Currently there are over one hundred wineries in operation in the Finger Lakes are of New York state. The first record of wine making in the Finger Lakes is in 1829 however winemaking didn’t really take off until cold weather root stock was plated by Dr. Konstantin Frank in 1951.
After years of planting Vitis vinifera in the colder climate of the Ukraine, Dr. Frank was sure that it could be grown in the Finger Lakes if grafted onto the proper, cold-hardy native rootstock. He proved this in 1962 when he started Vinifera Wine Cellars, in Hammondsport. Dr. Frank successfully grew and produced wine from Vitis vinifera grapes such as Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot noir, Gewürztraminer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, grafted onto native rootstock. Plantings of Vitis vinifera varieties spread throughout the region, reinvigorating the Finger Lakes wine region’s growth and popularity.