Finger Lakes organic vinifera vineyard sold

Main building at Silver Thread.
LODI, NY — What is called the only organically-farmed vinifera wine estate in the Finger Lakes has new owners.

Shannon and Paul Brock said today they have entered into an agreement to purchase Silver Thread Vineyard from Richard Figiel, owner and founder. Final sale is pending license approval from the New York State Liquor Authority.

Figiel founded the 10-acre, organically-farmed vineyard on the east side of Seneca Lake. The estate winery has been operating since 1991, producing small quantities of vinifera wines, including Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer and Cabernet Franc.

“We are very excited to have this opportunity to create high-quality wines using the well-established Silver Thread label,” said Shannon Brock, who had been wine coordinator for the New York Wine & Culinary Center (NYWCC) in Canandaigua.

“We have great respect for what Richard has contributed to the Finger Lakes wine industry and will continue to develop the winery in keeping with his vision.”

Silver Thread is rated among the top six Finger Lakes wine producers in the latest “Robert Parker Wine Guide.” Its Riesling label is featured in the sixth edition of “The World Atlas of Wine.”

The Brocks say sustainable farming practices and hand-crafted wine production will continue under their ownership. Shannon will be the general manager. Paul will be consulting winemaker while maintaining his position as instructor of viticulture and wine technology at Finger Lakes Community College. He previously worked as the winemaker at Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars in Lodi. Although Shannon has resigned from the NYWCC, she will continue to instruct Wine & Spirit Education Trust courses there.

Figiel, who will be available as a consultant during the first year of transition, plans to return to fulltime writing. He is working on a history of New York wine for Cornell University Press.

“I turned down the offer of a prestigious Rhone Valley winemaker,” Figiel said, “in favor of the talent, energy and skills of the Brocks and the knowledge that another Finger Lakes family will be taking stewardship of this patch of paradise on Seneca Lake. I’m confident the future of Silver Thread is in good hands.”

Silver Thread is located at 1401 Caywood Road. Phone: (607) 582-6116.

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