Sips of Glenora - the official blog of Glenora Wine Cellars

Heather Eriole
December 20, 2018 | Heather Eriole

Holiday Food & Wine Pairing Tips

Leading up to the holidays, we host various gatherings as a company to celebrate the season;  a Chinese gift exchange with wine!, shopping and wrapping presents as a team for our adopted local family, and an hors d’oeuvres and cocktail hour hosted by our administrative team. One of the best parts of these celebrations is getting the chance to share holiday traditions, especially related to food and wine.

With that in mind, we’d like to introduce Lisa Cannac, our Direct to Consumer/Assistant Tasting Room Manager. Lisa joined our team in May of 2018, bringing with her extensive experience in the food and wine industry in the Finger Lakes and Long Island, from tasting room management and wine education to food and wine quality assurance and winemaking.  Lisa is also a certified sommelier through the Sommelier Society of America with a highly developed palate for sensory evaluation and food and wine pairing. Given her background, we thought she’d be the perfect person to talk to about holiday traditions and pairings and why certain wines go best with certain foods.  We hope Lisa’s pairing guide below offers a few helpful tips to enhance your traditions. Happy Holidays!

Christmas tree & ornament graphic with overlaid text: Holiday Pairing Guide

During the holidays, I’m able to experience different food traditions as I visit various family members and I enjoy bringing the wines to enhance the dishes.

Here are some tips for pairing wine and food:

–Oaked Red wines and Smooth white wines create creaminess
–Spicy Wines enhance spiciness/heat and tone down sweetness
–Fruit-Forward wines increase fruitiness
–Sweet wines enhance fruitiness and tone down spiciness/heat/saltiness
–Bubbles and acidity cut though heavy/fatty/salty foods and cleanse the palate


The Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes at my cousin’s house
(eaten in courses) 

Oven Baked Clams topped with seasoned breadcrumbs
Wine:  2014 Blanc de Blanc

   Why: acidity and bubbles cut through the savory breadcrumbs without masking the subtle clam taste

Scallops in a butter wine sauce
Wine: FLX Dry Riesling

   Why: Bright acidity cuts through the rich briny scallops and the creamy butter while cleansing the palate

Lobster Tails dipped in butter
Wine: Barrel Fermented Chardonnay

   Why: The buttery chardonnay enhances the buttery dish while the hint of acidity at the end cleanses the palate

Hand Breaded Calamari with a spicy marinara sauce
Wine: Bubbly Muscat

   Why: The sweetness of the Muscat tones down the spiciness and enhances the fruitiness of the tomatoes, the bubbles and light acidity cut into the heaviness of the fried calamari.

Homemade Cannoli
Wine: 2017 Riesling

   Why: The smooth style at the beginning of the Riesling creates an extra creamy mouthfeel and the hint of acidity at the end cuts through the cream and cleanses the palate.


Italian Dinner at my mother’s house

Antipasto Salad with lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, celery, Genoa salami, provolone, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, olives
Wine: Brut Non-Vintage

   Why:  The mild sweetness of the Brut brings out fruitiness of tomatoes and roasted red peppers. Bubbles and acidity cut though the heaviness of the salami and provolone

Baked Ravioli in a fresh tomato sauce with Italian rope sausage
Wine: Black Diamond Express

   Why: The fruit-forward style brings out the fruitiness of the tomatoes and the creaminess of the ricotta.  The Silkiness smooths out the rich sausage.

Chocolate Truffles
Wine: Raspberry Spumante

   Why: Bubbles and crisp acidity cut into the creaminess of the chocolate. The fruitiness of the raspberries intensifies the sweetness and tones down the earthiness of the chocolate.

English Dinner at my sister in law’s house 

Baked Ham with honey glazed carrots, roasted potatoes, sausage stuffing and cranberry sauce
Wine: Yellow Cab or Cranberry Chablis

   Why: The smooth style of each of these wines at the beginning enhances the creaminess of the potatoes. The fruitiness intensifies the sweetness of the carrots and cranberry sauce. Mild acidity at the end cuts through the saltiness of the ham and heaviness of the sausage stuffing.

