Where wine becomes family
By Patti Dorazio
Happen to be passing through Cazenovia and have a yearning for handcrafted wines in a picturesque setting? Then follow signs to Owera Vineyards, a boutique winery on 57 acres on the eastern shores of Cazenovia Lake. There you will enjoy a comfortable and unique experience, capped off with tastings of award-winning wines and artisan food from the bountiful region that surrounds this part of New York.
The family-run winery started out as a family legacy project, but it’s turned into so much more. And we’re thankful for that. Planting of grapes began in 2008, but the winery really came into its own in 2010 when it started producing wines; production led to the opening of a public winery in 2013. Since its inception, the winery has stuck to a single goal: quality of experience. And the definition of quality goes beyond the wine itself; it extends to the location–complete with a kitchen/vegetable garden and “range” for Angus beef cattle to roam freely–to spot-on friendly customer service, to a café offering small plates that complement and use wine in its offerings. This is where “wine becomes family,” a mantra at the center of Owera’s brand. True, anyone who visits Owera attaches individual meaning to that experience, but the family’s hope is that after your visit and tasting, you, too, will feel like family. You’ll sense community among the people around you, and you’ll soon realize everyone is welcome into the family here.
At Owera there’s a collaborative team effort aimed at making your visit and tasting a well-rounded, comfortable experience with the help of a cozy, intimate tasting room, knowledgeable staff and an innovative chef, who focuses on pairing his farm-to-table small plates with Owera wines. For a truly unique food pairing experience, you must try the Chocolate Board, where the chef matches different chocolates, made by a local purveyor, to various wines. Nothing beats ending your day at Owera Vineyards with chocolate and wine. Everything is done to enhance your overall experience, making you want to return again and again. Oh, yes, and let’s not forget Acoustic Fridays featuring a live, local band from 6pm-9pm. But let’s talk about the wines now, from Chardonnays to Rieslings to Cabernet Francs to a Port-style Cazenovia 1793: You can opt for the Standard Tasting ($5.00), the Premium Tasting ($8.00), or a White or Red Wine Flight ($10.00) with wines chosen by the winemaker. If you’re looking to make a great experience a perfect one, grab a friend (or a few), settle into an Adirondack chair on Owera’s outdoor patio, sample crisp wines and fresh local fare, and relax and enjoy what Owera Vineyards has to offer. You deserve this.
5276 East Lake Road, Cazenovia, 315.815.4311, oweravineyards.com
Patti Dorazio is a recently retired technical communication professor from SUNY Institute of Technology who now has time to fulfill dreams of writing pieces about culinary arts and to continue to practice her cooking skills.