This November hallmarks 17 years of business for Deer Run Winery owners, George and Joan Kuyon. I interviewed George, Joan and their son, Scott separately to find out how they each feel about reaching this milestone.
George was in the production building assembling a wood countertop for the new lab space when I came in out of the blue and asked him what he feels has been his greatest challenge as a business owner. I believe most small business owners would agree with him when he said the greatest challenge has been "paying for things". Deer Run Winery would not be a brand or a place for folks to get together on Conesus Lake if it wasn't for George's tenacity to keep the business afloat all these years. It has been a blessing and a burden for George and Joan, who continue to financially support the business as it grows larger.
Are you happy with where the winery is today? I asked George. He replied, "Yes, very happy. I never thought it would go this far. By the grace of God, Scott showed up at just the right time...that made me very happy". Scott had been working as a manager of a marina in Florida and decided to move home after George built the winery, just before it opened. George and Scott have worked closely together for the better part of two decades as a father and son team of commercial winemakers.
"What has been the greatest highlight of the last 17 years?" George didn't miss a beat and answered, 'It's Scott and how he has taken the winemaking to another level."
I phoned Joan, and asked her what she feels has been the greatest highlight as owner of Deer Run Winery for the last 17 years. She replied , "The winery brought Scott back to us". And are you happy with where the winery is today? I asked. Joan replied, "I'm proud its a family-run boutique business that has grown to include weddings and a wine club."
I appeared in my husband's (Scott's) office and sat down opposite him to ask him what he feels he has learned about himself over the last 17 years working at Deer Run. "Patience, lots of patience". Scott went on to add, "I have a better grasp on critical thinking. Farming grapes and making wine has taught me small changes can lead to large results over time if you have the patience to see it through. Some [changes] take years to show up. Winemaking techniques and styles can take 6-8 months to show up in a bottle. We get better by learning and experimenting." Lastly, I asked Scott if he is happy with where Deer Run Winery is today. To that he replied, "Overall, I am happy we are still around!"
Congratulations George, Joan and Scott! Your determination and drive has led to a successful business enjoyed by so many people from all over the world! Many folks have fond memories associated with their time spent at Deer Run Winery. May you continue to host good times and great people over delicious glasses of wine for many years! Cheers!!
Do you ever feel like you circle around each year wondering what to get for your loved ones at Christmastime? If they are a wine lover, Deer Run's 12 wines of Christmas is the perfect gift for any wine lover this Holiday Season. The line up includes 12 award-winning Deer Run wines, 12 mylar wine bottle gift bags and each wine will come with its own postcard including the wine specifics and pairing ideas! Gift one bottle a day, gift 12 bottles on Christmas or gift one bottle to 12 co-workers or friends, any way you go about it, the case savings is a great deal you won't want to pass up!
We are taking preorders now for pick up after December 01st. Available for pick up at Deer Run Winery only. To order your 12 Wines of Christmas case, click the link below!
We welcomed 50 guests here this past Saturday for our Tapas in the Vineyard event and were blessed with beautiful weather, friendly faces, and delicious food & wine! To ensure social distancing we welcomed groups of 6 guests every 20 minutes. Guests arriving checked in with our staff in our event room, collected their wine glass and began with the first pairing: spicy polenta cake topped with smoked pulled pork paired with our gold medal awarded 2018 Corot Noir.
Afterwards, folks strolled outside into the vineyard where we set up three additional stations. Their first vineyard stop was at George's garden where they enjoyed a caprese skewer paired with 2018 Traminette. The basil and grape tomatoes were picked from the garden just hours before and skewered with fresh mozzarella balls.
Guests were close enough to smell the smoke coming from Scott's station further up in the vineyard where he was grilling up the portobello mushrooms and skirt steak with chimichurri sauce tapas paired with our gold medal awarded Runway Red. The skirt steak was purchased from Wilson's Beef Farms in Canaseraga and the quality was phenomenal! Scott used this chimichurri sauce recipe and marinated the meat for 24 hours resulting in an incredibly tender and flavorful bite. Personally, this was my favorite tapas of the evening.
