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Johnson Estate Winery

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Jennifer Johnson
 
November 16, 2020 | Jennifer Johnson

Dec.10th - Holiday Pairing: Virtual Tasting - Johnson Estate & Tasty Duck

A (virtual) Taste of Family Business –
2020 Holiday Pairing
Thurs., Dec. 10, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. ET

As 2020 draws to a close, the SFBI invites you to spend a special evening discovering two storied families and their businesses, each with special ties to Cornell University. Spotlighting the Johnson and Jurgielewicz families, this delicious pairing will feature a Joe Jurgielewicz & Son's Pekin duck, with Hoisin Sauce and Bao Buns, paired with Semi-Dry Riesling and Dry Rosé of Pinot Noir from Johnson Estate.   Learn more about the Complete Peking Duck Kit.

Click HERE to register for this free Cornell hosted event.

Johnson Estate Winery

The history of Johnson Estate begins with an English orphan named Frederick Johnson. He immigrated to Canada as a teenager and found his way to Cornell at the turn of the century to study entomology. In 1908, Johnson purchased a circa-1822 home and farm along the banks of Freelings Creek in Westfield, N.Y.  The Johnson Estate endures today as New York’s oldest estate winery, with the third generation, Frederick, Jr. ’75, MBA ’77 and Jennifer Johnson MBA ‘79 as owners and operators. Today Johnson Estate Winery grows 13 varieties of grapes spanning 110 acres of vineyards on the 300-acre farm. They produce over 40 award-winning wines which they sell in the Estate’s own tasting room, online, and in stores across New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Jurgielewicz Family Duck
Four generations of Jurgielewicz family duck farming began in 1933 when Bronislaw and Katarzyna Jurgielewicz, emigrated to America from Poland via Ellis Island. The young, ambitious couple initially settled in Brooklyn but, driven by their entrepreneurial spirit, soon moved east to rural Long Island. The fledgling Jurgielewicz Duck Farm was hatched, and quickly became a top producer of Pekin ducks for the famous Long Island Duck Co-op, and remains one of the leading Pekin duck suppliers in North America. Now settled in Pennsylvania, Joe Jurgielewicz & Son, Ltd., aka Tastyduck.com, is in its’ fourth generation of farm ownership, led by Dr. Joe Jurgielewicz DVM ’81, joined by his sons Joey Jurgielewicz III MMH ’15, Dr. Jim Jurgielewicz, DVM  and Michael Jurgielewicz ‘13. The company employs over 200 and has partnered with 27 local farm families throughout Pennsylvania to raise JJS Pekin ducks, direct descendants of the ducks that Dr. Joe’s grandparents raised on their farm in Long Island.

Time Posted: Nov 16, 2020 at 1:45 PM
Frederick Johnson
 
November 11, 2020 | Frederick Johnson

All About Torpedo Red for Veteran's Day

ABOUT TORPEDO RED
This label was designed by the Johnson’s son, Spencer, a US Navy active duty EOD officer, in honor of his grandfather, the winery’s founder, Frederick Spencer Johnson.

The dragon carrying a torpedo was the insignia of the WWII Navy Squadron Torpedo Three which flew off the Yorktown from 1943-1945.

The silhouette of the airplane is that of a TBM Avenger, designed by Grumman Aircraft and built by General Motors. to carry a 2,000 pound aerial torpedo. On November 11, 1944*, then Lt. (junior grade) Frederick S. Johnson, age 23, single-handedly torpedoed and sank a Japanese destroyer for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by Admiral John S. McCain (the recent Senator’s grandfather).

The wine is a blend of Chancellor and Pinot Noir both grown here on the farm. It is a smooth but almost-dry, full-bodied wine that is ready to drink now but should also continue improving with age for at least another five years. 

This is a limited, special edition label we are now offering every November in honor of all veterans and active duty military.

* Coincidentally, November 11th is Armistice Day, now called Veterans’ Day.

Time Posted: Nov 11, 2020 at 6:16 AM
Mark Gosharian
 
September 28, 2020 | Mark Gosharian

Spectrum News, Jamestown, NY: Johnson Estate - Harvest Begins

https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/buffalo/news/2020/09/21/johnson-estate-winery-picker-out-in-full-force-as-grape-harvest-season-gets-underway-in-western-new-york-#

Time Posted: Sep 28, 2020 at 7:58 PM
Brian Hayden
 
September 8, 2020 | Brian Hayden

Buffalo News, Gusto: Johnson Estate's Great Grape Walks

https://buffalonews.com/entertainment/afternoon-drive-fall-event-takes-visitors-on-great-grape-walk-at-johnson-estate-winery/article_fddb3b2e-f1ca-11ea-a941-6f7fa34d6261.html

Time Posted: Sep 8, 2020 at 7:55 PM
Jennifer Johnson
 
August 28, 2020 | Jennifer Johnson

Sunflowers on Route 20 in Westfield


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  August 26, 2020     

Sunflowers to Brighten Summer Days
Working Together Yields a Field of Flowers

Westfield, (NY) - Back in May, during the depths of the COVID-19 lockdown, three farmers in Westfield, NY decided to brighten things up a little bit along US Route 20 on the west side of Westfield.

