Unveiling the Hidden Gems of Rochester and the Finger Lakes
Amidst the picturesque landscapes of upstate New York lies a haven for wine enthusiasts, a region where the art of winemaking thrives and each bottle tells a story of passion and terroir, where vineyards come alive and exceptional wineries beckon with the promise of unique flavors and unforgettable experiences. This month, we’re highlighting some of our favorite wineries with rich histories.
Song Hill Winery
Song Hill Winery is where passion meets philanthropy. Nestled in Victor, NY, the small, family-run winery is dedicated to crafting ultra-premium sparkling and still wines from the cool-climate varietals of Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay, flourishing in the Finger Lakes and surrounding regions.
Song Hill Farm was the home of Song Hill Thoroughbreds and H. James Bond Racing Stable for 25 years. In 2009, the family began converting some of the land into a vineyard, where the wine-makers use a hands-on approach for everything including hand-picking and sorting their grapes.
What’s even more special is that in addition to pursuing the dream of creating high-quality wine, the Winery has pledged to donate 10% of their profits to charitable organizations such as Foodlink and Willow Domestic Violence Center. Join us on a journey where exquisite wines meet a heartwarming dedication to community, making every sip at Song Hill a toast to both craftsmanship and compassion.
The journey to Billsboro Winery began in 1992 when two Peace Corps volunteers, fell in love in Tunisia. Upon returning to the United States, Kim and Vinny honeymooned in wine country and discovered their shared passion. After realizing their city life wasn’t cutting it, they pursued a dream to become winemakers. Vinny left his job to apprentice on Long Island, honing his winemaking skills.
In 2007, they seized the opportunity to own and operate Billsboro Winery, living out their dream amidst the vine-covered landscapes. Nestled in the heart of wine country, they offer artfully crafted wines on the deck, surrounded by stunning scenery. Each glass embodies a part of their journey, a blend of passion and perseverance. Billsboro Winery offers more than just a tasting; it’s an immersive experience that shares a love story with every sip.
Casa Larga Winery
Casa Larga, a testament to preserving Italian heritage, is deeply rooted in the legacies of its founders, Mr. C and Mrs. C. Andrew Colaruotolo, born in the small Italian village of Gaeta in 1931, grew a love for the land while working in his family’s vineyards.
Immigrating to Rochester at 17, he pursued a career in masonry and architecture, laying the foundation for his passion for winemaking. Ann Campbell, born in Rochester to Italian immigrant parents, met Andrew in 1956, leading to a partnership in life and business. In 1974, Andrew planted the first vines in Fairport, founding Casa Larga Vineyards and turning his hobby into an iconic winemaking enterprise. Their dedication to preserving Italian heritage and crafting quality wines has left an enduring legacy.
The winery transitioned from a hobby to the 21st licensed winery in New York State, marking a golden era in winemaking. In 2004, Mr. C passed away, leaving a legacy carried on by his wife, Mrs. C, until her passing in 2015. Their three children actively continue the family tradition, with Andrea in Marketing, Mary Jo in Accounting and IT, and John in Winemaking.
As the vineyard and winery thrive under their watchful eyes, the Casa Larga legacy extends to grandchildren and dedicated employees, ensuring the continuation of this cherished family tradition.