Once guests finished their garlicky steak and mushroom bites they walked to the opposite side of the vineyard where they were greeted by me! I was serving up goat cheese, fig and honey spread on crostini topped with chopped pistachios which was paired with 2018 Vignoles. An easy appetizer to make and serve at your next dinner party. The robust flavor profile of the Vignoles pairs very well with goat cheese and honey notes in the wine were accented by the honey in the spread; I received many compliments on this pairing! Unlike the recipe states, I chose to whip the fig jam and goat cheese together until lit was light and fluffy and layered the dip with honey. The base was a sea salt baguette crostini which is a newly added product made by Monk's Bread from the Abbey of the Genesee. The final pairing was served in our tasting room. We ended on a sweet note and paired Cherry Cocoa Cove with chocolate cherry bombs!
Many guests stayed a while afterwards and enjoyed the sunset while sharing a bottle of wine among friends and family in their group. And while the evening glow and heat receded over our beautiful part of the world, the night seemed to hold a magical feeling as so many of our events do. These special occasions give us the opportunity to meet our customers in person and listen to their candid comments about our wines. The most popular comment heard this past Saturday evening was, "When will we be holding another Tapas event?" and to that I say hopefully we will be getting together again soon! ;)
If it has been a while since you visited our tasting room, we invite you to join us again! But before you visit, here are a few tasting room updates post-pandemic:
Conesus Lake today
Overnight Accommodations: The area has gown in residents and there are many gorgeous lake homes available for rent through sites like Airbnb and VRBO and there is no shortage of activities that one can enjoy when visiting Conesus Lake! Not looking to stay a whole week? Look into our local hotels: The Hampton Inn Geneseo, The Quality Inn and The Rodeway Inn.
Craft Beverage Trail: A few years back, five breweries and a cidery opened in Livingston County and along with Deer Run Winery and Eagle Crest Winery, the craft beverage producers teamed up to create one of the newest trails, The Livingston Libation Loop. This trail has bold flavors, quirky characters and award-winning brews and wines that will make you want to stock-up & take home the liquid deliciousness to enjoy after your day of sampling!
Hiking & Rafting: Just a 20-minute drive from Conesus Lake, lies "the no. 1 state park in the nation" Letchworth State Park. Voted no. 1 by USA Today in 2015 and again in 2020 by HomeToGo, ranking Letchworth as the #1 Most Extraordinary State Park in the nation! We are very fortunate to have a picturesque "grand canyon of the East" in our backyard! While hiking the trails at Letchworth, you can stop for a picnic or have lunch served at the park's, Glen Iris Inn. For those who seek a bit more adventure, check out the Class I & II river rapids white water rafting through Adventure Calls. I enjoyed a trip down river a few years ago with my family and it was hysterical and thrilling all at the same time. I recommend proper footwear as my sister was disappointed to have lost her Michael Kors sandal when disembarking from the raft!
Kayaking/Boating: Conesus Lake is a smaller lake than some of its larger sister lakes and due to its size we have smaller boats on our water. The quaintness of our lake makes it perfect for kayaking. Tropical Creations on Conesus Lake is open 7 days a week throughout the summer and in addition to kayak rentals, they offer private charters, paddle board and boat rentals. Side note: Located about a 25 minute drive East of Conesus Lake, lies another Finger Lake, largely overlooked: Canadice Lake. Canadice Lake is a watershed for the city of Rochester. Due to its watershed status, no large boats are allowed on its waters (nor is skin contact, so no swimming here!) and its shores are completely natural and do not boast homes, like many of the other Finger Lakes. Kayaking is allowed and those interested in a more remote and quiet setting will enjoy the serenity that surrounds Canadice Lake. Contact John Kenny of Canadice Lake Outfitters for kayak rental information!
Dining: Now that you've worked up an appetite, our area has no shortage of restaurants to appeal to many different palates! For pizza, check out Vincenzo's in Lakeville they have two locations and the phone number to the local pizzeria is 585-346-2030. For hearty large-portion Italian "like Grandma used to make", visit Fratelli's. Looking for lake front dining? Look no further, The Beachcomber on the South West side of Conesus Lake and Hook & Spoon at the North-end of the lake got you covered! Hankering for some BBQ? Go on over to the 3 Legged Pig for slow-roasted pit BBQ and a popular lineup of house made sauces! Maybe you imbibed a bit too much last night and are looking for a hearty breakfast - visit our neighborhood Lakeville Diner for a classic, no frills meal that is both delicious and easy on the wallet!
