Visit Bully Hill Winery
A Special Winery in the Fingerlakes
Whenever I have friends traveling in upstate, New York I always advise them to visit Bully Hill Winery. Of course there are many more wineries on the trail around Keuka Lake, but this particular winery has a great history and dozens of wines that it creates each year. This is one winery to put on your wine tasting tour list when you visit the Fingerlakes Wine Region.
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History of Bully Hill Winery
Bully HIll Farms was founded in 1958 by Greyton H. and Walter S. Taylor. However, the Taylor family has been in the grape growing business since 1878. The family transitioned the vineyard from native American grapes to French-American hybrids. It then became the first estate winery on Keuka lake after Prohibition. Today more than 11 other wineries exist along the lake, making it a perfect place to enjoy watersports, waterfront living and of course varietal wines.
My favorite story, that you'll hear on the tour, is how the winery sold grape juice in small wooden barrels during prohibition. They put a label on the barrel giving explicit instructions on how the juice would turn into wine, if you weren't careful.
Visitors can enjoy over 30 wines, with the number increasing each year. There is something for everyone on this wine list!
- Pinot Grigio
- Seyval Blanc
- Fish Market White
- Lighthouse White
- American Riesling
- NYS Riesling
- Spring White
- Goat White
- Farmer’s Market Rosé
- LeGoat Blush
- Equinox Blush
- Pink Catawba
- Ravat 51
- Sweet Walter White
- Estate Red
- Pinot Noir
- Cabernet Franc
- Space Shuttle Red
- Baco Noir
- Meat Market Red
- Barnyard Red
- Walter S. Red
- Love My Goat Red
- Banty Red
- Sweet Walter Red
- Seyval Blanc
What to Do at Bully Hill
First and foremost, go on the wine tour, starting at the Cooperage on the hill behind the main buildings. This building also houses the museum and art gallery. At the end of the tour, enjoy the wine tasting so you'll have an idea of which wines to take home with you! Next, visit the gift shop. There you'll find lots of neat items, from wine to wine-inspired ornaments for your Christmas tree. You'll find dozens of items for the vinophile on your shopping list. Last but not least, pick up several bottles of your favorite wines while in the gift shop.
If you have time, and aren't on a whirl-wine tour of all the wineries on the lake, stop and enjoy lunch or dinner at the restaurant. You won't be disappointed as the chef is always whipping up something delicious and unique to pair with the wines made on site.
Finally, make sure to check out the beautiful view of the lake from the parking lot. Don't forget to have a friend take your photo at this beautiful winery before you depart!
My Wine Picks from Bully Hill
I love Bully Hill wines and I'm lucky enough to find them locally in nearby liquor stores. If you're new to Bully Hill wines, here are my picks from each category:
White Wines - try the Niagara. It is a sweet wine that goes well with a variety of dishes, especially fish and shellfish. It is also delicious with a fruit and cheese platter, or simply by itself.
Rose Wines - Equinox Blush is a slightly sweet wine that pairs well with fish, red meat and pasta dishes. It is equally well at home with appetizers at a cocktail party.
Red Wines - Merlot is my favorite. It is a slightly dry wine that hints at fresh berries and plums. It has a hint of a smoky aftertaste. Goes great with hard cheeses or served with your favorite meat or pasta dish.
While there is only one champagne on the Bully Hill list (Seyval Blanc), it is well worth it. Try some on your next visit to the winery's restaurant.
When to Visit Bully Hill Winery
The retail shop, gift shop and cooperage are open year 'round.
The restaurant opens each year on May 1st and closes at the end of October. Lunch is served from 11:30 to 4pm, and dinner is served from 5 to 8:30pm.
Tours and wine tastings are available from 9am to 4pm, Monday through Saturday. Sunday from 11:30 to 4pm. The tours start every hour, on the hour and last about 45 minutes.The cost is $2 per person and include 5 different wines.
To verify hours or to make reservations, use the following phone numbers:
Retail shop: 607-868-3210
Gift shop: 607-868-3226
Cooperage, art gallery and museum: 607-868-4814
Visit Bully Hill Online
My Grape and Wine Hubs
- Wine Tasting for Newbies
I love tasting new wines and perhaps you do too. If you thought wine tasting was just for snobs or those people who call themselves oenophiles, think again!
- Growing Grapes in Northern Climates
Growing grapes in northern climates can be difficult, but not impossible. Grapes can be grown a variety of ways, including container gardening.