Pumpkin Pie
Wine: Gewurztraminer

   Why: A hint of sweetness increases the fruitiness and creaminess. Mild spice enhances the Pumpkin spice notes.

A photograph of Lisa Cannac, with the text "Thanks for reading! Happy Holidays -Lisa"

You can find the wines listed in this guide for purchase on our website:


Or you can visit our Tasting Room and pick them up in person!

Christmas Eve:
Tasting Room & Retail Shop: 10AM-3PM
Inn at Glenora: Open until 3PM
Veraisons Restaurant: 11AM-3PM

Closed Christmas Day

Time Posted: Dec 20, 2018 at 8:02 AM Permalink to Holiday Food & Wine Pairing Tips Permalink
Orlando Rodriguez
October 15, 2018 | Orlando Rodriguez

Thanksgiving Tips & Tricks from Chef Orlando

With Thanksgiving upon us, we caught up with Chef Orlando and asked him to share some cooking tips from his many years of preparing Thanksgiving dinner both in his home and at Veraisons. Perhaps you’re hosting and cooking for the first time or cooking for someone with an allergy; whatever it may be, we hope you find a takeaway or two below.

To brine or not to brine
Chef Orlando brines all of our turkeys at Veraisons to bring flavor and moisture in. He uses a saltwater solution with sugar, apples, sage, and peppercorns, but you could also rub salt on the outside of the turkey two days ahead of time and let it sit in an open air chilled environment or try the French way of rubbing butter and herbs under the skin and salting the outside.

How to make sure everything is ready on time
Do the math and plan ahead! It all depends on what time you’re serving and all you have to do is count back from there. Know what’s going in the stove, what’s going in the oven, and how much time everything requires. Be sure to leave resting time for the turkey so the juices have time to redistribute and it has time to finish cooking on the counter. It’s also helpful to set your serving dishes out ahead of time.

Staff Favorite Pairing:
Emily Edsall, Assistant Inn & Dining Room Manager
I love my sparkling wines. My family and I are appetizer people and our tradition is Baked Brie in puff pastry with walnuts and cranberries.

Turkey tips
As you roast your turkey and the fat and juices are falling down into the pan, save some of the fat for the gravy. Take the fat and make your rue (fat and flour mixture), which will thicken your gravy and give it a base flavor of turkey.  If you don’t have time to make a stock for your gravy ahead of time, you can still use the fat to add turkey flavor to store bought gravy.

Make sure your turkey is out for at least an hour at room temperature before it goes into the oven.  Chef Orlando prefers to cook his turkey uncovered all the way through to get a beautiful golden color on the outside.  Also, don’t be scared to pull your turkey out a little early around 150-155 degrees Fahrenheit and let it rest for a half hour. The temperature will rise about 10 more degrees and the juices will disperse back into the bird, resulting in a beautiful turkey that will be nice and moist, especially if you brine it. A good rule of thumb is a ½ pound or 1 pound per person to have enough for leftovers, etc.

Cook stuffing inside or outside
It’s all about personal preference. Chef Orlando’s preference is to cook it in a casserole dish to get a nice crispness on the outside. If you do cook the stuffing inside of the bird, be sure to remove it once the turkey is done, transfer it to a casserole dish, and continue cooking until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Staff Favorite Pairing:
Kerry Keller, General Manager
My favorite wine pairing for Thanksgiving is our Gewürztraminer. Gewürztraminer, in my opinion, compliments the many dishes on the table, from the turkey and stuffing to the green bean casserole.

Pairing wine
Syrah, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer pair extremely well with turkey and all of the traditional accompaniments, but it’s really all about your personal preferences. If you like Chardonnay or something sweeter like our Cranberry Chablis, it will go well. Chef Orlando says you really can’t go wrong. It’s all about having a good time with your loved ones and a good rule of thumb for any celebration is to start with bubbles!

