13 99
                13 99
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              • Red Newt Cellars Finger Lakes Dry Riesling 2010 Front Label
                Red Newt Cellars Finger Lakes Dry Riesling 2010
                Riesling from New York, Other U.S.
                • WS87
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                Currently Unavailable $17.99
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              • Red Newt Cellars Noble Dry Riesling 2017  Front Label
                Red Newt Cellars Noble Dry Riesling 2017
                Riesling from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
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                • Red Newt Cellars Cabernet Franc 2017  Front Label
                  Red Newt Cellars Cabernet Franc 2017
                  Cabernet Franc from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
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                    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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                  • Red Newt Cellars Davis Farms Vineyard Riesling 2009 Front Label
                    Red Newt Cellars Davis Farms Vineyard Riesling 2009
                    Riesling from New York, Other U.S.
                    • W&S93
                    • WS90
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                    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                  • Red Newt Cellars Cabernet Franc 2012 Front Label
                    Red Newt Cellars Cabernet Franc 2012
                    Cabernet Franc from New York, Other U.S.
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                    • Red Newt Cellars Semi-Dry Riesling 2010 Front Label
                      Red Newt Cellars Semi-Dry Riesling 2010
                      Riesling from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
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                      • Red Newt Cellars Pinot Gris 2013 Front Label
                        Red Newt Cellars Pinot Gris 2013
                        Pinot Gris/Grigio from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
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                        • Red Newt Cellars Glacier Ridge Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2012 Front Label
                          Red Newt Cellars Glacier Ridge Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2012
                          Cabernet Franc from Finger Lakes, New York, Other U.S.
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $24.99
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                            24 99
                            24 99
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