It’s a little strange that when we think of the American wine industry, New York state is not the first place that springs to mind. This is odd for many reasons, not least because many of the country’s finest and most fascinating wines hail from this side of the country, but also because New York is by far the oldest wine producing region of the USA, with a history which stretches back over three hundred years. The wineries around the Finger Lakes, where we find Bully Hill Vineyards, are among the finest there are, thanks to their unique geographical features as well as the historic vines that grow so well there.
Bully Hill winery is one with a fascinating history. In the mid twentieth century, the winemaker Walter S. Taylor joined his family’s winemaking firm, but quickly found himself less than pleased with the direction the winery was heading in. Indeed, he spoke out strongly against the head of the winey - his own grandfather - for the secretive methods he was using in the production of his wines, which involved all sorts of nasty chemicals making their way into the bottles to increase profit margins, as well as the import of Californian grape juice which was being used to bulk out the winery’s produce. Needless to say, Walter S. Taylor was soon booted out of the company, but this only drove him on to start his own winery - Bully Hill - which was destined for great things, due to the fact that it proudly produced exclusively New York wines, made from only the finest local grape varietals (and nothing else!).
This independent spirit and ecological conscience continues strongly to this day. Bully Hill are deeply proud of their eco-friendly business practices, which include using mainly recycled materials, recycling waste water, and composting all of their natural waste, to name but a few.
The wines of Bully Hill themselves are classic New York varietals - Rieslings and Chardonnays make a strong appearance on their wine list, as do several rose wines and blended red wines in the Bordeaux and Tuscan style. Each benefits from the best features of the Finger Lakes region: fertile soils, and temperate climatic conditions which allow for a long ripening period, thanks to the fact that the lakes cool the land during the warm summers, and warm the vineyards through the colder months.