|The deck at Vila Bellangelo|
Take the Villa Bellangelo winery, located on the west side of Seneca Lake. A winery that had operated on the property for about two decades in the late 20th Century went belly up, and Michael Litterio purchased it around 2001. The business largely flew under the radar until 2011 when Litterio sold it to the Missick family.
What they purchased was an existing, operational winery, but when it came to cellar equipment a lot of TLC was required to get it up to standard. That began very quickly, with acquisition of a new de-stemmer, crusher, must pump, tanks from Vance Metal Fabricators in Geneva, NY, and a used press were in place for the 2012 vintage. After that, a new chilling system and forklift were added.
Now, in anticipation of the 2017 vintage, the Missicks have made a series of additional investments -- an additional forklift, an Armbruster Rotovib destemmer, a mechanized hopper, a new Willmes Merlin Press, and a new GAI bottling line, with other equipment and infrastructure improvements to be announced shortly.
"We wanted to bring in some of the best, gentlest new equipment available to the wine industry," said Greg Missick. "I'm also someone who thinks in terms of building in redundancy, and this will allow us to do that. Should a major piece of equipment go down during crush, we will only be set back in the time it takes to start another piece of equipment. "We wanted to take every precaution to ensure premium fruit is processed by premium equipment,"
Chris Missick, the winemaker, added, "From the crushpad to the bottle, we also wanted to make sure that quality control could be micromanaged at every stage of a wines development, once the fruit reached the winery."
Villa Bellangelo is located at 150 Poplar Point in Dundee, between Glenora Wine Cellars to the south and Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyards to the north. Phone: (607) 243-8602.
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