Morning Coffee: Looking for great coffee? Visit Little Lakes Brewing for fresh house-made pastries and coffee that's roasted right in house. It's a little location bursting with flavor and wonderful morning smells! For those of you who are Dunkin' Donuts fanatics, we have three locations within a 5-mile radius, so apparently residents of Livingston County "runs on Dunkin'"! Hey Canadians, we have a Tim Horton's in Geneseo too!
For the kiddos: The kids will love spending time in the lake or above the water, jet-skiing or boating, whatever you decide, but we also have a great little adventure center located at the corner of Rt. 256 and 20A, Minnehan's Fun Center. Minnehan's has arcade games, go-karts (for big kids and a smaller one for smaller kids), mini golf, outdoor laser tag, a batting cage, indoor bounce house and obstacle course with a ball pit. This place makes kids happy!! There is also a restaurant onsite and an ice-cream service window!!! The family can spend a few hours here and leave full and happy :)
Geneseo is also home to a movie theater, bowling alley and our Main Street offers a historical feel with its own classic movie theater, restaurants and shopping. Our little town has a lot going on making Conesus Lake a prime spot to spend with your family or honey on your next vacation! I hope to see you soon ;) Be sure to stop in and say hi! -Marie K.
The History of Conesus Lake
Conesus Lake is the westernmost Finger Lake, located just 30 minutes South of Rochester and an hour and a half West of Buffalo, she has been a tourism destination since the 1800's. Conesus Lake shorelines were surveyed and mapped in 1789. In 1882, Conesus Lake Junction was added to the Erie Railroad bringing excursionists to the Lakeville Dock at the north end of Conesus Lake, unloading its passengers, the same spot where Vitale Park is located today. From there men, women and children would board the McPherson/Starrucca steamboat, Jerry Bolles' Jessie steamer, Musette, Swan, Conesus Excursion Boat, Lulu Sailing Yacht, Captain Dan Walkley's: H. T. Jaeger, J.A. Ritz, Alice M, Rochester, and Mat Toohey's Margaret and Hope boats. Moonlight Boat Excursions would have music and laughter joining the lapping of the water to the shorelines.
Passengers were taken to different hotels and inns around the lake and part of the Erie Railroad ticket included a boat ride and a stop at Long Point Park. Early 1900's amusement rides were at Long Point and the Long Point House/Inn provided accommodations for visitors. In 1898 the first enclosed Dance Hall was built where orchestras and fiddler bands played while men and women danced the night away or listened from their horse and buggies. In 1895 began the Livingston County Picnics held at Long Point where accounts of 20,000 were in attendance. Many Band Tournaments, Buffalo and Rochester Cyclists Excursions and American Red Cross Picnics attracted people to Long Point Park and Conesus Lake. Early aviators and enthusiasts were coming to Conesus Lake to participate in the hydro-aeroplane schools held at McPherson Point, The Thomas School of Aviation in 1913 and Walter E. Johnson School of Aviation in 1914.
Later Conesus Lake visitors would visit Long Point for the Big Band Orchestras to dance and socialize in the newly built 1923 large Dance Hall and in 1949 Roller Skating concessions were added. In 1950 the new Allan Herschell Amusement Rides attracted visitors and many Family Reunions, Company Picnics, Livingston County Sheriff Deputies Dance/Balls, Coca-Cola Days, Sheriff Deputies Kiddies Day and Political Rallies were held at Long Point Park. A visitor had their choice of boats rides at Long Point Park from Bert DeGarmo's Islander, Martin Weiss' Rocket, Colonel Tooey's Chris Crafts Speedboats: Hy-Ball; Riot, Flash, Thunderbolt, Comet, Thorobred and Thorobred-1. The last excursion boat on Conesus Lake was the Lee M transported from Silver Springs, Florida resort on an adapted Coca-Cola Truck and relaunched at Long Point Park in 1959 and sold in 1970.
