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Notes From The Vineyard: Christopher Bates of Element Winery

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Notes From the Vineyard:

Working with the Elements

In our May/June 2015 issue, Christopher Bates, Master Sommelier and owner of the Element Winery, writes about the origins of Element Winery and their most recent endeavors.

Bates is a native to the Finger Lakes region, growing up in Arkport, a small town near Hammondsport. After spending much of his young adult life traveling around the world, Bates grew to miss his hometown and so he and his wife Isabel moved back to the Finger Lakes in 2006 with an interest in winemaking.

Chris writes: “With our love of wine and my passion for Upstate, my wife and I decided opening Element Winery in the Finger Lakes—in my hometown at Arkport, no less—would be a way of reconnecting with my home. We also hoped to help join the ranks of winemakers trying to make the Finger Lakes a world class wine region and spread the gospel. And so we did. In 2009 we plunged in head-first with a few thousand liters of Riesling, and bumbling as we were, we made it through. In fact, the wine came out shockingly well, and the 2009 Riesling is currently being poured at some of the best restaurants in the country.”

To read more about the trials and tribulations of starting a Finger Lakes winery from the ground up, grab a copy of our May/June issue to read Christopher Bates’ full story!

Photo by Jan Regan

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