21 Brix Winery
Cherry Picking at 21 Brix Winery (Part 1) Cherry Festival
Boasting a sixty foot tasting bar, a retail area with unique items and ample indoor seating area, 21 Brix Winery is the perfect location to host your next private event or to just spend an afternoon sampling wines and enjoying the lush landscape. Stop by to taste award-winning wines featuring grapes grown right in Chautauqua County. While you’re visiting, make sure to have your picture taken with Ella, the life-size pink elephant who stands proudly at the entrance driveway on the edge of Route 20 welcoming even the youngest of visitors!
Nestled between the vineyards and cherry orchards of Olde Chautauqua Farms and near the shoreline of Lake Erie.
- One of the newest wineries in Lake Erie Wine Country.
- Meeting / Conference Facilities:
- Wedding Facilities:
- Picnic Facilities:
- Dog Friendly:
- Winery Tours:
- Wine Tasting:
- Art or Architecture:
- Organic / Biodynamic:
- Wine Club:
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After graduating, Kris worked on the family farm, Olde Chautauqua Farms for one year and gained experience and knowledge about farming techniques and worked with many varieties of grapes, including Chardonnay, Noiret, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and Concord. When a winemaker position opened up at Presque Isle Wine Cellars in North East, Pennsylvania, Kris jumped at the opportunity to put his biology and chemistry background to work. As the winemaker at Presque Isle for the past seven years, Kris has processed thousands of tons of grapes and has used the bulk juice at Presque Isle to make wine as well as selling juice to amateur winemakers and wineries.
Kris also worked “down under” in Australia for Stuart Wine Company during their harvest. Since their seasons are opposite ours, he left at the beginning of February in order to experience their peak time of harvest. While working outside of Melbourne, he was lead cellar hand and night shift supervisor.
Armed with Kris’ winemaking experience, Mike’s grape farming knowledge and Marion’s business skills, the winery slowly began to take shape. By 2009, building plans for 21 Brix Winery were well underway and ground was broken at the beginning of August 2010. It took only about two months to build the exterior of the winery and by October, the construction moved to the inside of the building. By September 2011, the winery was ready to open.
Estate Vineyards / AVA
As the farm has continued to grow, several additions (besides grapes) have been added. A U-Pick cherry orcharCherry Orchardd was added to the farm and consists of over 10 acres of trees. An additional 3,000 dwarf cherry trees (6 acres) were planted next to 21 Brix Winery in the spring of 2011 and will be bearing fruit by 2014. There are many types of sweet and sour cherry trees. Cherry season typically begins the last weekend in June and lasts until the trees are picked clean!
An asparagus patch, which is also open to the public, is owned by Olde Chautauqua Farms. People are welcome to come to the patch during May and June to pick their own. Our asparagus is also sold to local restaurants.
Mike has taken Olde Chautauqua Farms from a mom and pop farm and turned it into the largest wine grape farm in Western New York. He currently manages over two hundred twenty-five (225) acres of grapes, which include approximately fifteen (15) varieties of grapes. The varieties of wines grapes grown on the farm include: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, Cayuga, Seyval, Vidal, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Noiret, Syrah, Lemberger, Pinot Noir, Niagara, and Concord.
The busiest time on the farm is during harvest, which typically starts at the beginning of September and lasts until the end of October. This time frame can fluctuate though depending upon the growing season. Tons of grapes are picked each day and some are used at 21 Brix Winery for the winery, but the rest of the grapes are sent off to local wineries and grape producers.