Dr. Konstantin Frank (the Dr. is for his Ph.D. in viticulture) first founded his NY winery in 1962. He is credited with bringing Vitis vinifera (traditional grapes of European winemakers) to New York. Since this is a “big name” winery, I feared a more commercial experience, but that was not the case at all. This is a family business (on their 4th generation in the business) with warm customer service.
We were immediately greeted by a friendly staff member who personally escorted us to the tasting room (perhaps we looked a little lost, but I think it was just their excellent customer service). The person who conducted the tasting was amicable and knowledgeable. At some other wineries, I noted that the people pouring the wine were not pursuing the study or business of wine. One told me he was about to start medical school, and another said she started working at a winery after her job in public health fell through. These folks were very nice, but it adds to the winery experience when you know you speak with more of a “wine authority.”
At Dr. Frank’s, the person pouring the wine was pursuing wine and had recently passed a sommelier exam. Her enthusiasm for the topic shone through, which also enhanced the winery experience. Principles of liking and authority were at play for an excellent winery experience.
The winery produces a wide variety of wines. We very much enjoyed the tasting, including a line of sparkling wine (created by Dr. Frank’s son Willy), which was a welcome detour from all of the Rieslings who had been tasting on this Finger Lakes trip. We purchased both a sparkling and a Riesling. After the tasting, we sat outside and took in the beautiful views of Keuka Lake (below) – the perfect way to end a fabulous winery experience.