Fred Johnson, owner of Johnson Estate Winery and head of the local Chamber of Commerce, thought that a field of sunflowers would make a good westerly welcome to not the Winery, but also to the Town of Westfield.  Since Mr. Johnson owns some land just west of the winery, he proposed the idea to Chad Schofield, who owns Schofield Farms, and rents the land for corn and soybeans.  Chad agreed to plant sunflowers along Route 20 – but the catch was that his planting equipment didn’t include the right planting drill for large sunflower seeds.  Enter Carl Villardo, Fred’s nearby grape farmer, neighbor, and friend.  He had a John Deere 750 no-till grain drill, fondly named “Sally” which he lent to Chad to plant the sunflower seeds in the late spring.   Et voila!

What Fred forgot, however, is that sunflowers always face east towards the sun.   In a recent Science magazine, researchers noted:  “A young sunflower faces east at dawn and greets the sun and then slowly turns west as the sun moves across the sky. During the night, it slowly turns back east to begin the cycle again”.  Once the sunflower is mature, the plants face east throughout the day, providing warm flowers which attract more bees and pollinators.  So, indeed, the best vistas (and photographs) of the sunflowers will be taken on the east side of the fields on Route 20, as one is departing Westfield. 

So if you’re out for a country drive between now and Labor Day, you should visit the village of Westfield.  Then drive west for about a mile to try some of Fred’s wines and afterwards, continue west along Rt. 20 to see 600 yards of happy sunflowers looking right back at you!  It will put a smile on your face!

Time Posted: Aug 28, 2020 at 12:56 PM
Frederick Johnson
 
July 15, 2020 | Frederick Johnson

We Shall Persevere - A Look at 100 Years Ago

PERSPECTIVE:  100 years ago - in 1920 - at the Johnson Farm (aka Sunnyslope)
Circa 1954, Owner Fred Johnson Jr. with grandfather, Frederick William Johnson.     

  • My grandfather, Frederick William Johnson, is building an apple cold storage shed.  He frames it out with big timbers repurposed from a dairy barn that in turn was built about 1820 by William Peacock.  The cold storage shed is now our winery and the those original 1820 timbers still hold the roof up.
  • His wife of 3 years, Nan Scouller, has presented him with a baby daughter, Antoinette, who in 1920 is about to turn two.  My father will be born in September of 1921.  The brick house next door that he has been fixing up since 1911 is now fully ready for his young family.
  • The fourth wave of the “Spanish Flu” epidemic has just ended.  It killed 675,000 Americans and perhaps 50 million people world-wide. There is no vaccine.
  • The country is in a severe post-war, post-pandemic recession.  There are race riots in Chicago and anarchist bombings on Wall Street. 
  • President Wilson is pretending to govern the country from his sickbed. FDR, running as Vice President, will get trounced in November 1920 election: 404 electoral college votes to 127.
  • Prohibition becomes the law of the land, and grandfather reputedly makes his first batch of wine that fall.
  • The Dust Bowl (Like Erie is over five feet below its current high levels), the Depression, World War II and the atom bomb will all follow, but Grandfather’s little farm enterprise prospers in good times and survives in bad.

So here we are, one hundred years later, struggling to navigate the latest pandemic, looking forward to a great harvest, but uncertain about political, economic, and environmental futures.  But we have been here before.  We will persevere, as will you.  As farmers, we know that there will always be challenges ahead, both man-made and God-given.  But we are always optimists; determined optimists, dedicated to always leaving this place and our customers and community a little better and a little happier than they were before.

Time Posted: Jul 15, 2020 at 2:16 PM
Frederick Johnson
 
June 23, 2020 | Frederick Johnson

Outdoor Tastings in Farmhouse Gardens

     
OUTDOOR TASTINGS IN FARMHOUSE GARDENS (weather permitting)
  • Saturdays and Sundays, 11am to 5pm (July - September)
  • Sixteen wines offered on Outdoor Tasting Menu
  • First come, first serve; guests may need to wait in garden
  • No groups greater than six people, please
  • Limited seating available - purchase picnic fare and/or enjoy a glass of wine in the gardens
  • And come and see our Daisy Lane - great for photos!                                                
    REMINDERS:  WINERY IS OPEN DAILY, 10am - 6pm
  • Tasting Room - Has reduced capacity; tastings are first come, first served
  • (no reservations needed at this point, but we will let you know)
  • Groups limited to four to six
  • Wine by the bottle and picnic fare for outside consumption
  • Curbside Pick-up/Delivery available daily
Time Posted: Jun 23, 2020 at 6:51 PM
Jennifer Johnson
 
May 4, 2020 | Jennifer Johnson

FREE & Discounted Shipping Details

WINERY OPEN DAILY 10am-6pm 
Tastings plus bottle, food, & merchandise sales in the winery.         
         
