When Nana and Papa Varallo brought winemaking to America from Italy, they unknowingly brought a livelihood for their successors. Son Nicholas made wine in Papa's basement from the age of 8, then taught the techniques to children Dominic, Cristina, and Americo Varallo. Now all three generations contribute to the development of the family's Spring Lake Winery, which offers group vineyard excursions, rentable wedding space, and, of course, the Varallo's award-winning wines.
To the Spicola family, wine isn't simply something sipped on at dinner or during a party. Rather, it's the family heritage, which forms a bridge between generations. Today, Dominic Spicola runs the Winery of Ellicottville with his son-in-law, but years ago, he worked alongside his father, Francesco, an Italian immigrant schooled in his home country's winemaking tradition. Together, the duo crushed and pressed annual harvests into barrels of wine, making sure their relatives had enough to fill glasses at dinner and water balloons at family picnics throughout the year.
Today, Dominic and his son-in-law mesh this Old World wisdom with New World techniques to craft chardonnays and merlots, reds and whites. They sell their bottles from an unassuming shop on Monroe Street, where sky-blue walls, family pictures, and shelved knickknacks surround a sun-splashed bar.
In honor of Women?s History Month, Groupon is celebrating an inspiring group of women: business leaders whose companies and brands enrich their communities. Thanks to the dedication and ingenuity of these leaders, local communities across the country are stronger and more diverse.
Shop the Women in Business collection.
31 Club opened in the 1940s as Buffalo?s exclusive supper club, making it a destination for Buffalo's socialites to see and be seen. Catering to diners with sophisticated palettes and profiles, 31 Club's name was derived from its address, 31 Johnson Park. The restaurant celebrated more than four decades of success, but in 1983 the last glass was toasted and its doors closed. The community looked on as the building's brick facade began to crumble, while ideas circled to restore the building to its original splendor. Years later, the space was finally reopened.
Today's 31 Club is a modern version of the storied restaurant, maintaining the class, style, and sophistication of the original 1940s destination, while adding a contemporary flair to cater to today's diner. The menu is a perfect crystallization of this mission?not only are there reimagined versions of timeless dishes, including pork chops with grilled peach chutney, there's late-night fare such as lobster mac 'n' cheese and strip-steak sandwiches. In that spirit, the wine list includes Old World and New World varietals.
Sunlight floods through rustic stained-glass windows onto the hardwood bar and tabletops of The Oakk Room's historic dining room, which was originally an automobile shop before it was converted to a pub in the late 1980s. Surrounded by walls laden with taxidermy pieces and an antique wooden horse trained to stand completely still, servers bring forth plates of jerk chicken and freshly baked cornbread, and bartenders shake up a menu of 17 different specialty cocktails. The restaurant slakes thirst on Wednesday with $4 martini specials and throws weekly Friday fish-frying events.
Most popular offering: loganberry wine
Alcohol: Beer and wine only
Number of Tables: 1?5
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Pro Tip: very relaxed atmosphere, tours are best when done in sneakers or flat shoes
Savage Winery's name may be a bit of a misnomer, since everything about the farm winery is, well, sweet. There are the wines for starters: sweet concord, niagara, vidal, and loganberry wines are the specialty here, featured along with seasonal strawberry and blueberry wines. Then, of course, there's the location?Savage Winery is situated on an alpaca farm and is also home to a few other rescue animals, cultivating an environment that is both welcoming and compassionate. Of course, that doesn't mean things don't get a little lively now and again. Owner Rich Byington keeps plenty of activities around to stoke his guests' competitive sides while they sample the vintages, including classic lawn games like cornhole, croquet, and whac-a-weed.
On the corner of Buffalo and Main Street, Ten Thousand Wines inhabits a quaint brick building that welcomes visitors to its microwinery and tasting room. As a winery free from ties to a particular vineyard, Ten Thousand Wines' staff can source its grapes from vines all around the world—including Antarctica—a practice that inspired the winery's name. The vintners hand make each variety in small batches and carry more than 40 wines in their retail store. At a tasting bar, open Tuesday–Saturday, curious sippers perch around a quarter-circle bar to sniff and swirl their wines, such as Nooks & Crannies, a cranberry-chianti blend, or the delicate Delaware, made from New York grapes. The shop's resident oenophiles share their passion with guests in 90-minute wine-making classes, bolstered by a wealth of wine kits and raw grape juices. In an article from the Buffalo News, owner Mike Ditonto cites what he sees as the appeal of home winemaking: nostalgia for grandparents' wine cellars and new methods of family bonding more comfortable than supergluing yourself to a favorite relative.