Gary Barletta, co-owner and winemaker at Long Point Winery in Aurora, Cayuga County, enjoys bringing a splash of Italy to the Finger Lakes one bottle at a time.
Once an amateur winemaker who amassed more than 60 medals for his labors, Barletta has introduced at the winery Sangiovese and Barbera made from West Coast fruit, and he’s now toying with the idea of producing Dolcetto.
“It gives people more of a choice,” says Barletta, a Syracuse native who learned to make wine in his grandfather’s basement.
Barletta also is keen on working with cool-climate grapes. Among the vines managed by staffer Dan Stevens are Riesling and Pinot Gris, which figure into the drier products in the lineup. The winery buys Vidal Blanc, Syrah, Zinfandel, additional tons of Riesling and other varietals to supplement what it grows.
Production has moved forward steadily since 1999, when Barletta opened the winery with his wife, Rosemary. The annual output runs between 4,200 to 4,500 cases, which includes the Amazin’ Port-style Zinfandel.
Other options available in the tasting room include Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Riesling and the nonvintage Rubitage, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah.
Visitors hankering for more than just a taste may head to Amelia’s, the winery’s on-site deli that pours wine by glass. The fare ranges from soups and salads to thick sandwiches and half moon cookies.
Tasting room hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, from March 1 to Nov. 30. Noon to 5 p.m. daily in December. Open in January by chance. Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for the first two weeks of February, and then noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday for the remainder of the month. Call ahead for exact hours. Reservations required for tour buses.
Deli hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Expanded hours in the works.
Tasting fee: $2 for six samples. $2 more to taste the Port-style Zinfandel.
Accessibility: Fully accessible.
Photo courtesy of Long Point Winery
Long Point Winery owner and vintner Gary Barletta collected more than 60 awards in his 23 years as an amateur winemaker.