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First winery in Madison County opens for visitors

Owera Vineyards cuts ribbon, opens facilities for business

Owera Vineyards, located at 5276 East Lake Road in Cazenovia, opened its new facilities to the public on Thursday, June 13, and held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, June 14. The owners and staff of Owera gather to cut the ribbon in front of dozens of friends and dignitaries. Pictured from left: Kristie Fondario, director of sales; Peter Muserlian Jr.; Nancy Muserlian, owner; Jane Muserlian, tasting/events consultant, cut the ribbon; Peter Muserlian, owner; and Ben Reilly, director of operations.

Owera Vineyards, located at 5276 East Lake Road in Cazenovia, opened its new facilities to the public on Thursday, June 13, and held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, June 14. The owners and staff of Owera gather to cut the ribbon in front of dozens of friends and dignitaries. Pictured from left: Kristie Fondario, director of sales; Peter Muserlian Jr.; Nancy Muserlian, owner; Jane Muserlian, tasting/events consultant, cut the ribbon; Peter Muserlian, owner; and Ben Reilly, director of operations. Photo by Jason Emerson.

— The first and only winery in Madison County officially opened its doors and cut the ceremonial ribbon last week — and it is located on East Lake Road in Cazenovia.

Owera Vineyards, owned by the Muserlian family and already producing award-winning wines, welcomed local and state politicians, business owners, friends and visitors on one of the few sunny days in recent weeks to inaugurate its new facilities.

“So it’s finally come to fruition,” said owner Nancy Muserlian, surrounded by her family, as she made remarks during the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, June 14. “This has become a family legacy and I intend to grow old here. This is an amazing place, a wonderful community, and I think it will live on long after I am gone.”

Then, using a pair of family heirloom scissors, Jane Muserlian, who is Nancy’s daughter and also a tasting/events consultant at the winery, cut the ribbon.

“This is awesome. Driving in here just takes your breath away,” said James B. Bays, first deputy commissioner of New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, who attended the event as a representative of the governor and the commissioner of agriculture and markets. “I had no idea it was as beautiful as it is here.”

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Owera Vineyards has been five years in the making, with four acres of Frontenac Gris and Marquette grapes planted on their land at 5276 East Lake Road in summer 2008. Their first “crush” of grapes occurred in 2010, from which they produced just over 1,000 cases of wine at their original wine-production facility in East Syracuse.

Owera wines, created with the help of consultant winemaker Peter Bell of Fox Run Vineyards in Penn Yan, are a combination of grapes grown in Owera’s Cazenovia vineyards and grapes from other Finger Lakes vineyards. Owera currently produces 12 different wines — from the well-known grapes such as Chardonnay, Reisling and Cabernet Franc to the more obscure such as Frontenac Gris, Chambourcin and Lemberger — and boasts 25 awards, including top Wine Spectator ratings for two of their Riesling wines.

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