Cooking for a gluten allergy
Keep things separate while cooking! Follow the same recipes you normally would and replace any items with gluten with gluten free items or you can also find a variety of gluten free recipes online. Be sure to keep packaging of gluten free items for your guests. Follow this link for an easy gluten free Thanksgiving guide!

Staff Favorite Pairing:
Steve DiFrancesco, Winemaker
Dark meat turkey with Oak Free Cabernet Franc and Green Bean Casserole with Dry Riesling!

Prep! Prep! Prep!
If you have time to prep, do it! Since Thanksgiving is on Thursday, you could start on Tuesday by cutting your vegetables and making sure things are ready ahead of time. Bake your pies the day before. Make sure you have everything in your house that you need and cook what you know. Don’t go too far out of the ordinary for Thanksgiving and don’t feel ashamed to use packaged puff pastry or pie dough.

Best leftover meal
Chef Orlando loves making soup. He shared, “In my family, everyone loves soup and for some reason, I’m the one that gets stuck making it, but I enjoy it. I make a stock from the carcass and depending on what is leftover, I add it in. You also can never go wrong with turkey sandwiches.”

Staff Favorite Pairing:
Gene Pierce, Owner
Scalloped Oysters with Sauvignon Blanc

Mashed potato tips
Fresh is best!  Peel the potatoes, salt the water, bring them to a boil and lower the heat until at a simmer.  It’s important to bring them to a simmer because when you’re boiling, you’re essentially blasting the outside of the potato versus cooking the inside. Simmering is more gentle and allows them to cook through, making for a nice smooth potato by the time you get them mashed and milled. Some tips: add sour cream for a nice touch and unique flavor. Put some butter and maybe a touch of cream on the top before serving to keep the moisture in, or wrap it plastic and put it in a warming oven.

All of us here at Glenora would like to wish you and yours a wonderful, warm and Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for reading!

Thanksgiving scene with quote: "There is always something to be thankful for. Like wine. And pie. And more wine."

Time Posted: Oct 15, 2018 at 10:36 AM Permalink to Thanksgiving Tips & Tricks from Chef Orlando Permalink
Heather Eriole
May 7, 2018 | Heather Eriole

3 Ways to Celebrate Mom

We’re here to help you celebrate the best woman (or women) in your life! These simple ideas are sure to make her feel special:

1) Give her the gift of wine!  Now through the end of May, enjoy 50% off shipping on 12 bottles or more* in honor of mom. Use code ILoveMom at check out.
[🍷] SHOP NOW [🍷]

On left, a close up shot of bottles of red Glenora wines. On right, wine glasses gathered in a cheers over a table.

2) Pamper her with some rest and relaxation with a getaway to wine country.  Enter to win an overnight stay at the Inn in one our Vintner’s Select Guestrooms!
[💆] ENTER TO WIN [💆] (This contest is closed)

On left, two wine glasses and a bottle of wine, with the vineyards in the background. Top right, one of our Vintners Select guestrooms. Bottom right, a plated dinner in the Veraisons dining room.

3) Treat her to dinner with a panoramic view of Seneca Lake on Mother’s Day.  What better way to celebrate mom than with a special meal?
[🍽️] MENU

On left, the veraisons dining room, with exposed wood and stone fireplace. On right, an artfully plated cut of meat.

*Shipping special excludes 1.5L bottles & Astrapouches. Code “ILoveMom” must be entered for discount to apply. Valid through 5/31/18.

Time Posted: May 7, 2018 at 10:41 AM Permalink to 3 Ways to Celebrate Mom Permalink
Heather Eriole
March 5, 2018 | Heather Eriole

6 Questions with Rachel Hadley

Rachel Hadley joined our team as Associate Winemaker in August of 2017, having previously worked as assistant winemaker at Keuka Springs Vineyard. She also is the Associate Winemaker for our sister winery Knapp Winery, working in tangent with our winemaker Steve DiFrancesco at both wineries. Her experiences in the wine industry include internships and vintages abroad at Framingham Wines of New Zealand and Jim Barry Wines in the Clare Valley of Australia, two very well-known producers of Riesling in the southern hemisphere. With global education always a priority, Rachel knew she needed to continue learning when switching fields to work in the wine industry, hence her decision to work abroad. Knowing she wanted to ultimately work in the Finger Lakes, she focused her international experience on working with aromatic whites, particularly Riesling.

