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Buttonwood Grove Winery
Kathy and Terry Sullivan

Buttonwood Grove WinerySummary: Dave and Melissa Pittard purchased Buttonwood Grove Winery in 2014. The new owners are moving towards more traditional vinifera varieties for the winery’s portfolio. While the winery is changing in numerous ways, the friendly atmosphere continues on.

Visitors to Buttonwood Grove Winery will wind their way past grapevines towards an attractive wood structure with an extended deck. The winery was named by the original owners. There were many buttonwood trees on the property, and the owners decided to call the winery Buttonwood Grove. While tasting wines we met the wonderful, friendly winery dog, Isia.

We were pleased to find that one of the attractions at the winery has not changed with the new ownership. Visitors will see in a nearby pasture an unusual Scottish Highland cow with horns.

We met Marcia Klue who does the advertising and marketing for the winery. She explained that Buttonwood Grove Winery underwent new ownership in 2014. Dave and Melissa Pittard the owners from Skaneateles, New York wanted to purchase a pre-existing winery and increase the quality of the wines. Dave had attended Cornell College of Agriculture. Buttonwood Grove was a good fit for the couple.

In 2015 the Buttonwood Grove wines are produced offsite; however, the wines are bottled at the Buttonwood Grove facility. Eventually the entire winemaking process will be moved to the onsite location.

Buttonwood Grove WineryButtonwood Grove WineryThe Vineyards at Buttonwood Grove Winery

The original vineyard was planted in 1999. Dave wants to focus on vinifera grape varieties. The 14 acres of vineyards are planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Riesling. Seedless Concord grapes are also grown and these grapes are sold fresh. They also make a Concord grape pie that is popular.

On the day of our August visit, a tractor was hedging the vines in the vineyard rows. Veraison took place recently and the Cabernet Franc grapes (pictured) were beginning to show their purple colors.


Dave and Melissa want to rebrand the winery to an elegant rustic country style. In addition they are changing the wine bottle labels. Important to the rebranding of Buttonwood Grove Winery is new more visible signage, live music, “Experience Buttonwood Grove” and “Drink it in.” The new owners want people to buy a bottle of wine and enjoy the deck, while viewing the lake. The winery has a certified kitchen as of 2015 with an in-house chef for Friday and Saturday lunches. On Fridays there is a barbecue and live music.

Buttonwood Grove WineryTasting Room

The tasting room is a large L-shaped room and has a bright, warm feel to it. Numerous gift items are on display throughout the room. This is one of the largest best-stocked gift shops that we have seen. While tasting wines, visitors can amble past the displays of an assortment of wine-related gift items.

Outside the tasting room there is a covered wood deck overlooking the vineyards and Cayuga Lake. Tables and chairs, on this deck provide a place to experience the serenity of the area while tasting Buttonwood Grove wines. Another deck is attached to this deck via a stairway. It too has tables and chairs.

Wines at Buttonwood Grove Winery

Buttonwood Grove WinerySue Passmore is the winemaker. Reserve Chardonnay 2013 was oaked for six months. The 12% alcohol wine was a light yellow color with notes of apple and caramel. The wine was creamy with a crisp finish. Chardonnay 2014 was unoaked. This light straw colored wine offered notes of apple, pear and citrus. The wine was smooth with apple and pear with a hint of tropical fruit. The finish was crisp and fruity with the fruit yielding to mineral. The 2013 Riesling Dry, with 2% residual sugar, was a very pale yellow. The wine offered a light aroma with apple and a hint of mineral. The wine was crisp and food friendly. The Semi-Dry Riesling 2013 was 12% alcohol. The wine was a pale yellow with some aromatics. This semi-dry wine would pair perfectly with a rocking chair on the porch or with appetizers.

Cabernet Franc 2012 was a blend of Cabernet Franc and a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was a translucent ruby color. The wine offered dark fruit notes including black berries, black raspberries, plums and spices. Tannins were accompanied by a crisp finish that emphasized fruit and leather notes.

A short walking distance from the tasting room, Buttonwood Grove Winery offers four cabins for lodging. According to Marcia, the cabins are popular and should be booked early. Each cabin features a porch that is perfect for watching the sunrise or enjoying the evening with your favorite wine.

Buttonwood Grove WineryVisitors should allow for extended time when visiting Buttonwood Grove Winery. Spend some time browsing throughout the gift shop and take in the wonderful views from the decks.

Buttonwood Grove Winery
5986 State Route 89
Romulus, New York 14541

GPS: N42º 43.964’ W76º 46.236’


Article written September 2015




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