A Gust of Sun Winery's name is more than a lovely turn of phrase. It's also a nod to the name of its founders, Erik and Shane Gustafson, a couple whose love for each other bloomed on the latticework of a shared love of wine. It all started when Shane took a wine appreciation class at their alma mater, Purdue, and convinced her new beau to follow suit. Erik became an oenophile too, and when they married they relocated from Indiana to his native western New York, where grapes flourish.
The duo tilled and sowed the land themselves, literally building their orchard from the ground up. From there, they added some sunny, sophisticated indoor lounges and tasting rooms. In August 2011, they opened their doors and started cracking open bottles of the seven wines they had created at the time. Since then, a Gust of Sun Winery has continued to fill glasses as well as schedules, arranging events, workshops, and tasting parties with the same dedication they pour into the creation of new wines.
Just as winemakers transform grapes into sumptuous sips, oenophiles Cynthia West-Chamberlain and Michael D. Chamberlain transformed their passion for wine into the family-operated Black Willow Winery. Although the winery primarily functions as a home for the couple's inventive wines, its charms don't end there. An elegantly appointed tasting room invites guests to sit, sip, savor, and even hold private events on Black Willow's scenic grounds. While they're there, many stock up on some of the winery's other house-made offerings, such as mead, chocolates, infused oil, and artisan vinegar.
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.
A decade ago, the Oakes family planted their first vines across 6 acres, yielding a harvest that would produce 14 types of plump, juicy grapes. The result is a diverse wine list that includes smoky cabernet, award-winning fruity ice wine, and even one that's steam punk cider. Visit the tasting room to partake in sipping sessions, where varietals have been carefully selected and paired with offered snacks, and learn about the wine-making process.
A cozy, chic space, Veritas Wine Bar feels less like walking into a bar and more like walking into a fashionable friend's apartment—albeit, a friend with a nice wine collection. Even the Rochester City Newspaper took notice, saying of proprietor Paul Powers and his wife, Amy: "they've parlayed their passion for the grape into a charming spot for both hardcore oenophiles and aspiring aficionados." Having previously worked at wine shops and as distributors, the two have curated a constantly changing selection of vinos from around the world. A quaint menu of a wine-friendly sampler plate pairs with the vintages, making Veritas a charming spot for a date, a casual meeting, or a cutthroat game of Chinese Checkers.
Take a dessert detour to Solera Wine Bar and Lounge, and boost your mood with a simple scoop of ice cream.
The bar at this ice cream shop is fully stocked, so pair your meal with a glass of wine or beer.
The happy hour at Solera Wine Bar and Lounge is sure to impress.
Solera Wine Bar and Lounge's outdoor seating is available during the warmer months.
During the ice cream shop's weekend rush, waiting in line is the name of the game (so avoid Friday and Saturday nights if you're looking for something quick).
Store your car on the street or in a nearby lot at Solera Wine Bar and Lounge.
Solera Wine Bar and Lounge serves up a variety of ice cream flavors, so stop by today and treat yourself to a delicious dessert.