A former tasting room manager at Seneca Lake-based Billsboro Winery has launched a winery nearby, in what was once a woodworking studio.
“I just completely fell in love with the industry and the communal effort that everybody puts forward here to help each other and really bring success to the region,” says Grace Mirchandani, who opened Monello Winery on State Route 14 in Torrey, Yates County, in NOvember 2011.
Monello is now pouring five wines, including two 2010 Rieslings, a 2010 Seyval Blanc and a 2009 Cabernet Franc. A consulting winemaker in Ovid, Seneca County, produced the lineup, though Mirchandani has begun testing her own winemaking skills on small quantities of grape juice.
The winery has 600 cases on hand and aims to grow the annual production to 6,000 cases in the coming years, says Mirchandani, who co-owns the operation with husband Rohit Mirchandani.
She is brainstorming about events for the winery, including a screening of Il Monello, the Charlie Chaplin film from 1921.
When looking for a name for the winery, Mirchandani, a former broadcast journalist for the U.S. Army Reserve, Googled translations for the word “brat” because he felt “like a spoiled brat being able to have this (winery) in my life right now,” she says. “Monello” is the Italian word for brat or scoundrel.
Tasting room hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, from April 1 to Dec. 24. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from Dec. 26 to March 31.
Accessibility: Fully accessible.
Tasting fee: $2 for five samples. $6 for a chocolate-and-wine tasting.
Amenities: Picnic lunches available seasonally.