Judy Wiltberger (at right) started Keuka Spring Vineyards with her husband Len in 1981. A native of Buffalo, NY, she was educated at Rosary Hill (now Daemen College). Judy also has a Masters degree in education from Nazareth College. In addition to raising four children, Judy taught GED equivalency for the city of Rochester for 20 years. She has been involved in the day to day business of the winery from day one and still is. From planting the original vines to running the tasting room, management, and events, Judy enjoys engaging with all the guests that have crossed her path over the last 36+ years through the winery.
Jeanne Wiltberger (at left) is Len and Judy's only daughter. As the marketing director at the winery, she wears many hats from wine club management to trying to keep up with social media (!). Jeanne has a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and an M.S. from UC Davis, spent two years in Peace Corps Ghana, and a year teaching in the Rheinhessen wine region of Germany. For the last 16 years, along with marketing at the winery, her main project has been raising her two daughters with her Chilean husband.
We love to hear your stories of how you came into the wine world! Let us know your journey of how you got to where you are during this International Women's Wine month!
Back at the end of October, our winemaker, Lynne Fahy, came up to the office with this bunch of grapes in her hand.
"Have you ever tasted grapes that underwent carbonic maceration?", she asked. "They have a certain zing to them that I love."
Lynne, along with our Assistant Winemaker, Dan Bissell, chose to make a wine using a method known as Carbonic Maceration. Rather than fermenting the grapes in the traditional way by crushing and destemming the fruit, they kept the clusters and berries intact. They were fermented in a CO2 saturated vessel for 20 days before pressing the whole clusters and allowing the ferment to finish naturally off the skins.
What type of grapes you ask? Bläufrankisch, otherwise known as Lemberger.
Later on, in December, we were able to taste the wine. "This wine captures the innovative and creative spirit of our winemaking team, " said Lynne. "It is designed for early consumption, with bursts of cranberry and raspberry; your palate will welcome the intense fruit flavors and delicate structure. Enjoy at room temperature, or slightly chilled, with a nice charcuterie board, savory poultry dishes, or on its own."
We couldn't be more excited to share this wine with you! However, there will be only 40 cases available. It will be released as an exclusive to Vista Wine club members, and we anticipate it selling quickly! Please, stay tuned for the official release of this wine. For more information and to join the Vista Wine Club, click below.
We are excited to announce Lynne Fahy as our new Winemaker! She brings excellent experience to Keuka Spring, having served as Assistant Winemaker at Anthony Road Winery. She also has extensive cellar experience at Trisateum, a prestigious winery in Oregon. She's worked harvest in New Zealand and has tasting room experience as well. Lynne has a Bachelor of Arts from Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio.
"Lynne brings energy and the experience we are looking for to continue to build on the tradition of making stand-out, premium wines," said Len Wiltberger, owner of Keuka Spring Vineyards. "We're excited to have her join us!" August Deimel, her predecessor, will be moving on to a job with Constellation Brands. "We have appreciated and enjoyed August's leadership as Head Winemaker for the past eight years," cites Len, "and we wish him well in his new endeavors."