Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Keuka Springs Winery

Here’s the spot to take a little break and enjoy the beauty of Keuka Lake from the stone terrace as you sip your wine. As you come up the drive check out the vineyards on your right and the large 1920s casks along the walkway. Once in the tasting room and gift shop you’ll notice more articles of the past – one wall is from the 1940’s Great Western Winery and old champagne racks make up the bar.

Though they don’t offer tours, they do like to answer questions! Keuka Springs is family owned and operated and the personal touch truly shines here. As Len and Judy Wiltberger, the owners, say, ”we have a great staff, we’re just blessed, people can expect to have fun and learn about wine.”

1985 marked their first vintage. All four wines that year received medals – two of them gold! Since then they have grown to nearly 20 different medal winning wines with a range from dry to semi-sweet. Len and Judy’s four children have grown as well and contribute to the success of the business. Jeanie has a degree in horticulture from UC Davis (one of the best schools for the industry) and is in charge of the website and promotional side. Oldest son Mark has taken on the lead role of winemaker. The other two sons provide their input from afar in North Carolina.

Naming the wines is important too. Taking great care and effort it’s like naming a child. There’s Millers Cove Red named for the view of Millers Cove, Celebrate from the millennium and many others. Choosing from a range of gold, silver and bronze medal wines, along with a knowledgeable and hospitable staff makes your tasting experience one to enjoy!

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