Remembering Dick Reno

On February 18, we received a call from our good friend, winemaker Tim Miller. Dick Reno had passed.

Looking West from Chateau LaFayette Reneau

We met Dick and Betty (Mrs. Reno) in 1999. We had wandered into Chateau LaFayette Reneau winery on the day of a Cabernet Reserve Club members’ event. Betty had done the cooking, and was making sure that everyone had something to eat. We weren’t members, but she insisted that we take a share. (At every visit afterward, Betty always made sure that we had something to eat, or a jar of jelly, or some tomatoes, or some garden seeds, to bring home.) Dick visited with every guest. He made us feel particularly welcome, like it was our tenth visit, even though it was our first! Dick and Betty Reno were warm and generous hosts.

That 1999 visit was part of our research into starting a unique new business, an e-commerce store that carried only New York grown wines. We launched our business in May 2000, and since then have paid over 100 visits to the Finger Lakes. More than half of our visits included a stop to see Dick and Betty.

We learned from Dick about his early 1980’s dream of converting an overgrown jelly-grape farm into a vineyard and winery that produced wines on par with Bordeaux. On the day his 1999 Dry Riesling won the Governor’s Cup, we were helping Dick serve wine at the New York Wine and Food Classic. It was Chateau LaFayette’s second Governor’s Cup. Dick’s diligence about quality, and focus on operations, had made his world-class dream a reality.

Dick welcomed us into his winery and allowed us to study the entire operation, from vineyards through to bottling and sales. We learned most of what we know about winemaking from our visits with Dick and with Tim Miller as they showed us every detail of the Chateau LaFayette Reneau facility.

Dick was an accomplished businessman well before he and Betty established their winery. At every visit, Dick would ask about our new business and then advise us: “Only sell the best”, “Always ask for the sale”, “Believe in your product”, “Discuss, act, report”. Dick took fatherly interest in our progress and, like teenagers, we took some of his advice. With fatherly insight Dick could tell which advice we were following and which advice we had overlooked.

Our relationship with Dick, Betty and Tim has outlasted our own business. They are our extended family, and on Tuesday we felt like we had lost a parent. Dick, we salute you as a determined dreamer, diligent businessman, generous host, fatherly advisor and true gentleman. We have been honored to be your friend for all these years.

With love, Rich and Margot Cirino.

Evenings of cheer

Visit UnCorked this week for three unique and special wine tastings.

Thursday, December 13 from 5pm to 8pm,Girasole Chardonnay

Our friend, Michaella, will present Girasole Vineyards‘ exquisite line of organically grown wines from Mendocino County, California.

Friday, December 14 from 5pm to 8pm,

Enjoy Altamont Winery‘s assortment of delicate to robust wines, made from local and Finger Lakes grapes.

Saturday, December 15 from 4pm to 7pm,

Thousand Islands Winery presents the full spectrum of its diverse and delicious wine.

Wait! There’s more ….

Judy Collins Holiday and HitsJudy Collins
Monday, Dec 10, 2012 · 7:30pm
at the Wood Theater

Thursday, Dec 13, 5pm to 8pm
Sterling & Company, LARAC and MinkyMink
Special Discounts, Food, Entertainment and Door Prizes!
Scoville Jewelers
Ladies Cosmo Night with Celebrity Waiters

Lake George Community Band’s “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” Holiday Concert
Friday, Dec 14, 2012 · 8:00pm
at the Wood Theater

Pacific Rim Competition Results

Pacific Rim LogoWe have advance word that Chateau LaFayette Reneau 2010 Dry and Semi-Dry Riesling earned Gold Medals in the 2012 competition.

We have enjoyed and stocked Chateau LaFayette Reneau wines from our “Day One” – May 16, 2000.

No home wine rack is complete without a Gold Medal winning wine.

Cheers,
Margot & Rich

Two Excellent Wine Tastings

Friday, December 9

5:00pm to 7:00pm

Sample our new line-up of

Damiani Wines

Phil Davis and Lou Damiani consider viticulture “grape-growing” to be the single most important aspect of their craft as quality, vinifera wine producers. Margot and I have tasted their wines and agree that the excellent quality of their grapes shines through in the finished wines.

Damiani Winery vineyards above Seneca Lake

Damiani Winery vineyards above Seneca Lake

Saturday, December 10

1:00pm to 4:00pm

Enjoy our most popular

Italian and French Wines

Our friend, Lara Pelham, will present Sangiovese, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Prosecco. Your holiday table will be incomplete if it’s missing one of her fine selections.

Image courtesy of the Italian Trade Bureau

Image courtesy of the Italian Trade Bureau

Red Newt Circle Riesling

Red Newt Circle Riesling

We just opened up a bottle of Red Newt – Circle Riesling today. We have been friends with Red Newt winery ever since we first opened our store in May 2000. See this video to meet our friend, winery owner Dave Whiting … he made the wine.

Red Newt is more than a winery. Its Bistro has become the center of the Finger Lakes Local Food community. Enjoy this video of their Circle Riesling Sorbet recipe, and stop by UnCorked to try a sip before it’s gone.