CURBSIDE PICK-UP 
is available - just call us at 716-326-2191.

ORDER WINE ANYTIME

FREE SHIPPING TO OH, NY, PA
(minimum purchase - six 750ml bottles) 
Promotion Code: GOODNEIGHBOR

FREE SHIPPING, EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI
(minimum purchase of twelve 750ml bottles)
Promotion Code:  EOMFREE

50% OFF SHIPPING, WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI
(minimum purchase of twelve 750ml bottles)
Promotion Code:  50SHIPWEST

ORDER ONLINE OR CALL:

Visit our website anytime or give us a call (1-800-Drink-NY or 1-800-374-6569),10AM - 5:30PM, daily.  Our tasting room team will be happy to speak with you. Please do share this offer with your friends and family!
AND NOW, THE FINE PRINT:

  • Bottles must be 750ml or 375 ml for free/discounted shipping programs.
  • You may order more than the six or twelve-bottle minimum quantity - please do order in increments of 3 bottles to reduce wasting packing materials.
  • Requires signature of someone over 21 years old.
  • We can ship to your home or work address.
  • Transit times vary from two days to seven days.  For West Coast & Florida, we generally ship wines on Monday to attempt to avoid weekend delays. 
Time Posted: May 4, 2020 at 6:18 AM
Jennifer Johnson
 
April 27, 2020 | Jennifer Johnson

May Day and the Rites of Spring -

Your First Bottle Trial - Now until May 10th, just $7.50
"A little madness in the spring be wholesome even for the king”

Emily Dickinson

Maybe Emily Dickinson said this because the sweet woodruff used in Germany's May Day white wine punch was considered a tonic - or even aphrodisiac - and that this day is meant to celebrate spring, the season of fertility!

A German friend recently had this to say after she first tasted Johnson Estate's May Wine:
Hello Jennifer.  Yesterday would have been my mother's 100th birthday.   We celebrated it with one of her favorite desserts, homemade Strawberry Shortcake and your outstanding May Wine. I can assure you she would have loved it too.  It is excellent!!!! What an art to capture the taste and consistency [of a German May Wine punch] in a bottle!  That is truly a very special celebration drink. Congratulations!

Then my friend, Siggi T., shared her recipe for that Strawberry Shortcake (in our recipe section soon) and explained that the German tradition is to put fresh strawberries and small bouqets of sweet woodruff in the "Mai Bowle" punchbowl.

Here's a woodland stream in Germany - it looks not unlike what we might find here in Western NY - and in fact, our "terroir" is very similar to that found in Germany.  Hence, at Johnson Estate, we can grow the same grapes varieties grown in Germany:  Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir (Spatzburgunder in Germany).  And we can make award-winning wines from those grapes.  Testimony to this is our award-winning Semi-Dry Riesling, not to mention the awards won by other Rieslings, our Pinot Noir, and our May Wine.  

Time Posted: Apr 27, 2020 at 4:20 PM
Jennifer Johnson
 
April 15, 2020 | Jennifer Johnson

What's Sweet Woodruff?

The Story Behind Johnson Estate's May Wine
Johnson Estate is located in a special microclimate along the shores of Lake Erie, similar to that found in Germany.  As a result, the grapes grown and wine made in Germany - Rieslings, Pinot Noir, and ice ones - are exactly the ones which also do well here in western New York.

Johnson Estate's Winemaker Jeff Murphy, travels to Europe every year or two and often comes back with some new insights or "discoveries" which are utilized in our products or events.  These have included: the terracotta bottles used for our Ruby Port and Cream Sherry; the glass corks manufactured in Germany and now used on our Freelings Creek wines, and the idea of serving "Fedderweiser", a partially fermented grape juice, for a fall Riesling celebration. 

May Day in Germany
In Germany, spring festivities feature "Maiwein", or white wine punches with strawberries and a handful of the shade-loving herb, sweet woodruff (shown here, behind the bottle, just emerging for spring).  Jeff was inspired by the annual celebration of May Day in Germany to create Johnson Estate’s own May Wine, using estate-grown Vidal Blanc wine and an infusion of dried sweet woodruff.  This sparkling May Wine was first released in 2016 and since the "experiment" was so well-liked, production was doubled the following year.  Our current plan is to release, each spring, a limited vintage of this special wine.    .

But What is Sweet Woodruff?
Galium Odoratum
In Germany, sweet woodruff is called “Waldmeister” or the “Master of the Woods”.  It is a spring blooming perennial plant which thrives in moist woodland shade.  In the Middle Ages, it was known as an herbal medicine since the dried leaves contain coumarin and infusions were used as a spring tonic and even as an aphrodisiac.  When dried, the herb has the long-lasting scent of freshly mown grass and vanilla.  The dried herb has been used for centuries as a strewing herb, for pot pourri or as a perfume ingredient, as a tonic in tea, and an ingredient in German May Wine or a punch made with white wine, this herb, and strawberries – to celebrate the coming of spring.

See May Wine product listing.

Time Posted: Apr 15, 2020 at 5:58 AM

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