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Chateau Lafayette Reneau Wins 2014 Governor’s Cup


The most prestigious award in New York wine went to Chateau Lafayette Reneau, a wine producer that can boast some of the finest vineyard land in the Finger Lakes. CLR won the coveted Governor’s Cup for their 2013 Semi-Dry Riesling. The wine edged out several other best-in-category winners, including two wines developing a strong pedigree: Macari’s Cabernet Franc (this one the 2010 vintage) and Anthony Road Dry Rose (the 2013). It will be interesting to see if this award affects CLR in any significant fashion. In many ways, CLR feels like it has been frozen in time, from the antiquated…

News Brief: Nathan Kendall Becomes Head Winemaker at Villa Bellangelo


Chris Missick, owner of Villa Bellangelo, announced late last week that Nathan Kendall has accepted the position of head winemaker for his Dundee-based winery. Kendall is a native of upstate New York and has worked in the wine industry both in the U.S. and abroad. Most recently, he was an assistant to winemaker Morten Hallgren of Ravines Wine Cellars in Hammondsport, NY. Kendall fills Villa Bellangelo’s head winemaker role which had been vacant since Ian Barry left earlier this year to focus on Barry Family Cellars in Hector, NY.

Villa Bellangelo and Winemaker Ian Barry Part Ways

Former Villa Bellangelo winemaker Ian Barry.

Villa Bellangelo has decided to end its employment of winemaker Ian Barry, and the winery is launching a search for a new winemaker immediately. Barry was hired by Bellangelo in 2011 when the Missick family arrived from California to set in motion a dramatic change at the Seneca Lake facility. Known for a quirky Italian theme and a lineup of sweeter wines, the Missicks purchased Bellangelo with the intention of joining the regional elite. Barry, an award-winning winemaker with experience at several Finger Lakes producers, was hired to improve the wines. “Ian Barry assisted Bellangelo during an important transition,” said Chris Missick in a statement. “Most…

Fourth Generation Joins Dr. Frank

Meaghan Frank

Meaghan Frank, daughter of current president Fred Frank, granddaughter of Willy Frank and great granddaughter of founder Dr. Konstantin Frank, joins the Dr. Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars team this week following in the footsteps of her family predecessors. Fresh off a flight from Australia and having just finished her Masters of Wine Business from the University of Adelaide, Frank is wasting no time in getting to know the family business. It might come as a surprise to some, but Meaghan has not always been on this path. As an undergrad communications major with an interest in sociology she was on…

News Brief: Merliance Elects Roth, Nappa and Ginsburg as New Officers


Merliance (formerly known as the Long Island Merlot Alliance) has named offers for a new two-year term — ending in June 2015 — based on a vote of members. Roman Roth, partner, winemaker and technical director at Wolffer Estate is the group’s new president. Roth is also one of the founders of the organization. He said in a press release “The Merliance has come a long way since we started in 2005. With collective reviews of our merlots and merlot-based blends in national publications, annual consultations with international oenologists and elegant wine-focused events like HARVEST EAST END to our credit,…