We Do Things Differently Here …
At Colloca Estate Winery … We Do Things Differently …
Our Culture. Our philosophy of leadership is a stark departure from traditional command and control. We believe in empowering everyone on our team to come up with the best and brightest ideas to solve problems and improve your customer experience.
The Vines. We sourced 13,128 vitis vinifera grape vines originating from Europe that are grafted on to Native American rootstock using the finest vinicultural practices and laser planted them in our Lake Effect Vineyard® to grow our wine grapes. We have one of the largest plantings of vinifera vines on the Lake Ontario Wine Trail.
The Terroir. Our Lake Effect Vineyard® benefits from the moderating lake effect from our proximity on the Great Lake Ontario. This, together with rich Ontario gravely loam and clay soils, brought here by glaciers at the end of the Ice Age, makes our vineyards one of the best places to grow grapes in the State.
Our Grapes. To make the best wine, we concentrate on just a few varietals that grow well in our cool climate, Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The Fruit. We let our fruit hang on the vine and harvest a couple of weeks later than others to fully experience the lake effect developing character, intensity, flavors, and fully ripen.
Oak. We source the finest brand new French Oak barrels that cost over $1,000 each to age our wines.
Our Estate Winemaking. We hand pick our fruit each autumn at the peak of ripeness and immediately begin the process of making wine. We carefully destem the grapes and gently crush them to release their juice. We use a bladder press to extract the full extent of the juices. We use stainless steel tanks to ferment our Rieslings and buy new French oak to age our Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs.
Our Australian Wines. Our owner travels to Australia where he buys fruit contracts with local growers in the famed Barossa Valley of South Australia and enlists an Australian winemaker to craft the fruit into magical award-winning red wines that can’t be realized in New York State’s cool climate.
Our Wine Pricing. Most restaurants mark up retail wine prices by 2-5x. We sell our wines to our guests at the same price that they pay in the Tasting Room. We don’t mark our wines up at the Wine Bar or Wood Fired Kitchen. We don’t even charge a corkage fee like other establishments.
Wine Club VIP Opportunity. We assembled a VIP program enabling guests to join our Wine Club and receive the same discounts that our family members get. Joining is free and has a minimum one-year commitment where members receive 4 shipments of 6 bottles of our special wines at a 25% discount. This 25% discount is then extended to Wine Club Members any time they buy a bottle of wine. Members also receive discounts on events and wine dinners and are invited to exclusive members only gatherings among other benefits.
The Estate. We made five separate parcel purchases to reassemble these lands into our Estate.
The Buildings. We enlisted traditional Amish craftsmen to hand cut the timbers used in our buildings. We used hard maple and ash cut from our own forest to panel the walls of the Tasting Room and our own red oak for its trim work. We brought in four tractor-trailer loads of stone and commissioned our long-time friend and expert stone mason, Jim Taber to face our buildings.
The Waterfront. We preserved nine-hundred feet (3 Football Fields length) of waterfront on Little Sodus Bay to provide million dollar views for our guests.
Our Grounds. We enlist the service of a full time Estate Manager and grounds crew to supervise the manicuring of our grounds and keeping them pristine for you to enjoy.
Picnics. Guests are invited to bring a blanket and buy a bottle of wine and a cheese or charcuterie platter and have a picnic on the waterfront. What a romantic idea for a date.
Our Music. We spend over $40,000 annually on live music to offer free of charge to our guests. In summer, we have music 4 days a week on our Lake Effect Vineyard® Stage.
Tastings. Where other wineries limit the wines you can sample, we believe you should have the opportunity to taste all of our wines. We pour all of our currently released wines (ten in total) during our wine tastings absolutely free with any bottle purchase. If you don’t want to take a bottle home with you its only $7 for a tasting of all of these wines (the equivalent of 2 glasses worth).
Tours. Seasonally we conduct private Estate tours where our visitors can learn about the history of the winery and the area as they stroll along the vines and along the waterfront while enjoying our wines.