In Rachel’s eyes, “Learning how others do things differently from yourself is essential to excelling in any field–and the best way to do that is to travel and work and speak directly with others. There’s no substitute for that knowledge.” Read on for more from Rachel!

How did you get started in wine?
I was coerced into winemaking by Peter Bell, head winemaker at Fox Run vineyards, while working in the Fox Run tasting room. I visited once just hoping to taste some wine, but he put me to work in the cellar and had me help out with tawny port blending trials (still one of my favorite FRV wines to this day). At the end of the day he said I had good palette and asked me if I wanted to intern for him. The rest is history.

What has surprised you about being a winemaker?
Like most new to wine, I never realized how dirty a job wine making could be. It’s literally been featured on that show “dirty jobs.” But the chance to get outside in the summer, utilize my mind, my senses, and my body all in one day of work has made it the most rewarding and engaging job I’ve ever had.

What is one of your favorite varietals to work with and why?
Gewurztraminer is always a fun grape to work with–it really needs to be cold soaked to extract those exotic and fruity flavors from it’s skins. It also tends to express very different styles of wine depending on the vineyard, which isn’t necessarily true of all varietals. It’s the type of grape that requires a lot of love and attention, and you can really see that love shine through in the bottle as wines with more power and personality.

What excites you about working at Glenora and Knapp with a seasoned winemaker like Steve DiFrancesco?
It’s always exciting to work at wineries with such a rich history and reputation and to keep that history alive and also keep innovating and keep thinking forward to the future. Working with two different wineries means I get so many different vineyard sites and varietals to work with, which as a winemaker is always exciting. Our vineyards and the growers that we work with are always trying new things. The wide variety of vineyard sites means that making wine at Knapp and Glenora allows me to help showcase the both the big picture of wine stylistically in the Finger Lakes as well as focus in on interesting and different projects to show where the region may be heading in the future. 

Steve is wonderful to work with–his passion and enthusiasm for the world of wine is contagious and he has an outstanding knowledge of many of the vineyard blocks that Glenora has been working with for years now. It’s great to be able to learn from his triumphs and failures and also be able to look at things at the winery with fresh eyes and ideas. 

What is one of the most rewarding things about your job?
Seeing ideas and experiments come to fruition is always a satisfying part of the job. Putting a new wine in the bottle triggers a lot of memories and reflection about harvest and everything the team has gone through to get there. It’s nice to do work that really triggers that kind of reflection on a day to day basis. Winemakers, especially Riesling focused winemakers, also work in a very tight knit yet international community. It’s a global village of sorts. And it’s always special to get together from colleagues from around the world and share our ideas, triumphs, and failures.

In your opinion, what makes the Finger Lakes stand out from other wine regions?
The FLX winemaking community is very collaborative. We consistently gather to discuss our work and how we can improve and grow as a region. I’ve had several winemakers come up to me from other regions and countries and express their appreciation (and a bit of envy) of how close we really are as a group. As an American cool climate wine region, we also have a unique advantage in that we have an ideal climate for aromatic white wines, along with the freedom to push and explore how we make wine in general. We have a history of innovation and exploration here. All of these things make it a very exciting time to be making wine in the Finger Lakes.

Here’s a clip of Rachel in action telling our tasting room and retail staff about our 2017 vintage for Dry Rosé before its release:

Time Posted: Mar 5, 2018 at 11:13 AM Permalink to 6 Questions with Rachel Hadley Permalink
Heather Eriole
February 9, 2018 | Heather Eriole

Five Ways to Celebrate Love, Glenora Style

Need some inspiration for making this Valentine’s Day extra special? Here are some ideas for celebrating with the one you love  ❤

1. Lunch for Two.
Grab your sweetie and treat them to a leisurely lunch overlooking Seneca Lake at Veraisons. Our “Lunch for Two” menu makes it easy. Simply select an entrée, a glass of Glenora to go with, and a dessert to share.  Perfect way to enjoy the view and each other over a nice meal.
[❤] Details (This promotion has ended)

Artful photo of Veraisons Valentines Day Lunch for Two, along with place setting and love decoration.

