Wines that Rock
A New York winery pays tribute to guitar greats.
White Side of the Moon
When Pink Floyd fan Beth Margolis saw Roger Waters in concert last October, she wished that she’d brought the ex-Floyd guitarist a bottle of her wine. He might have gotten a kick out of the sweet white, called White Side of the Moon.
Margolis does the marketing for Liberty Vineyards Winery in Sheridan, N.Y., which her parents Gary and Pam Burmaster own. It was Gary who came up with the idea for the winery’s Rock and Roll Series.
Not a Floyd buff? Liberty also offers Purple Haze, a sweet red that Jimi Hendrix fans can experience. Or try Lucy’s in the Sky, a sweet rose made with the Diamond grape. In addition, the wine is an homage to Lucinda, the wife of Rufus Butler, Margolis’ great-great-grandfather. When she died, Rufus remarried, “and her name was Lucinda, too,” Margolis says.
Rufus planted the first vineyards in the 1860s, and for more than a century the family farm sold its grapes to juice and jam manufacturers and other local wineries.
In 2008, after a downturn in the grape-buying market, Gary and Pam decided to start bottling their own vintages and hired Bob Green to be the company’s winemaker. One of their first wines was an homage to the vineyard’s founding father: Rufus Red, a fruity, semidry red produced from a mixture of Concord, Fredonia and Noiret grapes.
Today, Liberty’s 93 acres of vines produce 23 different wines, many with interesting names like Cat Noir, Cool Cat, and Reds, Whites & Blues. (Of course, there are also wines like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, for the more “serious” drinker.)
Liberty’s location, in the heart of the Lake Erie Snow Belt, means the fertile ground gets plenty of moisture and is perfect for growing sweet grapes.
“The grape-growing aspect of this business is very important to us,” Margolis says, “because we know good wines are made in the vineyards.”
The boutique winery has also begun presenting special events. In 2011, Liberty will host a March Luau to showcase its sweet, summery wines, while Christmas in July may include a visit from Santa, who will undoubtedly be chauffeured to the event to avoid drinking and driving his sleigh to the North Pole.
Liberty’s intimate retail store and wine-tasting room feature many locally produced items like homemade jams, jellies and Burning Asphalt’s line of spicy ketchups, tangy mustards and flavorful grilling and dipping sauces.
But it’s Liberty’s wines — available there, too, of course — that really rock.
Info to Go
Liberty Vineyards Winery
2861 Main Road (U.S. Route 20)
This record has been viewed 4047