Wine Pairing Dinners. We host special wine pairing dinners to showcase our wines with the culinary talents of our chef. We serve 6 courses each paired with wines for only $79. In other parts of the country this would cost at least $100 more.
Private Parties. Our spaces can be reserved for fully catered private events such as class and family reunions, showers, rehearsal dinners, birthday and anniversary parties, celebrations of life, and more.
Our Weddings. We host about 20 weddings a year that normally book 1-2 years in advance. Ceremonies are held on the waterfront and the receptions overlooking the beauty of the bay.
The Kitchen. We constructed a 3,600 sq ft. state-of-the-art commercial kitchen enabling us to cater for over 1,000 guests as well as make preparations for our Wood Fired Kitchen and private event catering.
Our Chef. We enlisted an experienced Executive Chef to provide culinary excellence and specialty menu items that are not normally found in upstate New York.
Our Steaks. We serve 100% USDA Prime Beef
The Fish. We source Fresh Haddock and Salmon that is trucked in twice a week from Boston. We hand bread it for our Friday Fish and Chips and cut the salmon filets by hand prior to grilling to perfection.
The Clams. If you follow Lake Ontario northeast through the St. Lawrence River, you’ll arrive in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Prince Edward Island, Canada’s maritime province off New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It is here where we source our incredibly fresh and delicious “Novi” clams that people rave about worldwide. We kick it up with a sauté in butter, fresh garlic, fresh herbs, and Colloca wine in an iron kettle and serve them with crusty bread.
Our Soups. Our chef makes our soup stocks from scratch, the old-fashioned way.
Platters. We travelled to the famed Barossa Valley in South Australia where we discovered their artisanal cheese and charcuterie platters that inspired us to serve on wood planks to complement our wines.
Wood Fired Ovens. Authentic Forno Bravo wood fired ovens with the perfect floor to dome ratios to circulate and maintain the heat were trucked in from California and cased in stone during our installation. This enables us to cook our pizza the way they do in the old world at temperatures up to 900 degrees. After the fires go out at night the oven is still about 300 degrees the next morning which is perfect for baking bread before re-firing.
Our Pizza. We handmake our dough each morning and hand form them into medium size doughs to rise. Our pizza chefs stretch the doughs and add fresh ingredients before firing them at 800-900 degrees. It only takes a few minutes for the pizza to cook, which is a lot shorter than the time it takes to prepare it.
Our Wings. Instead of dropping frozen chicken wings into a deep fryer and dousing them with buffalo wing sauce, we start with premium quality fresh jumbo wings, much larger than you’ll find elsewhere. We season and smoke the wings like State Fair Chicken and then fire them in our wood fired oven on a cast iron skillet to sear in the flavors of the sauce you have chosen.
Our Smoker. We invested in a Southern Pride Rotisserie smoker to seal in flavor that wins awards in American Barbecue competitions. We slow roast our USDA Prime Beef Brisket for 14 hours before serving it to you. The smoker can cook 96 whole chickens or 500 pounds of pork or beef at a time.
The Wine Bar. We built an outdoor bar set amongst the vines showcasing our wines, craft beers, and specialty cocktails. We feature live music on the Lake Effect Vineyard® Stage at the Wine Bar during the peak season.
Handcrafted Cocktails. At our Wine Bar, our mixologists craft specialty cocktails seasonally that delight the senses.
Craft Beers. We do our best to support our local colleagues and carry local craft beers from New York State on tap.
Fireworks. Each year we sponsor the Save our Fourth Association (SOFA) Spectacular Fair Haven Fireworks that are shot off just in front of our property as a way of giving back to the community that has been so welcoming to us. We invite people to bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on and take in the show overlooking our 900 ft of waterfront on the bay. We book entertainment for an evening of music and fun before and after the fireworks.
Festivals.We go out of our way to plan music, food, and wine festivals that attract hundreds to thousands of people to Fair Haven.These events sometimes attract more Fair Haven’s entire populatio