Fumie's Sphere

Insights into the worlds of winemaking and nature

Our Story March 20, 2015

Filed under: At The Winery — fumiethorpe @ 9:20 pm
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The Barn of Straubing Vineyard under construction in 1978

The Barn of Straubing Vineyard under construction in 1978

Bob Straubing of Newark, New York, was a great wine aficionado as well as an amateur winemaker all his life that motivated him to create his own winery. He prepared one acre out of 50 acres of his newly purchased property in East Bay area in Wayne County, New York, for planting grape vines. His first planting consisted of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon on half of the cultivated soil in 1978. The following year he planted Cayuga White on the other half. Soon he realized that Cabernet Sauvignon would not grow well in his vineyard so he replaced them with Riesling. He named his new venture Straubing Vineyard.

As the vines matured, he started making wine using his own grapes. His production soon exceeded the Federal limit of 200 gallons per year for a family so he went to get a license. The birth of the first farm winery in Wayne County took place in 1984. He put his winery for sale in 1988 when he decided to retire to Florida for the winter months.

Fumie Thorpe was born and grew up in Tokyo, Japan, and came to the United States in 1983 to study meteorology at SUNY Oswego. She married to Jock Thorpe, an electrician, in the fall of 1986 while staying in college. When her father came to visit in the summer of 1988, they happened to see Straubing Vineyard for sale. He thought it was interesting, and made an offer to Bob. The deal went through despite the strong opposition of Fumie. It turned out to be the beginning of Thorpe Vineyard.

She became the business owner and the primary workforce while still working for her college degree as Jock had a full time job that prohibited his constant involvement in the operation. She learned everything from scratch; grape growing, winemaking and business practices. The fortunate facts were that she had a strong scientific background as well as having Bob and his long time winemaking friend, Kemp Bloomer, to walk the way through for the first few years of her career. They both had the opportunities to learn some winemaking techniques from Dr. Konstantin Frank. She also frequented the Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva and the Finger Lakes wineries and vineyards to enhance her learning. Their warm hospitality is still deeply appreciated by her.Fialka(2)

In 1991 she completed her meteorology degree with a minor in astronomy. Within a few years another 2 acres of vineyards were planted; expanding the same vinifera varieties, plus red French hybrids, Maréchal Foch and Chancellor. Moore’s Diamond was added in 2007 totaling 3 and half acers of vineyards to date. A good part of the wine currently crafted comes from these homegrown grapes: ever popular varietal Maréchal Foch, Riesling with mineral components enriched by the soil of the vineyards, the most award-winning Fialka whose predominant flavor is derived from Moore’s Diamond. She produces up to 1000 cases of wine per year at the present time.

The business operation has become solely on her own since her divorce in 2008. In the recent years she has brought her long time wish of Sunset Tasting and Starry Starry Night events to reality. Operating a winery was not in the original plan for her life, but it has given her the opportunity to live in a country that was once a dream of this city-born kid. It is truly delightful for her to see the splendid sunset over Lake Ontario and the countless stars shine whenever a clear night arrives. She watches the weather during the day to practice what she mastered in college to manage the grapes. On stormy winter days she might be in her lab to keep track on how the wine is maturing or preparing for the summer events in the coming season. “When no hope was left inside on that starry starry night,” the moment must become a new beginning.

MeatendofOurStory

You are cordially invited to come to experience a good blend
of the wine that reflects this location on our planet Earth and
the Universe that lies beyond us all.

 

Fall Hydrangea November 24, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — fumiethorpe @ 5:14 am
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Hydrangea Foliage(1)I usually boast this hydrangea during summertime for its everlasting multicolored blossoms. However, it had fewer flowers this year only on the south side of the bush that was away from the bitter winter blast. Then this fall its nicely colored foliage stayed there for quite some time until the recent cold snap froze everything. There were even two new flower clusters appeared within the colorful foliage.

Summer 2014 turned out to be rainy and sluggish following the record-breaking harsh winter and cold spring. Then it dried out and warmed up some when September came. Harvest was carried out under mostly favorable weather in October. The first half of November was fairly mild and comfortable without seeing any frost up here.

