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Six Mile Creek Vineyard
by
K.L. Sullivan

Located on the “south” side of Cayuga Lake, Six Mile Creek Vineyard participates with winery events on the east side and west side of Cayuga Lake. The vineyard does not have the advantages of the lake’s subtle elevation climate control, but it is located along Rt. 79E just outside of Ithaca. Looking out the back of the tasting room windows, one can view vineyards with Chardonnay, Riesling, Vidal, Cayuga White, Seyval Blanc and Vignoles grapes. The location of the vineyards makes it ideal for cold-climate white grapes. Six Mile Creek Vineyard buys the red grapes they need to make popular red wines. 

Before turning to commercial wine producing, Nancy and Roger Battistella produced homemade wine for years. When the property next door to them became available, they purchased it and began a vineyard. By 1987, they opened the winery and became a member of the Cayuga Wine Trail. The winery location is ideal for parents who have students studying at Ithaca College or Cornell University. They also benefit with visits from international guests visiting the area. Tourism in this area is on the rise and Six Mile Creek Vineyard benefits from this tourism. Approximately 75% of the visitors to the winery are new and 25% are repeat customers.

The winery produced one to two thousand cases of wine for several years and is expecting to produce over four thousand cases this year. The tasting room accounts for almost all of the Six Mile Creek Vineyard sales. Currently Six Mile Creek sells six white wines, five red wines and four premium wines.

The winery and tasting room are located in an 18th century Dutch reform farm building. Pictures of the building before it was renovated show that it was in poor condition. In addition, the building was too close to the road. The choice was to tear it down or move it. The Battistellas decided the building was worth saving and moved it back from the road by several feet. The renovation took the Battistellas and friends six years to complete while maintaining their daily jobs and tending to the newly planted vineyards.

 

Today the tasting room has numerous gifts and wine accessories to purchase. Included are unique jar candles, ceramic trivets, wine bottle candleholders, cheese boards and more. The winery encourages the wine and art culture by featuring a different artist’s work every eight weeks. In April, several works by Carol Ast are available. A unique gift is a wind up motion sculpture. This wooded device has seven parts that move in a circular orbit.

 

 

 

A small pot still is operational on site. We spoke with the assistant winemaker about the process of making alcohol. We were curious as to how a winemaker knows the difference between the heads, the hearts and the tails. He explained the difference is discernable by smell and taste. Vodka is made from 100% premium grapes. Six Mile Creek is the only winery in the United States to make vodka from 100% grapes. They use Seyval Blanc grapes. This particular vodka smells like vodka with a bit of grape. It is smooth with a nice aftertaste. The Alembic Still makes small amounts of alcohol. Quality is of utmost importance at Six Mile Creek. “Only limited quantities are made ensuring proper care and attention is given to each bottle.” Six Mile Creek focuses on two: Vodka and Limoncella.

 

Six Mile Creek is able to host events in their tasting room and on their property. Events include weddings (which may take place by a pond near the vineyards) or small group meetings. Local colleges will often have meetings at Six Mile Creek. A meeting room overlooks the vineyards and has doors that lead out to the deck. The location is perfect for reunions, anniversaries and other events.

The primary focus at Six Mile Creek is to provide an educational, fun experience with a friendly staff. The location of the winery is close to the cultural center of Ithaca. Two of their wines, Ithaca Red and Ithaca White sell well.

Nancy mentioned that plans for the wineries in the area involve creating a wine center in downtown Ithaca. A number of the wineries are interested in pursuing the concept of a nearby wine center.

If you are planning to be in the Ithaca, New York area, be sure to stop at Six Mile Creek Vineyards. You are sure to enjoy the tasting room and the beautiful pond and vineyards.

 

Six Mile Creek Vineyard
Ithaca, New York

 

GPS N 42° 25.047’ W 076° 27.260’

 

 

 


 

 

 


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