2. Chocolate Truffles & Wine.
For a fun afternoon experience, why not try our Chocolate & Wine Experience? After all, some things like wine and chocolate are just meant for each other! Sample six of our wines paired with luxuriously rich and creamy Belgian chocolate truffles by Guylian in our reserve tasting room. Some of the pairings include Riesling with their Signature Hazelnut truffle and Soft Caramel with Barrel Fermented Chardonnay.
[❤] Details

Our chocolate truffles displayed on a platter, alongside wine glasses and our Chocolate & Wine Experience menu

3. A Four Course Dinner.
For many, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to wine and dine that special someone and a prix fixe menu is an excellent way to make the evening one to remember. Let our talented culinary and service teams handle the cooking and ambience.  All you have to do is show up with your appetites to indulge in our artfully designed four course prix fixe menu. Start with Truffle Celeriac Soup, choose your dish of choice for the second and third course, and end with either cheesecake or chocolate olive oil cake. We’ve selected wine pairings for each course which you can opt to enjoy alongside each dish if you so choose.
[❤] Menus & Reservations (available 2/9-14)

The lobby of the Inn and Veraisons Restaurant, decorated with hearts and red accents for Valentines Day

4. A Bouquet of Rosé.
Skip the bouquet of roses this year and instead surprise your valentine with a bouquet of Rosé! We just released our 2017 Dry Rosé and it’s already a favorite among our visitors and tasting room staff.  For any 2016 Dry Rosé lovers, we still have it in stock as well.  If your valentine prefers wines on the sweeter side, our Raspberry Rosé is a great choice.
[❤] Shop Dry Rosé
(Our Dry Rosé is no longer available)
[❤] Shop Raspberry Rosé

Bottles of Glenora's 2017 Rose, surrounded by pink roses


And last but not least…the crème de la crème..

5. An Overnight Stay at the Inn.
If you really want to wow your love, a romantic getaway to wine country is the ticket. Your evening could like this…start with a glass of our sparkling wine at check in, take in the beautiful winter view of the vineyards and Seneca Lake from your room over chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of our 2006 Brut, and head to Veraisons for a romantic dinner at your leisure using your $100 gift card. The rest is up to you. Enjoy our breakfast buffet the next morning featuring brioche French toast with strawberry compote, eggs benedict and more (buffet available for weekend bookings only). Take the romance level up a notch and have roses or Glenora robes and slippers waiting in your room upon arrival. The options are endless!
[❤] Package Details (This package is not currently available)

A plush white robe and a custom labeled bottle of Glenora Brut, decorated with Valentines items

Time Posted: Feb 9, 2018 at 11:24 AM Permalink to Five Ways to Celebrate Love, Glenora Style Permalink
Heather Eriole
October 23, 2017 | Heather Eriole

What's to Love About Fall at Glenora... Everything!

Fall is truly a magical time in the Finger Lakes. The landscape comes alive with vibrant colors. The air is scented with the sweet smell of grapes ripening. The wineries, vineyards and farms are abuzz with harvest activity. Fall fruits and veggies become abundant. Tourism is at its peak with visitors coming from all over the world to visit our little slice of heaven. The list goes on. It really can’t be beat!

Here at Glenora, it’s a great time to visit to experience harvest firsthand, especially during the week.  You’re almost guaranteed to catch live harvest action and what we like to call the “harvest dance,”  where our winemaking team brings in grapes to be crushed and pressed. While you can witness this from our tasting room windows, a cellar tour gets you up close and personal to where the magic happens on the crush pad and in the cellar. If you’re lucky, you might even catch our winemaker Steve D!

