One of the most spectacular places to visit in the renowned Finger Lakes region of upstate New York is the Pleasant Valley Wine Company. This stunningly beautiful area is recognized as having nearly perfect growing conditions for several kinds of wines. Located in the valley just a mile from the village of Hammondsport, this particular winery combines old-world character with modern excellence in wine-making.
Amazing Facilities and History
The Pleasant Valley Wine Company, also known as the Great Western Winery, is the oldest winery in the beautiful Finger Lakes area, dating back to 1860. It has the unique distinction of being designated as U.S. Bonded Winery No. 1, a testament to its historic place in the region. Eight stone buildings on the property have been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and this captivating winery boasts caves that have been carved deep into the hillside and are used as natural wine cellars. The original vintners on this property were Jules and Joseph Masson, renowned French wine-makers who built and used the same wooden and stone structures and caves used by the winery today.
The Great Western Winery Visitor Center
The Great Western Visitor Center is part of the Pleasant Valley experience, providing an extraordinary place in which guests of all ages will have fun and learn. You’ll discover 140 years worth of artifacts from the Finger Lakes wineries, including an amazing working model of the Hammondsport Railroad, known as “The Champagne Trail,” with 28 switches and nearly 170 feet of track. You can visit the cooper’s shop and see the authentic tools and equipment used to make barrels and wine casks. Be sure to check out the wine-making and grape-growing displays as well as the intriguing Theatre-in-a-Wine-Tank.
The Pleasant Valley Wine Company was the first winery to produce natural ice wines and the only winery in the state to win the Governor’s Cup for “Best Wine in New York” for two consecutive years. This winery has been a trend-setter in the wine-making industry for decades, and it is currently one of the most renowned producers of prestigious and sought-after champagnes in America. Champagnes from the Great Western Winery have also gained international honor and recognition in European competitions.
An Unforgettable Visit
While you’re visiting the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York, plan a trip to the Pleasant Valley Wine Company. The facilities are open year round, and guided tours are conducted daily for a nominal fee between Memorial Day and Thanksgiving. You’ll visit the magnificent stone buildings and other structures and equipment original to the winery. Self-guided tours are free and so are the wine-tastings held in the winery’s Visitor Center.
Whether you are an experienced wine-lover or just a lover of history, you will find something to captivate your interest at the Pleasant Valley Wine Company, the first established winery in the gorgeous Finger Lakes region. The old-world ambiance of the winery is ideally suited to its breathtaking surroundings.