Pleasant Valley Wine Company, Hammondsport

4.0
#7 of 8 in Wineries in Hammondsport
Pleasant Valley Wine Company, also known as Great Western Winery, is a historic winery complex located in the Hamlet of Rheims in the Town of Urbana in Steuben County, New York. The complex consists of nine historic buildings constructed of fieldstone. The five oldest structures were built in the 1860s and are in the Italianate style.It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.The winery has the largest plantings of Chardonnay and Riesling in New York.HistoryEstablished on March 15, 1860 by Charles Champlin and 12 other investors, the winery is the first bonded winery in the United States; bonded winery #1. The winery produced Isabella and Catawba initially, expanding into sparkling wine production in 1865, earning the Pleasant Valley the nickname "the Reims of America." The on-site post office used the postmark "Reims, NY" until 1945.During Prohibition, the winery survived by making sacramental and medicinal wines. After Repeal, the winery was sold several times, including the Taylor Wine Company in 1961, and inclusion in the sale of Taylor to Coca-Cola in 1977. Coke sold the winery to Joseph E. Seagram & Sons in 1983, which sold the winery to Vintners International in 1987. In 1995, the winery was purchased by the Doyle family.
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Pleasant Valley Wine Company Reviews
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  • We could tell you which one, but everyone has a different wine palate. Let's just say the label has a dog on it. We went in to sample and buy our usual bottle, there are a lot of wineries in the area....  more »
  • The only place in the Finger Lakes offering a tour of working facility plus film & lecture on the history of wine making and the area. The rest of the places are either quaint wineries for tasting and...  more »
  • This massive property is steeped in heritage, being America's oldest bonded winery (meaning there may be older wineries, but this one first to follow the rules). The wines are from Niagara and Catawba...  more »
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  • Just tried a bottle of the Chocolate Lab for new years eve. It was a hit. Grwat with ice cream and cookies. A wonderful dessert wine.
  • The best tour in the finger lakes!! So much history! and great wine!!!
  • Having romantic notions of opening a winery or starting a vineyard? Get schooled on wine production history and tour an amazing complex pondering what it once was and currently is.
  • We arrived at 4:40 to do a tasting, just in time to see them take the "open" flag inside...we walked to the door and knocked...no answer...went into the wine shop and were informed that they were closed for tastings at 4:45. From the wine shop we could clearly see another couple actively tasting, but were turned away as the staff would have to clean up the wine bar and they would be closed right at 5pm. Never tried the wine but from the looks of it they are too large to care about the people drinking their wine if it will be any inconvenience for them to serve their clients. Disappointed.
  • My wife and I found this to be the best part of our trip around some of the wineries in the Finger lakes. Of all the places we went this was one of the few that I could say there was a "pleasant" taste and experience in every glass. My wife's love of chocolate was fulfilled with the Chocolate Lab wine. Personally, I found a few of my favorites there as well, from my beloved dry reds to the sweet reds. My favorite surprise came with their "Solera" version of Dry Sherry. I have since bought a couple cases through a local merchant. In addition, the tour was filled with history as this winery is truly a part of the long Fingerlakes story, it's ups and downs and changes. One of the oldest wineries around, the character of the place is amazing and enchanting to say the least. Large places for parties and meetings are available for reservations I am sure. We all have different tastes but this was a tremendous highlight for us, and will be one of our favorite places to visit whenever down that way. We are sharing this as often with friends and family as possible. Worth the trip and worth the history. Enjoy!

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