While all of the seasons offer something different and exciting, it’s likely that a majority of the Glenora team would pick fall as their favorite season at the winery. It’s one of the most exciting times of year for many reasons, and with that said, we thought it’d be fun to dive a little deeper and ask some of our staff what they love about autumn. Read on to find out!

What is your favorite thing about fall at Glenora?

“Watching the grapes come in, and the process they go through to eventually end up in the bottle is exciting! Being able to ‘show and tell’ for our visitors as the wine is being made, and to be a part of their Finger Lakes vacation memories, is a lot of fun.”
– Stacy Gray, Retail Manager

“The smell of grapes in the air is by far my favorite part! I also love the colors of the hills across the lake, providing a beautiful backdrop for everyone to enjoy. I love all of the fall colors in the vineyard. They add so much to the property. There is something cozy about it!”
-James Merritt, Assistant Weddings & Event Manager

“The smell of ripe grapes in the air!”
-Emily Edsall, Assistant Inn/Restaurant Manager

“Like most people in wine country I enjoy the sights, sounds, smell of the ripening grapes, the color, and visitors that fall brings. Being a vineyardist and winery owner it also marks the end of the season for the vineyards which started over 10 months ago with pruning—ending now with picking of the grapes—we get to see the culmination of work in the vineyards. At the same time it marks the beginning of the winemaking process something that depending on the grape variety and wine type can last from 6 months to several years. Fall marks the end of one part of grape growing/wine production and the beginning of another.”
–Gene Pierce, Owner & President

"What I like about fall are all the autumn vegetables that we start to get at Veraisons. Butternut squash, buttercup squash, kale, parsnips, sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts..the list goes on."
–Orlando Rodriguez, Executive Chef of Veraisons Restaurant

“The fall is beautiful anyway, and with grapes being harvested almost every day, there’s a feeling of urgency in making sure the quality is as good as it can be, and the excitement in converting the crop into some wonderful wines that our customers will enjoy.”
-Steve DiFrancesco, Winemaker

We hope you’ll consider joining us this fall so you can experience the magic yourself!

Upcoming Fall Events:
10/28: Annual Harvest Dinner at Veraisons
Sparkling wine toast + locally sourced five course meal
11/11: Nouveau Celebration
A long-standing tradition celebrating the first wine of the 2017 harvest
11/23: Thanksgiving Buffet at Veraisons

For harvest updates, be sure to check us out on Facebook and Instagram!

Time Posted: Oct 23, 2017 at 8:50 AM Permalink to What's to Love About Fall at Glenora... Everything! Permalink
Heather Eriole
August 9, 2017 | Heather Eriole

Meet the Lovely Jazz Ladies of August

For the second concert in our 2017 Jazz Greats series, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome two first timers to our Vineyard Stage: Lindsey Webster & Grace Kelly. We like to call them the “Lovely Ladies of August” and talent is something they have no shortage of.

Kicking things off on the 20th will be Lindsey Webster and her soulful voice.   From the first note, Lindsey, a native of Woodstock, N.Y., captivates listeners. Her rich voice enchants a dedicated following who connect with the raw emotion she shares with them. As a Soul R&B artist, she combines an admirable natural talent with a genuine, accessible stage presence. Her voice has been compared to R&B royalty Sade, Mariah Carey, and Anita Baker.

In 2016, her soulful, vocal-driven single “Fool Me Once,” off of her second album, hit #1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz charts, an otherwise instrumental chart, and remained for four weeks, beating out a previous record of three weeks for a vocal-fueled song by Sade.  In the history of the radio airplay chart, the two songs are the only all-out vocals-fueled entries to hit the top.

Our second Lovely Lady is the exuberant Grace Kelly. As a saxophonist, singer, and composer, Grace plays with the heart and passion of an old soul yet with the genre-bending zest and energy of a 24-year-old. She has been a regular with Jon Batiste and Stay Human, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’s band, and recently released her 10th CD as a leader.

She wrote her first song at seven years old, recorded her first CD at 12, and has taken the music world by storm ever since, garnering many awards along the way, including “Jazz Artist of the Year” at the 2016 Boston Music Awards, among others.

