The Tasting Room-Katie’s Story

Katie Goodwin – Wine Club/Customer Relations Director

  • Katie Goodwin with coffee
  • Katie Goodwin in gorge
  • Katie with dog Loki

Our Story – Katie’s Story

Katie has been a part of the Red Newt team for well over a decade, wearing many hats she has worked in the Tasting Room, Bistro, kitchen, and the office.  

A US native she spent her formative years living overseas in Bavaria in the southeast corner of Germany.  After moving back to the states, she spent vacations with family in the Finger Lakes (ironically less than two miles from Red Newt Cellars).  After falling in love with the area her family made the decision to move to Seneca Lake. How many people can say that they got to move to the place that they love to vacation?

A hard-working goofball Katie has been in the hospitality industry for over 20 years.  After completing her degree in paralegal studies, she realized that office work excluded one of the rewarding aspects of her career path: working with people in an exciting and active way.  Katie joined the team at Red Newt in 2006 where she immediately fell in love with the people and the industry.  

If any of this story seems familiar to another member of the staff at Red Newt, it is!  Katie and Meagz are sisters, and it is probably a good thing they work in different parts of the business.  In reality, although Katie and Meagz work well together and are in fact family, the entire team at Red Newt has become an extended family.

When Katie is not at Red Newt she is home with her partner-in-life Tony, children Cordelia and Lewis, and furbaby Loki, spending time hiking, lake-side, at the stables, reading, dancing in the kitchen cooking and eating. 

Virtual Rewind-Bullhorn Creek

NooTTooB Thowback to 2009 – Red Newt Riesling – Bullhorn Creek Vineyard.

From the Archives

Bullhorn Creek Vineyard was located just south of Red Newt and was a featured source for single vineyard Riesling for a handful of years.  Steve Bond (now retired) was the grower, and the site was exquisite.  Riesling clone 90, impeccably managed, distinctive site.  Here’s a NooTTooB throwback from the 2009 vintage!


Merlot Harvest at Glacier Ridge

The year is 2010…

The vineyard is Glacier Ridge.  2010 was a warm, ripe vintage yielding fruit that was exceptionally ripe and dark from Glacier Ridge Vineyard.

These archival NooTTooBs were shot in the early days of pocket cams… long before every person had an HD video camera in their pocket at every moment!  I hope you enjoy these as much as I had making them a decade ago!

New York Farm Day on Capitol Hill

New York Farm Days on Capitol Hill

In 2001, Senator Hillary Clinton gathered the Agricultural Economic Development Advisory Committee and asked them how to convince the Senate that New York State was a major agricultural state. The answer was to take New York’s agriculture to Washington, D.C. The first New York Farm Day was held on Capitol Hill in September of 2002. The most important part of this day was not just the winemakers and their wines or the chefs and their dishes, but also the farmers. By bringing farmers, producers, winemakers and chefs all together in one place, the event truly highlighted the diverse bounty of New York’s agriculture. 

The 2002 event was such a success, it continued for years, eventually with the backing of Senator Gillibrand.  The primary goal was not just to demonstrate the power of New York’s agricultural industry but to also influence agricultural legislation. As events of today have shown, agriculture in New York State at all levels is an imperative part of the New York economy and advocating for it is essential. 

Verjooz Curd mouse with raspberries

For many years Red Newt Cellars participated in this event. Our wines, and food from our bistro helped showcase the amazing farmers of New York! Some of you may also remember a dish that made an appearance on Capitol Hill. The Verjooz Curd Mouse, topped with fresh raspberries and a raspberry coulis was always a hit! We can’t wait for the berry season! 

From the NooTTooB Archive – 2010 Merlot

Looking back on 2010…

It was a warm, moist year, with harvest coming very early.  At least starting that way.  Once it starts, sometimes it’s hard not to just keep running headlong to the finish.  But sometimes, that’s exactly what NOT to do.  2010 was a little like that.  Take a look-see!

If you’d like to taste hear more talk about the Glacier Ridge Merlot, join us on Facebook Live!

We’ll be tasting Merlot from Glacier Ridge Vineyards on our next virtual tasting!  Visit the Red Newt Cellars Facebook page at 4pm Saturday, April 18th.

