Once during a trip to sell wine at a farmers market in New Jersey, the late Dave Bagley met a couple of fraternity brothers who were looking to unload a wooden sculpture of a bear. Bagley, a woodworker in his own right, leaped at the chance to take the object off their hands and place it at the entrance of his Seneca Lake winery, where it still stands today.
Yet even before Merle the bear arrived on the scene, redneck chic was in full swing at Bagley’s operation. That vibe continues under current owner Brittany Bagley, who has kept the wine-competition medals dangling from the antler racks, just as they were in her father’s time.
White Tail White, One Eyed Cat and other options on the wine list show some country twang, but surprises abound, too. The winery makes a dry sparkling wine that has legions of fans, as well as a late-harvest Ravat 51 white wine produced from a vineyard block that the founder established prior to 1980.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, from April 1 to Dec. 31. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday, from Jan. 1 to March 31.
Tasting fee: $3 for six samples. $1 more to taste the late-harvest Ravat 51 white wine. The $3 fee is refunded if a purchase is made.
Accessibility: Restrooms not fully accessible.
Events: Bagley Bash, an annual barbecue and concert in memory of founder Dave Bagley, happens in late April.
Courtesy of Bagley's Poplar Ridge Vineyards
"We at Poplar Ridge strive to produce wines that are pleasant and fun to drink ... at reasonable prices," said the late owner-winemaker Dave Bagley.