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William Thomas
Imagine Moore Winery is inside an 1860s carriage house in Naples.

Inspire Moore Winery

197 N. Main St.
Naples NY 14512
(585) 374-5970

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Inspire Moore Winery

NAPLES — The wines are virtues, save for one vice.

There are the twin Rieslings, Joy and Love; Truth, Inspiration and Grace, each a red table wine; Gratitude, a white table wine blend of Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay; Harmony, a white Traminette, made from hybrid grapes; and Passion, a Traminette ice wine.

And then there's Lust, a Pinot Noir.

"Well, it's a very feminine wine," says Tim Moore, who with his wife, Diane, founded and built Inspire Moore Winery in the village of Naples in 2007. "It's a very complex wine, with layers and layers of characteristics."

Moore plays no favorites. The wines, he tells everyone, are like his children. He loves them all.

Inspire Moore was Tim's dream. (The tagline is a no-brainer: "Drink Moore Wine") He and Diane met when both were students at the University of California at Davis campus. He was studying enology (wine making); she was studying international relations and then special education.

"She has a doctorate in kids," Tim says. They have five children.

Tim had always hoped to own a winery. He worked five years helping to start a winery in the Midwest, and then spent a dozen years working for Constellation Brands.

"In 2006, when I was getting ready to turn 40," he says, "Diane said to me, 'You're not getting any younger.'"

"We love Naples," he says, and when they found seven acres of grapes — some of them planted by the Widmer family in the 1930s, they made their move. They buy additional grapes from local farmers and have grown their output from 1,000 cases per year to 4,000 this year.

Theirs is a small business, selling 14 wines (with new varieties coming on line from time to time), but what they produce each year depends on the quantity and quality of the annual harvest. Tim is committed to sustainability — to leaving the smallest possible carbon footprint, conserving resources and supporting other local businesses through their own.

When they added new space for winemaking onto an old tavern that now serves as a tasting room and gift shop, they reused timber and other wood from area buildings. "We grew little by little and did the work ourselves whenever we could," Tim says.


They double insulated to reduce heating and cooling costs. And they use a colloidal cleaner, free of chlorine and phosphates, on their tanks and hoses. They produce less waste, use much less water and compost all of their grape pomace — using it to fertilize the vineyard and garden.

They use recyclable corks and screen-print their bottles without paper labels. The Roots Café, in an old house just in front of the winery, uses grass-fed beef and lamb, and local produce. Food scraps are recycled to feed the chickens that produce their eggs.

"We take it very seriously," Tim says, and they are big proponents of the localvore movement. When they first started the winery, the Moores did their own marketing and distribution, carrying their message and their product to about 100 clients. They've hired a distributor and more than doubled their clients.

When the family goes out to eat, "I make a point of looking at the wine list," Tim says. If there are just one or two New York wines, he makes a pitch to the manager. "You should have more New York wines," he tells them, "So you can be my customer and I can keep being your customer."

Bringing tour groups to the winery, he says, is a way to show off the village and steer visitors to other businesses.

Between the winery and the café, he says, the Moores employ 10 to 12 part-time workers. It's hard to say if or when the winery will expand, or how big it could become without becoming a regional or national company — and losing the local focus that is the key to sustainability.

"Four thousand cases a year allows us to pay our employees well and takes care of our needs," Tim says. And the steady growth in the popularity of wines means there's room for growing a very local customer base — people who drop by for Friday night musical entertainment under the tent and room for people who want to learn a lot more about wine and how it's made.