Virtual Tasting- Aged Single Vineyard Reds

Would you like to taste along?  Click here to order wines to be shipped to your door (FREE shipping for 6 bottles or more)

Click here to watch live and be part of the conversation on Facebook!

This Curated set of wines will be tasted with our team…. and you!

Wines in this tasting:  We dug deep into the cellar to feature wines that aged beautifully! Today, we feature the…

  • 2007 Merlot Glacier Ridge
  • 2012 Merlot Glacier Ridge

Tastings will commence at 4PM. If you already have a bottle at home, feel free to enjoy a glass with us and join the discussion!

Click here to watch live and be part of the conversation on Facebook!

From the Archives – NooTTooB #7

Sawmill Creek Vineyards and Jim Hazlitt

This week in our Online Virtual Tastings and blogs, we’ll be taking a deep dive into Wines from Sawmill Creek Vineyards.  To prepare ourselves, and to pique your interest, I’ve pulled a 2002 “NooTTooB interview from 2008 with grower Jim Hazlitt.

You can also view this video, and our live tastings on our Facebook page!

Check out our lineup of Virtual Live tastings on our calendar!




Harvest Team 2018

Harvest team rocks the 2018 vintage

As Red Newt Winery has grown in recent years, the staff has increasingly enlisted the help of additional hands during harvest season. Now in its fifth year, the harvest intern program is an essential part of the winemaking process.

“We wouldn’t be able to get through harvest without the interns we bring in,” said Kelby Russell, head winemaker. “They both allow us to get through the work, but they also allow us to do special things because we have the time to focus on certain tasks that we wouldn’t otherwise.”

Since 2014, 10 interns have come to Red Newt from across the U.S., Switzerland, and Australia to aid in a season of harvest and with the goal of gaining invaluable experience for their futures in the winemaking industry

To advertise the intern positions, Red Newt uses job postings on wine industry websites, as well as Facebook groups such as Travelling Winemakers. (In 2018, Russell estimates that they received 70 applications.) When they arrive on the winery grounds in late summer—about three or four weeks before harvest—the interns assist with bottling, as well as cleaning the cellar in anticipation of the coming months’ work. Although he admits these tasks lack some excitement, Russell sees them as important. “I think as boring as it can be, it’s good for the interns because, between bottling and cleaning everything, by the time harvest actually arrives, they know where everything is in the cellar,” he said.

Once harvest season begins, the staff and interns of Red Newt work as a team in the vineyard inspecting the quality of the grapevines, and as fruit starts to arrive, they disperse and cycle through different tasks, including: working the wine press or the crusher destemmer, operating the forklift, running tests inside in the laboratory, starting and monitoring fermentations, or punching down red wine grapes. The rotation of these tasks, Russell said, makes for a more enjoyable season for the interns. “Red Newt, I think, is a fun place to work because we don’t force people into doing just one thing over and over,” he said. “I’ve definitely had harvest experiences where you’re assigned one job at the start of harvest because it’s almost like a factory, and you do nothing else the entire time.

Over the course of the harvest season, significant development occurs for the interns, thus allowing for them to advance their careers within the timeframe of a few months. “We’re a pretty good jumping-off point, it seems like, for people who are looking for jobs in the industry, because the harvest intern job, by and large, is pretty much done by Thanksgiving,” Russell said.

In response an expected larger bounty of fruit this past season, Red Newt welcomed five harvest interns to its team in 2018. “This year, I think we have a nice mix,” Russell said. “We have some people who came in from other regions and are looking to finish their time here and then go back to where they’re from, and this is a really good experience abroad for them and a good thing to broaden their horizons. And then we have a couple people who are here who are looking to get into the Finger Lakes wine industry afterwards, or kind of continue along this path in the Finger Lakes.

Matt Sweigart, a Central Pennsylvania native, came to Red Newt with over a decade of experience in the wine and beverage industry. After high school, he spent a decade in Manhattan, where he majored in musical theatre at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and served in restaurants. During this time, he became curious about the wine on his menus and started studying to become a sommelier by taking the Court of Master Sommelier introductory course. However, Matt eventually changed course and worked as a beverage director in Princeton, NJ, and then returned to Manhattan once again. His most recent stop involved working in sales for a small importer-distributor in South Central Pennsylvania before realizing he was more interested in the production aspect of wine, prompting him to apply for Red Newt’s harvest internship.

