NY Winery Of The Month
Chateau LaFayette Reneau
The property that is now Chateau LaFayette Reneau was historically a fruit farm. The land was originally owned by Loomis. Grapes and fruit trees were planted on the property and sold each year to merchants, who took them via Erie Canal to New York City for purchase. The barn, which is now the tasting room, was originally constructed as a fruit-packing barn.
Chateau LaFayette Reneau took root after Dick and Betty Reno vacationed in the Finger Lakes. Falling in love with the area, they retired to the beautiful region of upstate New York. In 1985, they purchased an old brick farmhouse on a 140-acre farm located on the southeastern slopes of Seneca Lake. Dick and Betty had a passion for wine, and dreamed of extending their beloved hobby of collecting wines one step further. They wanted to make fine wines of their own.
The transformation began when they re-planted 50 acres of grapes. Chardonnay and Riesling made up over half of the new crop, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Seyval Blanc rounding out the rest.
For over 30 years Chateau LaFayette Reneau produced estate-grown vinifera wines. Their 110-acre estate provides optimal sun exposure and air flow for consistently aromatic white wines and rich, full-bodied red wines. From 2006 through the present, Chateau LaFayette Reneau wines have been awarded nearly 80 gold medals, bestowing the winery with national and international recognition.
In the fall of 2013, Gene Pierce and Scott Welliver, owners of Glenora Wine Cellars (Dundee) and Knapp Winery & Vineyard Restaurant (Romulus) purchased Chateau LaFayette Reneau (Hector) from Richard and Betty Reno. Pierce and Welliver maintain the three wineries as separate entities, continuing with each having their own distinct and unique identities. Visitors at Chateau LaFayette Reneau can expect the same great wines and the same standard of excellence in customer service.