Bellangelo Winery Overcomes Pandemic Obstacles, Earns Top 100 Nod in National Wine Press As Best Value, Continues Tradition of Excellence, Says Winemaker Chris Missick

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Finger Lakes Rieslings from Bellangelo Winery on Seneca Lake in New York State Earn Top Honors Yet Again, Reopens Its Tasting Rooms Post-Pandemic

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Owner/Winemaker, Christopher Missick, in the midst of harvest.

Greatness is only achieved in the face of adversity. It took a lot of extra work...but the results are worth it.

It's been a challenging three months for the Finger Lakes wine industry, but amidst obstacles, Bellangelo Winery on the West Side of Seneca Lake (about hour's drive from Rochester, NY), continues to make great strides, strengthening its status as one of the New York wine industry's most consistent acclaimed producers.

For the fifth year in a row, Bellangelo’s Rieslings and Sparkling wines have garnered honors from America’s premiere wine journals and periodicals. Most recently, Bellangelo earned three spots in the June 2020 issue of Wine & Spirits Magazine, as among the “100 Best For $20 Or Less.” Additionally, four wines were earmarked for honors as Best U.S. Riesling.

The honored wines include Bellangelo’s 2016 Sparkling Riesling, a sparkling wine produced in the traditional method that received one year of barrel aging in neutral oak, and nearly two years in tirage. Additionally, the winery’s 2018 Dry Riesling, 2018 Kashong Glen Riesling, and 2018 Gibson Vineyard Riesling were also highly praised.

“2018 was an exceptionally difficult vintage,” recounts Christopher Missick, winemaker at Bellangelo. “Greatness is only achieved in the face of adversity. As in all things in life, our team took the challenge of a difficult vintage to heart, and managed to produce some of our best wines to date. It took a lot of extra work in the vineyard, and an incredible amount of precision on the crush pad, but the results are worth it,” Missick added.

These honors come in the wake of an entirely redesigned elevated seated-tasting experience at Bellangelo. In the wake of Covid-19 and the opening of its tasting rooms with new social distancing requirements, the winery made changes to incorporate an innovative level of virtual engagement. All 32 wines available at the winery have a virtual tasting available, where customers can follow along with winemaker Chris Missick, as he discusses site selection, vinification, tasting, and food pairings. A preview of the new tasting format can be found here: https://youtu.be/gZJoh-isIOM

Additionally, customers can utilize QR codes at the entrance and posted throughout the tasting rooms, to manage their tasting entirely on their phones. “What we really wanted was a way to engage our customers on an even deeper level, while encouraging sustainability and reducing our use of paper,” Missick said.

Missick adds, “As a small business, the shutdown was really hard on all of us. I would say we all experienced the full range of emotions of fear, discouragement, and anxiety. We are prepared mentally for all the issues we confront in agriculture, but this was another trial altogether. We are reopening safely, with an even better experience, and are determined to continue the standard of excellence we have become known for.”

You can review the new tasting experiences at the winery website, http://www.Bellangelo.com, and visit their tasting rooms in Dundee, NY and Geneva, NY. The winery's brands, including Can Do, are currently represented by Wright Beverage Distributing in Rochester, NY, and Luxowine in Puerto Rico, and are seeking strategic partnerships throughout the U.S.

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Mike Stein
Villa Bellangelo
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