Sunday, May 29, 2011

Democrat and Chronicle Celebrates Johnston Estate Winery's 50th Anniversary

(Photo of tasting room which preserves old barn beams that add luster to newly rennovated tastingroom)
Johnson Estate Winery celebrates 50th anniversary
2:01 PM, May. 11, 2011
RochesterDemocrat and Chronicle

One of the state's 10 oldest wineries is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Johnson Estate Winery, established by Frederick S. Johnson in 1961 in Westfield, Chautauqua County, just finished renovating and expanding its tasting room. Tanks can be seen through a new glass wall of the former apple cold storage building that long has served as the tasting room and gift shop. The original portions of the building, including simple moldings, century-old barn beams, and even old insulated walls, have been preserved, according to a news release from the winery.

The farm originally was owned by the Peacock family, heirs of the original owner and land agent of the Holland Land Co. In 1911, Frederick W. Johnson, an immigrant from the United Kingdom by way of Canada, purchased the land and house and built the apple cold storage building that now houses the winery.

Frederick S. Johnson, son of Frederick W. and Nan Scouller Johnson, founded the winery after serving as a pilot in the Navy, graduating from Cornell University and working in international agriculture, according to the winery's news release. He was among the first in western New York to plant French-hybrid grapes bred for wine, and those vines still produce juice for many of the estate's wines. Today, the winery and farm are owned by the third generation of Johnsons, all Cornell graduates.

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