May 9, 2011 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Jennifer Johnson 513-502-0123
Johnson Estate Winery: NYS’s Oldest Estate Winery Celebrates 50 Years of Operation
Renovated Tasting Room, Sunday Morning Vineyard Walks, and Other Activities
Westfield (NY) –From the outside, little seems to have changed at Johnson Estate Winery, whose tasting room and gift shop have always been located in the old apple cold storage building on West Main Rd. in Westfield.
But on the inside, much has changed, with the addition of a new finished good warehouse in 2010 and this spring, the renovation and expansion of the winery tasting room. Now there is a clear view of shiny tanks through a new glass wall built to divide the building into tasting room and winery production activities. The original portions of the building – wood windows, simple moldings, century-old barn beams, and even old insulated walls essential to the cold storage facility – have been preserved and new elements added appropriate for an agricultural processing facility of the 1920’s. The new tasting room now serves as a backdrop for stainless-steel jacketed tanks – and provides ample justification for a visit before the summer rush!
Johnson Estate Winery – Renovated Tasting Room Facing Northeast
These renovations have been completed just in time for Johnson Estate’s anniversary celebrations – for the year 2011 marks not only Chautauqua County’s bicentennial, but also the 50th anniversary of the winery, established by Frederick Johnson in 1961, and the 100th anniversary of the family farm, purchased by his father in 1911.
Century Farm History: In 1890, Frederick W. Johnson emigrated from the UK to Canada as a 14 year-old orphan. He worked as a cowboy in western Canada, moved to the U.S. in 1903, and attended Westfield Academy and Cornell University before moving to North East, Pennsylvania as the state extension agent. There he married Nan Scouller and entered the farming business. Mr. Johnson purchased the land and house that is now Johnson Estate from the Peacock family, heirs of the original owner and land agent of the Holland Land Company, and built the apple cold storage building which now houses the winery.
Winery’s 50th Anniversary: Frederick S. Johnson, son of Fred and Nan, founded the winery fifty years ago, after serving as a pilot in the Navy, graduating from Cornell, and working in international agriculture. He was amongst the first in western New York to plant French-hybrid grapes bred for wine and those vines still produce juice for many of the Estate’s wines. Today, the winery and farm are owned by the third generation of Johnsons, all Cornell graduates, including Jennifer Johnson, wife of Fred Johnson.
New for Summer 2011 – Iris Gardens, Westfield Farmer’s Market, and “Chautauqua in June”:
The end of May marks the opening of Westfield's Farmer's Market and Johnson Estate plans to be a regular vendor, hoping “to support the community and to share our products with both local residents and visitors”. The winery will feature a selection of wines, but in view of the morning hours of the market, it will also offer seasonal baked goods from the Brick Village Gourmet and other bakers. The winery, open every day, will also be celebrating the blooming of the iris in its farm gardens at the end of May.
In June, the winery is participating in Chautauqua County Visitors’ Bureau (CCVB) “Chautauqua in June” Learning Festival and will be offering five activities including on “A Day in the Garden” on June 3rd and a “Winemaker’s Dinner” and “Art in the Vineyards” on June 4th. Other activities include “Learn to Make Pesto”, June 13th, and a series of Sunday Morning Vineyard Walks commencing June 5th. Registration for these activities is available on the winery’s website, www.johnsonwinery.com, or by calling 716-326-2191.
Johnson Estate Winery, New York’s Oldest Estate Winery, located in the heart of America’s Grape Country and a member of Lake Erie Wine Country, formerly the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail.