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Barnstormer Winery
Kathy Sullivan

Barnstormer WineryBarnstormer Winery is one of the new wineries along Seneca Lake. The winery opened September 6, 2013. Today all Barnstormer wines are sold at the tasting room. Eventually Scott Bronstein, owner, plans to have his wines in restaurants.

As we approached the Barnstormer Winery, we saw owner Scott Bronstein smiling, waving and happily mowing a field near the winery. Later Scott mentioned how much he enjoys mowing the grass that is close to the tasting room and winery. The tasting room is in an old barn which has a welcoming porch on the front of it.

Barnstormer WineryInside, the barn has been very nicely renovated and is in two sections with the main tasting counter in the front. A second tasting counter is located in the next area which also has numerous colorful local works of art available for sale. In one corner, a small comfortable seating arrangement is available for four or five people.

The Name “Barnstormer”

Barnstormer is an unusual name for a winery but there is a logical reason behind the Barnstormer Winery name. While Scott had a list of 200 possible names for the winery, it was his mother, Nancy who provided the suggestion of Barnstormer. She was aware that the area was filled with barnstormers, pilots who traveled around the country giving flying exhibitions and performing aeronautical stunts. In fact Scott’s grandfather Robert Bronstein was a pilot with a plane identified as N66799.

Barnstormer Winery

Barnstormer Winery is located close to Seneca Lake, the deepest lake in the Finger Lakes region. Scott Bronstein opened the winery in 2013.

Barnstormer WineryScott’s background focused on business marketing. With that knowledge base, Scott noted that he is increasingly proud of the branding in the area. With regard to Barnstormer Winery, Scott said, "I still plan on selling our wine strictly from the tasting room with some exceptions on the west coast (restaurants familiar with our story) that can help promote the Finger Lakes brand."

Scott is a friendly winery owner and works with winemakers from other wineries. Scott noted, “There’s a lot of cooperation around here.” His interest in wine began when he was 13 and visited a winery in California for his uncle’s wedding. Several years later he visited Tuscany and that reinforced his interest in wine. After graduating, he packed his car and headed west. Scott worked in Napa for two years. When the current property was for sale, Scott made the decision to purchase it. The original onsite winery was known as Arcadian Estate Winery. Scott decided to replace the existing vineyards, a project that will take several years.

Scott oversees the production. He has support from area winemakers who consult with him. Currently the Barnstormer wines are not produced on location but at some of the consultants’ wineries. Eventually Scott plans to have the Barnstormer wines produced onsite. At the time of our visit, workers were working on the winery facility on the lower level of the barn. Scott is producing 2,000 cases of wine and plans to reach 3,000 cases.

Barnstormer WinerySupporting Local Businesses

One of the focuses at Barnstormer is the local aspects. Scott collaborates with local businesses. The wine tasting room offers a couple of local beers on tap, local cheeses and local products including local artwork. Barnstormer Winery offers live music and concert events.

Scott would like the public to know that the Barnstormer Winery is "a boutique style winery focused on low production, high quality wines that can only be purchased at the winery." The winery is only two years old and winning awards.

The Wines of Barnstorm Winery

While visiting with Scott we had the opportunity to taste several wines produced with the Riesling grape variety. The 2014 Dry Riesling was a light straw color with 12.5% alcohol. The residual sugar measured six grams per liter. The wine offered notes of floral, citrus and tropical fruits. The finish was crisp and fruity. The grapes for this wine were harvested from three vineyards.

The 2014 Semi-dry Riesling had 12.2% alcohol. This light yellow wine had 25 grams per liter of residual sugar. The aroma was of lemon grass and tropical fruit. The taste had notes of peaches and tropical fruit. The finish was crisp and fruity. This wine would pair with swinging in a hammock on a sunny day.

Barnstormer WineryThe 2014 Riesling N6679P was name for Scott’s grandfather’s aircraft. The wine with 9.5% alcohol had a residual sugar of 50 grams per litter. This light yellow wine offered notes of peaches and some tropical fruits. The finish was crisp. It does not seem as sweet due to the acidity. When visiting the tasting room ask to sample this wine.

The 2014 Riesling Ice Wine was harvested in January of 2014 at 40.9 brix. The residual sugar was 260 grams per liter. The wine with 9 percent alcohol was a dark yellow color. The aroma was floral with notes of honeysuckle. The taste had a very smooth mouthfeel, honey and cooked yellow stone fruit.

Although the Cabernet Franc Ice Wine 2013 was sold out we were able to taste a small sample. The ice wine, with 10% alcohol, was a dark orange color with notes of strawberry and rhubarb. The wine had a very smooth mouthfeel.

Take note of the back labels of the wines. The label has a numerical chart of the sweetness of the wines with the number one representing dry and sweet is number ten. Each wine label also indicates the number of cases produced.

Visitors to the region should be sure to stop by Barnstormer Winery for the ambiance and for the wines and miscellaneous local products.

Barnstormer Winery
4184 State Route 14
Rock Stream, New York 14878

GPS: N42º 26.126’ W76º 54.415’


Article written August 2015




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