Eminence Road Farm Winery logo. A rabbit in front of a crown with grapevines in the background.


Eminence Road Farm Winery makes small lots of dry table wine in a barn on the western edge of the Catskills using grapes from sustainably managed Finger Lakes vineyards. Bottled alive, unfined and unfiltered with nothing added but neutral yeast and a minimal amount of sulfite. Andrew Scott, Jennifer Clark, Brigette Federline-Spears and Barry Boy are the proprietors.

Jennifer, Andrew, Lester (dog) and the 800 plus pound pumpkin we grew.
Jennifer, Andrew, and the dearly departed Lester with a big pumpkin. (Photo credit: Andy Ryan)

ABOUT US: Prior to getting into the wine business Andrew worked in publishing as an art director and Jennifer did internet marketing for the apparel industry. Living in New Jersey and working in Manhattan they developed an interest in wine that soon turned into an obsession with France's Loire Valley. In 1996 Andrew made his first batch of homemade wine using a kit received as a present from his brother along with a note saying "If you really want to learn about wine why don't you make some?" That batch--from a grape concentrate--came out pretty terrible, but the process was fascinating and soon fall centered around grape runs to the Finger Lakes and stomping fruit in the driveway. Each year the home winemaking grew bigger, moving from the basement to the garage and finally to a barn in upstate New York where in 2008 they made the first commercial wines under the Eminence Road Farm Winery label.

25 plus year-old, spur pruned cabernet sauvignon vine in Elizabeth's Vineyard
A thirty-plus year-old, spur pruned cabernet sauvignon vine in Elizabeth's Vineyard.

ABOUT THE WINE: Coming from a home winemaking background, with no formal training or winery experience, we have developed a self-taught methodology based on patience, low-intervention and faith in the natural processes of fermentation. Our goal is to make rustic, textured table wines meant to accompany meals. To that end we let wine ferment at its own pace and get it into the bottle without extraneous additives or processing.

Grapes come from vineyards in the Finger Lakes region of New York, about a hundred miles west of the winery. We work with the same growers each season sourcing fruit from the same rows year after year. Grapes are harvested directly into our picking boxes and driven to the barn in Long Eddy where all processing, fermentation, elevage and bottling takes place. Annual production is about one-thousand cases.

In the winery fermentations are slow and cool lasting between three and twenty-three months and are carried out by neutral and spontaneous yeasts. White grapes are left on their skins for a day or two before pressing and red grapes are fermented with partial to full stem inclusion. All wines go through malolactic fermentation usually during the following spring. Wines are held on their lees with no racking for ten to twenty-three months prior to bottling. Clarification is accomplished by time and gravity, neither fining or filtration are used at any point in the winemaking process. Total sulfite additions average about fifty parts per million. Bottled alive!

Barrels and tanks stacked to the rafters
Barrels and tanks stacked to the ceiling.

DIRECTIONS FOR USE: Because the wine is bottled without fining or filtration and only a minimal amount of sulfite it is important it be kept cool at all times. High temperatures can greatly diminish flavor, aroma and quality. Just a brief amount of time in a hot car can ruin a bottle of wine. Ideal storage conditions are a temperature of fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit with seventy percent humidity and complete darkness. Cork finished bottles should be stored on their side. An unfiltered wine will often have some amount of sediment in the bottle. This is a natural, harmless deposit that can be easily removed by decanting. Serve cool but never cold. For best results drink wine outside with good food and people you love.

side of barn
The Winery is built into the hillside which provides natural cooling.

ABOUT THE FARM: Eminence Road (the actual road) was named by settlers who came here in the 1850s from the hamlet of Eminence in Schoharie County. Sometime around the 1940s a dairy farm was established and was in operation until the mid-1970s. After the dairy shut down the farm changed hands several times before we purchased it in 2001 as a weekend retreat. The winery is set up in what was originally a cow barn. With low ceilings, little to no insulation and rough concrete floors it is a less than ideal space for winemaking, but at least it has floor drains. Over the years we have established a small, half-acre hobby vineyard planted primarily to the French-American hybrid landot noir along with rows of petit pearl, louise swenson and itasca. All are self-rooted. The east facing slope is fairly well drained but the surrounding mountains limit sunlight and that, combined with poor soil, short summers and extreme winter cold, creates a difficult growing situation for even the hardiest cold-climate grape varieties. Raspberries and blueberries fare a bit better. In addition to the struggling vines we also have extensive vegetable gardens and manage to grow a good portion of our own produce. Andrew also has a thing for giant pumpkins.

solar panels
Solar panels provide all of our electricity.

SUSTAINABILITY: It's difficult to make any claims about being ecologically friendly when your business is producing wine, something the planet ultimately does not need. But here we are. Wanting to at least do something, in 2018 we invested in a forty-five panel solar installation set up in the field across the road. It covers all of the power needs for the house and business and also generates extra energy that goes back into the grid. In the winery we keep our packaging low impact by using light weight bottles, natural corks (made from sustainably harvested tree bark) and kraft paper labels that we print and cut ourselves and attach with non-toxic, water soluble adhesive. We strive to generate as little waste as possible (especially plastic), reuse everything and compost everything else.

2 dogs
Barry and Brigette have the run of the farm.

DOGS: We love them.


© Copyright 2008-2024 • EMINENCE ROAD FARM WINERY
3734 Eminence Road, Long Eddy, New York 12760