Today is officially Billsboro Winery’s 10th Anniversary! Those who have known me for the past decade know that Billsboro’s wines are a staple in my life. They probably consume a third of the shelf space in our wine cellar, we drink their wine on a regular basis, and they are always one of my top recommendations for people traveling to the Finger Lakes.
I don’t just love them because their wine is delicious. Their wine is crazy good. And it’s not just me that feels that way. Their wines regularly receive high ratings, and they won the Governor’s Cup last year for best wine in New York (an outrageously tasty 2013 Syrah). The red wines are rich and nuanced with layers of flavor, the white wines are balanced and bright. I will happily consume any and all of their wines.
The reason I feel such a bond with this winery is that they were the first winery that treated me like an equal. When they first opened, I was 21. I was just started to join my mom and aunts on their wine tasting trips, and was learning all about the amazing world of Finger Lakes wine.
When my older relatives ordered their wine, they would be given detailed tasting notes. Me, I’d be given super sweet wines and told that they were ‘gluggable’ or ‘easy to pound’. It was assumed that because I was young I would want sweet wines and that I was just looking for a buzz. I’m not that type of wine taster and never have been. I wanted to be a better taster, I wanted to build my wine vocabulary, I wanted to know what they thought a Pinot Gris smelled like and how the different oaks created different characteristics.
Billsboro Winery was the first winery I found where they treated me like anyone else. They chatted with me about the tasting notes, introduced me to new styles of wine, and taught me about the wine making process. I’ve always felt comfortable and at home there. They made me feel confident in my wine tasting abilities, helped me hone my skills, and have made the wine tasting process fun and educational.
This is why I always suggest them to people who are traveling to the Finger Lakes or looking for local wine- it’s not just because they produce some of the best wine in the region, its because they are incredible people who love what they do and want to share it with everyone, regardless of age or tasting experience.
Thank you, Billsboro Winery. You set me on the path of being a true Finger Lakes wine nerd, and I will never forget that.