It’s rare that someone offers you the chance to write about one of your favorite places - rarer still that someone pays you to do it. That’s why I jumped at the chance to take care of this assignment: a piece on the Winery of Ellicottville. In a previous article on the Flickerwood Wine Cellar, I waxed poetic on the virtues of drinking wine; so, in the interest of brevity and originality, I’ll just remind you that I am an enthusiastic wine drinker. Any lengthy hyperbole on the subject should be forgiven.
The Winery of Ellicottville is a welcoming place. While the bar section is indeed stool-less (wisely, I’d say, standing up after an hour of seated drinking can be surprising at best), there are a handful of seats and café tables in the window. People-watching is seldom so much fun as it is with wine. The staff is attentive and affable, quick with a suggestion and a tip on how best to enjoy the wine, or what notes of flavor often go undetected. In the often exclusionary world of snobbish wine connoisseurs, having folks that don’t talk down to you is a welcome surprise. Free Wi-Fi hums in the air while free pretzels cover the bar. If one (not me, this is like a hypothetical person) were to even eat a whole dish of said pretzels, the dish is refilled without judgment. Salt-lovers rejoice!
While the atmosphere is enough to sell anyone, the wine is undoubtedly the reason why people keep coming back. My two favorites are the Sweetest Thing - an incredible sweet red that is served chilled, and Snow Fox - another jaw-tickling sweet wine, only this one is white. Are these bottles also their least expensive ones? Yes, but that’s just a happy coincidence. I’m lucky like that. They also offer a unique trio of EVL red, white and blue. The blue is made entirely with blueberries and is my go-to gift for friends and family (mostly because they inevitably end up sharing it with me). And of course, they offer their own delicious spins on traditional wines from Pinot Noir and Cabernet to Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio.
The winery also offers a large selection of specialty wines. Some of you may remember a delicious green wine that was released for last St. Patrick’s Day. The latest seasonal treat will be the Berry Hard Cider. Landing on shelves this September, the cider will be composed of apples, raspberries, and blueberries all grown locally. Effervescent and sweet (and pink if the rumors are to be believed), this latest beverage should not be missed by anyone.
One of the last features of the winery that I feel obligated to mention is their Wine Club. I’m still at a stage in my life where bulk-buys of wine are an untenable practice, but that doesn’t mean it has to be out of reach for you. Becoming a member of the Wine Club allows you to receive shipments of wine directly at your door, in amounts ranging from three bottles, up to twelve. There are four different packages to sign up for, each one allowing for customization until the shipment is perfect. You’ll also receive discounts, the ability to reserve the upstairs banquet room, advance notice of new releases, and much more. For more information on the benefits of the Wine Club, please visit the winery’s website. at www.wineryofellicottville.com.
The Winery began as the dream of two men, passionate about wine. From vine to glass, that passion shines through in every aspect of their business. One taste of the fruits of their labor, and I’m sure that you’ll be as head-over-heels as I am with the Winery of Ellicottville. Location: 14 Monroe Street, downtown Ellicottville, NY. Phone: 716-699-1055.