Producer Profile
Hermann J. Wiemer
Finger Lakes, New York, USA

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Hermann J. Wiemer

Finger Lakes, New York, USA

Nurturing excellence in the heart of the Finger Lakes

Established in the 1960s by a Mosel native, eponymous estate Hermann J. Wiemer has since been a pioneer of first class viticulture and winemaking in the Finger Lakes. Wiemer has played a key role in consolidating the region’s reputation for award-winning Riesling and Chardonnay. Now led by Fred Merwarth, Hermann’s long-time apprentice, and Oskar Bynke, the estate has built upon its founder’s legacy and strengthened its commitment to sustainability.

Location: Finger Lakes, New York, USA

Working with us since: 2020

Viticultural standards: Organic Certified – in conversion to biodynamic

Website: wiemer.com

Interesting fact: Hermann J. Wiemer has a nursery that pioneered the supply of quality grafted vines in the USA. Since 1979 it has been the source of plant material for leading producers in the Finger Lakes, California and other major regions. Vinifera cuttings were not available commercially when Hermann first arrived at the Finger Lakes and he therefore decided to start his own nursery with buds from Cornell University grafted onto American rootstock.

Hermann J. Wiemer Wines

Bringing a wealth of craft, knowledge and experience from the Mosel, Hermann J. Wiemer made his way across the pond in the 1960s and established his estate in the Finger Lakes. He would play a key role in building the region’s national and international reputation, setting a new benchmark for the local expressions of Riesling and Chardonnay.

With a unique combined expertise in winemaking (his mother’s family had been making wine in Germany’s Mosel Valley for more than 300 years) and vineyard management, his wines soon attracted the attention of wine writers and critics. He inherited much of his vinicultural knowledge – namely uncanny grafting skills and relentless willingness to experiment to find the best clones of each varietal for each plot – from his father, a reputed nurseryman responsible for restoring vines in the Mosel region in the aftermath of WWII. Today, Wiemer’s nursery is still a fundamental pillar of the business, supplying the best plant material to vineyards across the USA.

Upon his retirement in 2007, Hermann handed over the winery to Fred Merwarth, his long-time apprentice, who had been in charge of winemaking and vineyard management since 2003 . He partnered with university friend Oskar Bynke, a Swedish agronomist, to carry on Hermann’s legacy while bringing a fresh vision to the whole operation. With Fred and Oskar at the helm of the estate, Wiemer has consolidated its focus on sustainable viticulture and low intervention winemaking. The vineyards are now in full conversion to biodynamics and only indigenous yeasts are used, since 2008, to ferment the wines.