In 1976, after working for the New York State government in Albany assisting with the passage of the farm-winery bill, Jim Doolittle (Cornell University – CALS ’67) and Carol Doolittle (Good Counsel College/Pace University ’68) decided that they wanted to have their own winery. In 1978, they purchased a site with a panoramic view of Cayuga Lake, and planted their first three acres of vines. In 1982, Frontenac Point Vineyard became New York farm-winery #44, producing only 400 cases of wine.
Frontenac Point is an Estate Winery on the west side of Cayuga Lake. All of the grapes used to make our wines are grown in the winery’s vineyard, on slopes of low elevation, protected by a micro-climate influenced by Ontario and Cayuga Lakes. This provides a long growing season during which the grapes ripen to produce world-class wines.
The combination of estate-grown grapes, Cazenovia and Aurora silt loam soils, climate, and Frontenac Point’s wine-making techniques produces wines that are truly appellation Cayuga Lake.
Frontenac Point’s focus is on the production of dry wines, using barrel fermentation and other modern processes to permit the wines to gain complexity. In the Frontenac Point vineyard, there are both Vinifera and old-world hybrid vines. Our reds include vintage dated Pinot Noir, Maréchal Foch, Chambourcin, and Proprietor’s Reserve as well as an earthy Stay Sail blend. Our white wines include a dry Riesling, Chardonnay, Seyval Blanc, and several blends. Our rosé wines are made from “free-run” juice or “whole cluster press” of the red grape Chambourcin. We also have a rosé Brut Méthode Champenoise.