Written by Lore DiSalvo, Honorary Historian of Long Point Park
Conesus Red is Deer Run's Wine of the Month throughout the month of July. Conesus Red was introduced to the wine list in July of 2017 and has been a big hit with the customers and locals ever since. A blend of Steuben and Delaware grapes finished at 5.5% residual sugar. This light-bodied red wine is well-balanced & refreshing; perfect for enjoying during these hot summer days!
Conesus Red was awarded a double-gold in its very first competition at the 2017 New York Wine and Food Classic which made this wine an instant hit with our clientele. Conesus Red opens with a white peach bouquet and finishes with notes of ripe cherries and strawberries, perfect to pair with the fresh berries in season right now!
Below you can watch a short video of Marie sampling the Conesus Red
We have much to celebrate at Deer Run Winery as business slowly adjusts back to normal and we are marking the onset of Summer with some great savings! Throughout the Covid-19 experience, we have not been allowed to sample our wines for customers so we shifted with the times and added sampling pack experiences. These sampling packs went over extremely well with our customers who enjoyed the wine sampling experience in their own homes. One customer shared with us that she and her husband would "head to the winery" during a commercial break and sample a different wine from their sampler pack in their kitchen! I love the creativity and imagination that was sparked by this pandemic. People are so highly adaptable to their current situation.
Since our first run at a wine sampling party pack was so successful, we have added another. This time we are showcasing our four best selling wines: Runway Red, 2018 Riesling, Max Black and Pebble Beach Blush. To order your Best Sellers Sampling party pack, click the item below! We also have our best-sellers wine four pack on sale at this time, so you can sample the wines and enjoy a bottle of your favorite wine right away!
Another Summertime product featured below is the Picnic-to-go, which includes a pre-packed picnic for two including a chilled bottle of Conesus White, two stemless wine glasses, a wedge of Yancey's Fancy Bergenost cheese, a box of Back to Nature crackers, a mini jar of Mustard, two Monk's fruit and nut bars, chocolates, hazelnut chocolate Piroulines, plates, napkins and flatware. We are now able to accommodate guests at our picnic tables on the property, so you can enjoy your picnic right here if you desire!
Not interested in a whole picnic and just want to grab a chilled bottle of wine paired with a delicious wedge of local cheese, check out our wine and cheese combos. These combinations are tried and true and takes the guesswork out of what wine pairs best with what cheese.
Whatever you plan on doing this summer, be sure to bring a little bit of Deer Run along because wine always makes for a good time! Cheers!!
Best Sellers Wine Four Pack
Includes our four best-selling wines & a reusable wine tote:
Retail value $57
Wine & Cheese Combo
Only a few left!
We have taken the guesswork out of selecting and pairing wine with the appropriate cheese. Choose from the following options:
Select your wine and cheese combo below. Pick up at the winery only.
The above is a Mother's Day card made by my daughter when she was small; my, my how those days have passed by so quickly! For all Mothers, we secretly understand our plight, our struggle and our joy. Motherhood is a slurry of all of these things, nothing is nicely packed into its own boxes; it is at best an organized chaos. When our children are small, we wish them to be older and more self sufficient to give us a much needed break and when they have grown and no longer have a need for us, we long for them to be small and holding their outstretched arms up to us. What motherhood looks like changes dramatically as our children grow into adults, but they will forever remain our babies, just as we remained like a child in the eyes of our own Mothers.
Below is a poem I wrote when I a student at Monroe Community College about 20 years ago. The assignment was to write a poem about my life starting with the present and working backwards to birth. I felt it would be fitting to include with our Mother's Day theme, I hope you agree.
I asked my mother for advice
on what I should write,
"How do I narrow down my life?"
"Just write about your hair,
how wearing it short makes you look like a lady.
Tell them how you loved
inventing new styles, with twists and pins
Speak of times when I braided your hair,
after your bath, before you fell asleep.
And how the neighborhood girls loved to brush and play
with your long, thick waves during slumber parties.
Finally, let them know
when I saw you for the first time,
I fell in love with your bright, red hair..."
