Opening Day at Red Newt!

opening day headline

Wow, what a party!! So how did this ever happen? 

Well, it was a whirlwind to get ready for opening on June 27th in 1999.  We had made the wine, gone through the arduous process of getting a license, scraped enough enough money to buy equipment and make renovations.  (All of this from what could pragmatically be considered thin air) and worked our asses off.

building materieals arrivedWe started renovations in the tasting room just a few months before opening.  What a great day it was when we had the entire room in place… just not assembled:

We had gutted the future tasting room, which had been a bare bones warehouse with little insulation, insulated walls and ceiling, cut in doors & windows, installed new ceiling & lighting, hardwood floors, built a new exterior deck and painted the entire building inside and out.  I did pretty much all of the painting to the tune of 200+ gallons of paint!jeff richards head shot

So, a short while before we opened, a fella stopped by and asked something like “I hear your going to open a winery.”  I think that I had met Jeff Richards at one of my former winemaker jobs.  He was a jolly, disarming photographer and was the quintessential Finger Lakes (these days we’d say “FLX”) wine lover.  He also penned a regular wine column in the Gannet Newspaper.  We were thrilled to have the attention.  And were flabbergasted when on the day before we opened we saw our Newt on the front page and a generous spread inside:

opening day news article

It turned out to be quite a day. Hundreds of peeps, new and old. Lots of food, wine, music and cheer. Take a look at our album. Many of the folks are still friends, and there are many who are still familiar faces. If you see yourself, or one of your friends (21 years younger) give a shout out!

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