Walter Taylor of Bully Hill was a CRAZY INNOVATOR. The most entertaining of the 3 wineries. Walter created Bully Hill after he was fired from his family’s Taylor Wine Company in 1970. Everything changed in 1977 when Coca-Cola bought Taylor Wine. They sued Walter to stop him from using his name. Walter lost but the PR quadrupled his sales. The wines and branding are deliciously fun.
Dr. Konstantin Frank was a WINEMAKING GENIUS. His spirit continues with the 4th generation. Dr. Konstantin Frank was the most delicious of the wineries we visited. “Dr. Frank immigrated to New York in 1951 with empty pockets and no knowledge of English, in the hope of creating a brighter future for his family. ” He created hybrids and growing methods that created great wine.
Pleasant Valley is A BRAND THAT HAS LOST ITS SOUL. It was founded in 1860 by Charles Davenport Champlin as the first bonded winery in the United States. They became the producer of the most popular American-made Champagne winning Gold Medals in Europe and served in the best restaurants across the USA. The winery has lost its soul over the years as it was bought and sold by Coca-Cola, Seagrams, Vintners, and today is now owned by The Doyle Family.
To paraphrase Jimmy Buffet’s song FRUITCAKES, “We need more fruitcakes in this world…We need more people that care…”