I did end up getting an "A" on the above poem - thank you, Professor Leuzzi.
For me this sums up how much we rely on our mothers. We depend on them for shelter and safety when we are small and as we grow, they provide us with guidance and advice, whether or not we choose to listen! Mom is always there until the day she is not and we must take up the reigns and do our best to fill the very large shoes of the others who came before us. May we honor our Mothers and their memories and not let them down.
Below is a clip of the video from our #deerrunmom photo contest. We asked our followers on Instagram and Facebook to upload a photo of the Mom in their life and use #deerrunmom. We received 55 pictures and have randomly chosen three winners. Congratulations to our winners and Happy Mothers Day to all the Moms our there! Press on!!
Mix the above ingredients together and add the pork chops to your marinade mixture. Marinate the pork chops in the mixture for at least 30 minutes. Fire up the grill! Grill pork chops until edges are crispy and interior temperature is 145°. Rest the pork chops for at least 3 minutes once you take them off of the grill. Serve with rice, veggies (grilled vegetables are wonderful!), and a glass of Riesling. Take advantage of our month long special offer and save on our 2018 Riesling and 2017 Dry Riesling before the sale expires! Enjoy!
2018 Dry Riesling
With apple blossom on the nose, this elegant Dry Riesling is crisp with lemons lingering mid-palate and a slight mineral finish. An excellent food pairing wine!
0.2% Residual Sugar / 13.3%ABV
Fresh grape quality on the nose, with refreshing soft tropical fruit throughout over a muted mineral finish. This medium-dry Riesling is a staple Finger Lakes crowd-pleaser!
2% Residual Sugar / 12.7% ABV
When the automobile was invented people fell in love with driving, and going for a drive is still a cherished pastime that can be done even when one is under quarantine. After Scott and I finished up work yesterday the sun was shining so beautifully we decided not to head home right away, but opted to go for a drive together around Conesus Lake. I enjoyed it so much, I felt that maybe you would too! So here are my points along the way to look for when taking a leisurely drive around our hometown lake.
1. The Conesus Lake Inlet - located at the South end of Conesus Lake, a great spot to watch the pike and walleye run! Just across the street a couple hundred yards away is also the Conesus Lake Inlet walking trail. I recommend bringing boots appropriate for walking in some mud as the paths are pretty wet this time of year.
2. Alpaca Farm - there is an alpaca farm located at the Southeast side of the Lake where you can see these adorable animals, albeit from the road!
3. Barns - there are some large barns on Conesus Lake and I know that some folks love to see and take photos of old barns (Kris Knight!)
4. Shoreless Acres - They are open for business and serving up take out - if you are hungry check them out!
5. Lakeside homes - When I was a young girl, one thing I loved to do was go for a drive with my Father in the '89 Chevy Celebrity station wagon into suburban neighborhoods and dream about one day living in a spectacular home. I still enjoy looking at gorgeous homes and dreaming and Conesus Lake has plenty of stunning homes to offer!
6. Camp Stella Maris - This well known summer camp is located high on the East side of Conesus Lake
7. OSB Ciderworks - Located at the North end of Conesus Lake you will find our neighborhood cidery owned and operated by a brother and sister team producing hand-crafted hard ciders
8. The Beachcomber - This crab-shack style restaurant is a staple on Conesus Lake's west side, they are open for to-go orders for pick up Friday - Saturday from 4-8 pm.
9. NOBS Brew Company - located a short drive down Bronson Hill Road just north of Conesus Lake, they are also currently offering curbside pick up!
10. 3 Legged Pig - Not feelin' fishy? Head here for some incredible smoked BBQ and house made sauces! Located on the North end of Conesus Lake on the corner of Rochester Road.
11. Deer Run Winery - You are here! Stop by and take a look at the new construction (this project is on a temporary pause) and place an order for wines or a slushy to-go! We will deliver right to your car!
Just 20 minutes south of Rochester, Conesus Lake has much to offer and is conveniently located, making it a perfect drive that won't take too much time out of your day!
I am the winemaker's wife. Scott and I married in 2014 and I transitioned from a hospitality manager to a grape farmer's wife, event coordinator and blog author.