In efforts to bring jazz to a younger audience as well as to bridge music, cinematography, and her joyful personality, Grace launched a new weekly video series called “Grace Kelly Pop Up” on social media in February 2017.

It’s going to be an unforgettable afternoon of Jazz overlooking Seneca Lake!

Tickets are $30 and are available online, by phone 800.243.5513, or at any Wegmans store across New York state. We hope you enjoyed learning about our Lovely Ladies of August and we’ll see you on the 20th!

For more information or for tickets, click here. 

To visit Lindsey’s website, click here.
To visit Grace’s website, click here

Time Posted: Aug 9, 2017 at 8:57 AM Permalink to Meet the Lovely Jazz Ladies of August Permalink
Gene Pierce
May 11, 2017 | Gene Pierce

Reflections on 40 Years

The passing of the Farm Winery Act of 1976 was the catalyst for the establishment of our winery. As this legislation passed, our current owner, Gene Pierce, along with Eastman Beers, Edward Dalrymple, all independent grape growers at the time, and businessman Howard Kimball, began to toy with the idea of getting into the wine business.  After some conversations at a Halloween party, the four decided to take action and Glenora Wine Cellars was born.

The winery was officially incorporated on January 17, 1977, what we like to call Incorporation Day, and officially opened in May of 1978, making it the very first winery on Seneca Lake. Over our 40 year history, we’ve experienced many “firsts” as a winery in the Finger Lakes and we’ve evolved and grown just as the Finger Lakes wine industry has.  With any milestone comes time for reflection and as we celebrate 40 years, we like to look back at how it all began.…

Stay tuned to our Facebook page for 40th Anniversary pop-up party announcements and other happenings!

Time Posted: May 11, 2017 at 8:02 AM Permalink to Reflections on 40 Years Permalink
Heather Eriole
December 29, 2016 | Heather Eriole

Bubbly Talk with Steve DiFrancesco

With the New Year fast approaching, our minds are on our favorite celebratory beverage: sparkling wine. After all, what’s New Year’s Eve without popping the cork on a bottle of bubbly?  At Glenora, we’ve been making sparkling wine for over 30 years, with our winemaker Steve DiFrancesco at the helm of production for the past 20.

He first joined our team as an assistant winemaker in the late 80’s, as part of an ambitious expansion program with an emphasis on sparkling wines, after having worked with the excellent sparkling wines of Gold Seal Vineyards. He later became winemaker at Lucas Vineyards, helping to expand their production of both still and sparkling wines, before returning to Glenora in 1995. 

To dig a little deeper, we sat down with Steve to talk bubbles and learn a bit more about his experiences with sparkling wine production over the years and looking to the future. Take a look! 

How long have you been making sparkling wine in the Finger Lakes?
My first job in the wine industry, just out of college, was at Bully Hill Vineyards, riddling tirage in a cold cellar, in the very cold January of 1979. Having just moved here from Florida, I was freezing, and quickly had blisters on my fingers which soon turned to calluses. Within a few months I got a job at Gold Seal Vineyards in the lab, and I worked with Guy DeVaux, of Mumm Napa Valley fame, in the experimental cellar.     


What sparked your interest in sparkling wine production?
Gold Seal was known for very good sparkling wines, especially under the Charles Fournier label. Guy DeVaux and I experimented with tiny quantities of sparkling made with “exotic” varieties such as Aligoté, a somewhat obscure Burgundian-like variety.

What is most exciting/rewarding about making a sparkling wine in the traditional method?
There are so many facets of sparkling wine production, from the grapes, to the primary fermentation, to Tirage, disgorging and dosage (see definitions below). Each step of production is an opportunity to influence and elevate quality. 

Has there been a certain vintage of Glenora Brut that has stood out to you?
There have been many great sparkling wines made at Glenora. The 1985 Blanc de Blancs was an early one, made from Sawmill Creek and Springledge Farms grapes. The 1988 Blanc de Blancs won major awards in California in its day. The 1991 Brut Rosé was very nice. 1998 Blanc and Bruts were great. 