In the past few months at Red Newt, Matt has enjoyed putting to work the techniques he learned about while studying winemaking, as well as those he taught while working as a beverage director. “The experience has been … life-changing,” he said. “It’s been a dream of mine to be in the production aspect of things for many years since I started wine almost a decade ago.” Matt, who describes himself as goofy and a bit of a clown, has also valued the staff’s welcoming attitude and level of care they have for the interns. His favorite style of music to play while working in the cellar is showtunes.

Next, Matt said he hopes to “keep learning more and experiencing different aspects of the [winemaking] trade,” while adding that he will “go where the wind takes me.”

Christine Ferry, a graduate of William Smith College, is from Ohio but has also lived in Los Angeles and New York City. She approaches winemaking through more of a scientific lens, as her background is in chemistry. “It’s always kind of been an interest of mine of how unique wine is, and how many subtle things can impact the flavor so dramatically,” she said. Christine ’s work this season has included fermentation management, filtering, and raking, but her favorite work has been in the laboratory. “One of the things, actually, that I really enjoy doing is tasting all of the fermentations, and trying to guess what’s good, what’s bad, and going based off of what Kelby has decided needs to be done or not done to the wine—kind of figuring out if I’m right or wrong on things,” she said. Describing her style as a worker, Christine , who admitted she still has a lot to learn, said: “I tend to be very thoughtful and really think through everything. Because I’m so new, I don’t know all of the stuff yet, so I force everybody to remember their roots on everything … that’s kind of been how been how I’ve helped out the most—just reminding people all of the basics.

Although she has no specific career goals or plans after moving on from Red Newt, Christine intends to use her chemistry degree more by working in a laboratory.

Greg Hensley is an Iowa native with a degree in agricultural business from Graceland University. Greg arrived at Red Newt having lived in Napa Valley for four years, where he became interested in winemaking, and then worked as a cellar supervisor at Heitz Cellar in Australia. Greg, who describes himself as quiet, frequently ran the forklift this past season—a task he enjoyed so much he refers to it as a hobby. While in the cellar, his favorite music to play the cellar is renaissance choral music.

A major takeaway of his experience as a harvest intern will be the tutelage he received from Russell. “I think it’s been really incredible working under Kelby,” Greg said. “He’s pretty much a genius, and he’s also the best DJ/winemaker I’ve ever worked for.” He isn’t yet sure which winery he will move on to next, but Greg said he will be setting up base in the Finger Lakes with his girlfriend, and would like to find his niche in the wine industry.

Claire Treadwell hails from Chicago and attended the University of Missouri, where she took a winetasting class that opened her eyes to winemaking. Since arriving at Red Newt in August, Claire said she has enjoyed working on the crush pad the most, while also honing in on the skills she learned last year during her first harvest at St. James Winery in Missouri. She herself as a hard worker, and loves getting into the “nitty gritty” of the work both in the lab and outside. Her go-to music in the cellar is any music that is upbeat, perhaps electronic dance music (EDM).

Claire plans to return to Missouri after this year’s harvest and remain in the winemaking business.

Jemma McGilton is an Australian with a degree in viticulture and enology from the University of Adelaide. Jemma was drawn to the winemaking industry, she said, because it is fun. “It’s a really amazing kind of environment, and the people involved in the industry are very awesome,” she said. Jemma came to the U.S. for the first time this past season having already done several harvests in Australia. The best part of her experience at Red Newt, she said, has been working with the rest of the winemaking team, but she also improved her teamwork skills, which allowed for the winemaking process to flow as well as possible. “I like to think that I bring everyone together,” she said. A self-described “cellar rat,” Jemma’s favorite music to play in the cellar is ‘90s grunge. She plans to return home to Australia in the Barossa Valley after this harvest season, and would like to own her own winery and make Riesling in the future, as she is fascinated by the grape’s diversity.

(Also in photo: James Anderson – cellarmaster, Meagz Goodwin – assistant winemaker, Kelby Russell – winemaker, Katie Thompson – general manager, David Whiting – founding winemaker.)

About the author

austin lambAustin Lamb is a freelance reporter. He reports on news events, writes feature stories, and manages the Ithaca Times Twitter account. Austin is a 2018 LACS graduate and will attend Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications in 2019.