What started out to be a two-bottle gift (Vine Valley Peach and Vine Valley Raspberry) for the opening of the Vine Valley General Store turned out to be a business opportunity for both Arbor Hill and the Vine Valley store. The two bottles placed in general view generated strong interest from Vine Valley General Store customers
John Brahm was inspired to develop the Vine Valley series in 2012 for several reasons.
- He and his wife Katie live on the west side of Canandaigua Lake (where Arbor Hill vineyards are located) and enjoy breakfast every day looking across to the beautiful Vine Valley area.
- His extended family has enjoyed a cottage on the Robeson property since before John was born, and he remembers summer outings when the Robeson Catawba Vineyards were adjacent to the cottages.
- After John joined Widmer Wine Cellars in the 1960’s, he had the opportunity to work with Walter Robeson (owner of Robeson Vineyards) and Hillman (“Boney”) Underwood, who trucked area Vine Valley grapes to Widmer Wine Cellars. Both Walter Robeson and Hillman “Boney” Underwood were great uncles to Beth Muller. In the early 1970’s John had the pleasure of awarding Walter Robeson the Widmer “Premium Grape Grower Award” for his outstanding production of premium grapes for the Widmer Wine Cellars.
With no grapes in Vine Valley now, John had a desire to honor the grape legacy of the valley. So in 2012 he set out to develop a wine beverage and label that would recognize Vine Valley’s history. A trip to the Ontario County Historical Society provided the photo that became the basis for the present label. John learned that the photo was taken from a hot air balloon in the late 1800s (1880 – 1890).
The photo depicts the Vine Valley Church, the Vine Valley General Store, the surrounding vineyards, a steamboat coming to pick up table grapes from a pier with a grape depot on it, the beautiful hillsides and, of course, Canandaigua Lake.
Up until this time, Vine Valley wine beverages have only been available at the Arbor Hill Winery in Bristol Springs. Now, all those who enjoy this historic area can purchase these wine beverages at Vine Valley General Store.
About Arbor Hill
Arbor Hill is a family-owned and operated winery in the hamlet of Bristol Springs in Naples, New York. The award-winning winery opened in 1987 and specializes in new grape varietals, such as Traminette, Valvin Muscat, Noiret, Aromella and historical grape varieties like Vergennes, Moore’s Diamond, Iona and Diana. Arbor Hill makes 28 different wines and over 57 gourmet food products.
In 2011, “Brew and Brats at Arbor Hill” opened in the historic carriage barn adjacent to the winery’s tasting room and gift shop. The restaurant couples locally-made sausages with its own craft beers and compliments them with a few of their very own gourmet sauces, like their Sherried Wine BBQ Sauce.
For more information visit www.thegrapery.com or call 585-374-2870.