Though there are only frozen flowers left on the tips of the stalks in the bush now, the memory of fall is still vivid in my mind. So here it is to share with you all.

-Fumie Thorpe

 

Fireflies July 21, 2014

Filed under: Nature — fumiethorpe @ 4:01 am
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firefliesby Fumie Thorpe

 
I walk out to the field looking for

the gathering of the Planets. Over the horizon

what I see are the countless fireflies.

 

They so freely fly up, and

cross the night sky — playfully competing

their acrobatic skills with the shooting stars.

 

Oswego Sunset May 14, 2014

Filed under: Nature — fumiethorpe @ 8:53 pm

brugge_sunsetGood-bye is always

in the evening glow

when the sun

goes down onto the Lake.

 

Mirage shimmers

along the horizon while

ripples are golden by

reflecting the setting sun.

 

We looked for the Young Moon,

but found Venus instead.

Such was

 

probably the last stroll

on this shore

with you.

 

We’re Celebrating Our Triple Win and More! April 2, 2014

Filed under: At The Winery — fumiethorpe @ 9:02 pm

ImageThorpe Vineyard is excited to announce that we received 1 Silver and 3 Bronze Medals for our newest wines in the 2014 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition!!

We were awarded: SILVER for our Georgia Sampson Rosé “Murdered”, BRONZE for XXV, BRONZE for Oliver Curtis Perry White “Insane,” and BRONZE for Big Ed Kelly Red “Robbed!”

In the competition there were…
Wines entered: 3756
Countries entered: 20
States entered: All 50!
Canadian Provinces entered: 6

There was also 75 of the World’s top judges from 16 countries!

 

Coming Spring

Filed under: Nature — fumiethorpe @ 8:56 pm

I picked another old poem from my library to long for the spring. It was written in February 1983 during my last spring in Tokyo before heading for Oswego in September. “Daphne” in this poem is an evergreen shrub of Chinese origin, , that is praised for its small fragrant flowers. It’s probably too cold here to grow them outdoors, but does anyone know if they are available now in the U.S.??Image

 

Coming Spring
by Fumie Thorpe

Periodic precipitation is
a sure sign of spring.
Each raindrop must be encouraging
the greens to burst in the soil.

 

The north wind is howling; though,
the sun is shining through the city streets.
The florets of the Daphne have just started to show their white interiors
as if to fill my sight with their scent already.

 

It makes me feel dizzy somehow when
I think of the best of the spring;
that is promised to arrive here

 

from as far as where our dreams go
to embrace us all with the flowers and songbirds;
and nothing more than the blessing of that southerly breeze.

 

Remembering a Poem… February 26, 2014

Filed under: Nature — fumiethorpe @ 11:15 pm

This is my “Starry Starry Night,” originally written in Japanese in December 1993. I was startled by knowing that it was 20 years ago!

“Vincent” or “Starry Starry Night”
by Fumie Thorpe

Orion and Canis Major dominated the view outside the window.
When I skimmed along the horizon; I thought I saw,
I thought I caught the twinkle of Canopus [1]
on the eastbound toll highway many years ago.

 

The memory continues to embrace me, but
here I am on this northern land where
Big Dipper clears the Lake effortlessly.
Canopus has no chance to come into my sight.

 

When the twilight fades into the darkness of the night,
Northern Cross emerges to stand firmly in the western sky.
The vigorous flow of Milky Way surrounds it, then
gently streams through the Autumn constellations in the southern sky.

 

If I couldn’t find any hope in this Starry Starry Night,
perhaps I wouldn’t be able to carry on.
Just like the moment when
you lost yourself in that Starry Starry Night. [2]


[1] The alpha star of Carina, Canopus is the second brightest star in the heaven. It was called “the Star of the Old Man” in ancient China, and was believed to grant a long life to those who could glimpse it from the latitude around 35°N, where it rises only a few degrees above the horizon that makes it very difficult to be seen.

[2] If you’d like to see an insight of this poem, go to my blog to read my short essay “Starry Starry Night” from our February 2013 Newsletter.

 

 
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