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Glenora Wine Cellars, one of the oldest area wineries, is up for sale

Glenora Wine Cellars

A well-known Finger Lakes winery is up for sale. Glenora Wine Cellarshas been listed at $10.8 million.

Glenora was the first winery on Seneca Lake, and one of just a few in the Finger Lakes when it opened in 1977.

But after 45 years, Gene Pierce, who co-owns that winery in Yates County along with his business partner Scott Welliver, said it’s time to move on. The 76-year-old Pierce told WXXI News that he’s pleased with where Glenora stands now among the dozens of wineries in the region, and he’s glad to help whoever eventually buys the facility.

The asking price includes not just the winery, but a restaurant and a 30-room inn. Pierce said when they added those amenities years ago, they were pretty unusual as the time.

“Early on, we were the only winery, there were very few wineries; there certainly weren’t restaurants or places for people to eat,” said Pierce. “So when we expanded in 1988, we looked at that as an opportunity. We added a small café. As more and more people came into the area, we recognized that they were looking for places to stay.”

Pierce said that’s when they added the inn, which was unique for Seneca Lake at the time.

Pierce said that even after they find a buyer for Glenora Wine Cellars, he plans to stay in the area. And he is also feeling positive about the continued growth of the wine industry here.

“Now there’s more and more recognition of the Finger Lakes, of the wines that we produce, and certainly the fact that we’re probably in one of the most beautiful wine producing regions of the United States, that’s also a great asset.”

Pierce is hopeful they can find a buyer in about 12 to 18 months. He said that Glenora employs more than 100 people during its busy season.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.