Can you tell us a little bit more about the 2006 Brut?
We filled quite a bit of tirage from the 2006 vintage. It was a generally cool year, though it was very nice for sparkling wine grapes. We have been disgorging the 2006 for about two years now. It’s been fun to watch how the wine has evolved in tirage over these past 9 years.

Rumor has it, you have a couple Blanc de Blancs in the works. When can we expect to see them on the shelves?
There are 2014 and 2015 versions of Blanc de Blancs in tirage. We should start disgorging them at the end of 2017.

What potential does sparkling wine have in the FLX?
It seems like many of us have forgotten that the FL was most famous for sparkling wines from the 1860’s through the 1970’s. Some of us know that world-class sparkling wines can continue to be produced here.

Thank you for taking the time to read our latest blog and Happy New Year! Pop open a bottle of bubbly and raise a glass!

Browse our sparklers:
2006 Methode Champenoise Brut
Non-Vintage Brut
Peach Spumante
Raspberry Spumante



Methode champenoise: The traditional French Champagne winemaking method used for producing sparkling wine.

Tirage:The process of bottling a cuvee with the addition of active yeast and sugar in order to induce a second fermentation. The carbonation produced by this second fermentation is trapped in the bottle, producing the effervescence of sparkling wines.

Disgorge: The process by which the sediment collected in the neck of the Champagne bottle during the riddling process is frozen and expelled prior to the final corking.

Dosage: The liqueur, or sugar dissolved in reserve wine, added to sparkling before final corking. The dosage finishes the sparkling wine and determines its level of sweetness.


Time Posted: Dec 29, 2016 at 6:07 AM Permalink to Bubbly Talk with Steve DiFrancesco Permalink
Heather Eriole
October 20, 2016 | Heather Eriole

5 Things to do at Glenora This Fall

1) Take a Cellar Tour
There’s no better way to experience harvest in the Finger Lakes than with a cellar tour. Learn about the ins and outs of winemaking and catch live action. The cellar is abuzz with activity, offering a unique opportunity to liven up your senses as you witness the sights, sounds and scents of harvest!  Learn more

2) Taste the first wine of 2016 at our Nouveau Celebration
Our annual Nouveau celebration began in 1977, the year we were established as a winery, as a way of celebrating our first harvest and we’ve continued the tradition every year since, much like the Beaujolais nouveau celebrations in France. Each year, our Nouveau wine undergoes a quick primary fermentation before being racked and put in a wooden cask to be enjoyed at our celebration. Mingle with our winemaker Steve DiFrancesco and taste this intensely fresh and fruity wine straight from the cask, all while enjoying live music & hearty hor d’oeuvres by Chef Orlando on November 12th! Learn more

3) Join us for our annual Harvest Dinner
If you love all things fall, our Harvest Dinner on November 19th is a must! Served outside at our communal harvest table overlooking Seneca Lake, the menu is packed full of fresh, local ingredients and fall flavor. It’s the perfect way to immerse yourself in all things Finger Lakes during harvest time, both on the plate and in the glass, and celebrate the wonderful bounty that surrounds. Rumor has it the Hogwarts theme from last year’s harvest dinner is resurfacing, for any Harry Potter fans out there! Learn more

4) Book a Fall in the Finger Lakes package at the Inn
For a quintessential fall weekend in the Finger Lakes, try our newest package at the Inn. Start with a tasting and cellar tour at the winery, followed by a picnic along the vineyards with an assortment of local cheeses and a bottle of Glenora wine, and leaf peep to your heart’s content around our property. End the day at Veraisons for a delicious locally sourced meal! Learn more

5) Taste Fall in our Tasting Room
If you love fall drinks, we’ve got options! Warm up with our Mulled Wine made from Jammin’ Red, try our Trestle Creek Hard Cider, or opt for our fan favorite Audacious Apple, our newest fruit wine. We’re certain one will please your palate!

Time Posted: Oct 20, 2016 at 9:19 AM Permalink to 5 Things to do at Glenora This Fall Permalink
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