Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery History
Five generations of the Wagner family have grown grapes in the deep glacial soils on the eastern slope of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. This heritage of grape growing has provided us with an intimate connection to the land. Since 1979, we have carried the same passion into the art of winemaking. Today we cultivate 250 acres of grapes and produce 50,000 cases of wine per year.
Wagner Vineyards was founded in Lodi, New York by Bill Wagner, a lifelong resident of the area and grape grower for over fifty years. Bill began plans and broke ground for his estate winery even before the passage of the Farm Winery Act in 1976. Construction of the distinctive eight-sided building, Bill’s own design, was completed and the winery opened its doors in June of 1979. The winery rapidly developed into a major attraction in the Finger Lakes region and hosts over 100,000 visitors each year.
Bill Wagner’s philosophy has always been that wine and food are a natural combination. An original concept for the winery was the addition of a café where people could enjoy both. The Ginny Lee Cafe was opened in 1983 and offers diners the opportunity to enjoy Wagner Vineyard wines with a freshly prepared menu selection while overlooking one of the most spectacular views in the Finger Lakes region. The Ginny Lee Cafe is also known as one of the premier event locales in the region, hosting wedding receptions, business dinners and parties.
Wagner Vineyards is unique in that it is also home to a brewing operation – the Wagner Valley Brewing Co was launched in 1997 and provides our beer loving patrons with a variety of award-winning craft-brewed beers to taste and purchase while visiting. Six standard brews are complemented by a variety of seasonal specialties.