Michael Vorauer spent over 30 years mastering the skills of handcrafted wine-making and brings years of knowledge, experience, and passion to Folino Estate as our Winemaker. He developed his multifaceted expertise through formal education, studying viticulture and wine-making on the Rhine River Valley, and working as a winemaker in different regions across the US. As our winemaker, Michael quickly launched Folino Estate into a respected and award-winning winery in the East Coast.
A little Q&A with Michael!
What are your passions and inspirations for wine making?
"My passion comes from my family heritage and experiences as a child visiting the old family winery. We would go into the half buried wine cellar with a sliding wooden door at the entrance with a window with iron bars on it. I would walk down some steps into the old laboratory which was located between the two rooms on either side. In each room there were two rows of double stacked barrels . I guess one could say my inspiration started then too. It was a walk into the past seeing the old brass instruments and glass lab ware sitting behind glass pane wooden doors in the cabinets above the counters. There were old bottles of wine as well with the old family label, albeit they were very old and oxidized. We used to ride on the old Farmall McCormick Deering tractor with twin front center wheels through the vineyard of 85 year old vines planted on 10’ x 10’ centers and pick grapes into wooden baskets and crates for making jellies."
What is your favorite part
of the wine making process?
"Every part of the wine making process is a joy. In the early in the spring the grapes begin to show signs of life as they pop out of their cocoon like structures. When they are about approximately 4-6 inches in length, one can see the tiny clusters. Throughout the summer, they develop into mature clusters and begin the ripening process near mid to late fall. The grapes are harvested by their ripeness and not before to assure the essence is captured in the berries, for they determine the quality of their destination later , as wine."
What is your favorite wine?
"That is a tough question to answer. For each wine has its own unique character and profile. But I would have to say it would be our 2015 Valentino made from predominately Teroldego with a small amount of Barbera and a hint Cabernet Sauvignon. Oh and definitely watching the sunset!"
Since its opening in 2015, Folino Estate Wines have been awarded numerous medal in different wine competitions. These awards and honors would not have been possible without the passion, determination, and expert craftsmanship of Michael.
2018 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
- Frizzante Moscato - Double Gold
- Frizzante Rosato - Silver
- 2014 Tannat - Silver
- 2015 Lorenzo Forte - Silver
- 2016 Luca Forte - Silver
- 2015 Pinot Chardonnay - Bronze
- 2016 Pinot Grigio - Bronze
- 2015 Valentino - Bronze
- 2015 Sangiovese - Bronze
- 2016 Traminette - Bronze
- 2015 Viognier - Bronze
2018 International Eastern Wine Competition (East Meets West)
- 2015 Folino Estate Lorenzo Forte - Gold
- 2017 Folino Estate Frizzante Moscato - Silver
- 2015 Folino Estate Merlot - Silver
- 2016 Folino Estate Pinot Noir - Silver
- Folino Estate Luca Forte - Bronze
- 2015 Folino Estate Barrel Aged Chardonnay - Bronze
2017 PA Wine Association Competition
- 2016 Chambourcin - Bronze