committed to producing distinctive estate wines that represent the vibrance and quality of our finger lakes vineyard since 1997.

Sheldrake Point Winery is named for the prominent point of land on which it sits, located on the western shore of Cayuga Lake. The 155-acre lakeside property, left to languish in the mid-1980s, caught the attention of a small group of wine enthusiasts who purchased the land and founded the winery in 1997. Sixty acres have been dedicated to the estate vineyard, planted with ten vitis vinifera varieties. Today, our winery produces approximately 8,500 cases of estate grown and bottled table and ice wines.

Sheldrake Point Winery was twice named New York State Winery of the Year, and has been listed among the Top 100 Wineries by Wine & Spirits magazine in three different years.


Understanding the importance of the land on which our grapes are grown, we prioritize sustainability in the maintenance of our vineyard.

Wedged between two deep gorges, our east-facing vineyard gently slopes almost to the water’s edge of Cayuga Lake. With depths reaching over 400 feet, these waters create a temperature moderating mesoclimate in which our grapes grow. This lake effect hinders early bud break in the spring, inhibits daily swings in temperature, promotes effective air drainage, and can delay the onslaught of autumn frost. 

The soils at Sheldrake Point are predominantly well-drained, gravelly loam and clay glacially deposited atop shale, limestone, and slate — considered ideal for grape growing.

We maintain the vineyard through sustainable practices, honoring the symbiotic relationship we have with the land on which our grapes are grown. It is only by tending to it with the greatest of respect that it will continue to provide us with high quality grapes reflective of the terroir.

The vineyard is now home to 10 varieties of vitis vinifera grapes, the first of which were planted in 1997. The first estate vintage, produced from fruit picked on our site in 2000, was released in 2001. We remain dedicated to our vinifera heritage and our estate designation.

Sheldrake Point Winery - Grape cluster close up
Sheldrake Point Winery view down vineyard row
Sheldrake Point Winery grape cluster close up


Every year we produce the best wines possible with minimal intervention; allowing the vineyard and vintage to truly shine.

At Sheldrake Point Winery we embrace the adage that great wine is made in the vineyard. Our winemaking and vineyard teams work together to ensure that the grapes we pick are of the highest quality and optimal ripeness. Through more than 20 years of vintages, our approach to winemaking has developed to focus on our terroir. We produce the best wines possible in any given year with as little human intervention as possible, letting the vineyard and vintage truly shine.

Uphill from our tasting room, the winery at Sheldrake Point sits nestled among the vines and commands a stunning view of our sloping lawns, Cayuga Lake, and the cliffs on the opposite shore. The two buildings, one powered by solar since 2004 and the other by geothermal energy since 2018, represent our commitment to sustainability in winemaking as well as in the vineyard.

Sheldrake Point Winery Goes Geothermal



Sheldrake Point Winery Library Wines


It is common for wineries to hold back select wines to be used as a winemaking reference in future years. This collection is called a wine library. However, due to the cost and potential risk involved in storing wine for so long, it is rare that wineries retain more than a case or two. As a result, there is a limited supply of aged Finger Lakes wines for consumers to enjoy and learn from.

The ownership team at Sheldrake Point saw the value in tucking away a larger collection of wines from each vintage — multiple cases of every wine produced starting in 1997. Fast forward 20+ years, we now have a remarkable collection of wines from all vintages. In recent years we diligently worked through our entire wine library as a group. We tasted, spit, took notes, and discussed each wine. We learned a great deal through this process, and are excited to be able to share the best of these aged wines with you through our Tasting Room and Vintage Room.

Sheldrake Point Rose at the bowling alley

Dry Rosé

To some, it’s a trend. But to us, it is a tradition and a cornerstone of our wine portfolio. We have produced a rosé every year since 1997 with only two exceptions. Original production was a mere 74 cases, but the popularity of our Dry Rosé grew and this wine now comprises one third of our total production (between 2500-3000 cases, depending on vintage). And while we formerly used a variety of red grapes to make our Dry Rosé — ranging from Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir, sometimes blended with white varietals such as Cayuga White or Vidal Blanc — it has been 100% Cabernet Franc since 2009, using the majority of Cabernet Franc grapes we grow.

There are several ways to make a dry rosé, but at Sheldrake Point we use the skin-contact method. After harvesting our Cabernet Franc grapes we crush and destem them, allowing the mixture of juice, skins, and seeds (known as must) to soak overnight. This contact between the juice and skins is what gives rosé its beautiful, pale pink color. After soaking for 12-18 hours, the must is pressed and the skins discarded.

We feel we’ve hit a sweet spot with the style and composition of this wine, and it has gained recognition as a consistently delicious product. The Dry Rosé is always our first wine to be bottled and released in the winter months, reminding us of the sunshine and warmer days ahead.

Sheldrake Point Winery Rosé Wine Glasses from Above
Sheldrake Point Winery Ice Wine Harvest

Ice Wine

In the year 2000, we took a leap of faith and left fruit hanging in the vineyard well past typical harvest time. The hope was that we would pick winter-frozen berries by hand and create an exquisite wine in the traditional German Eiswein style. The result was an incredibly complex, sumptuous, mouth-watering dessert wine, and thus another Sheldrake Point tradition was born.

Adhering to VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) standards set forth by Canadian authorities, the grapes intended for a true ice wine must be left on the vine for an extended period of time and picked only when a sustained temperature of 17° Fahrenheit — or lower — is reached. In upstate New York, this can occur anytime between November and February.

As ice wine season approaches, our vineyard team closely follows the weather forecast, looking for the opportune time to harvest, and then gathers a crew willing to hand-pick the grapes — not only in sub-freezing temperatures, but in the wee hours of the morning as well. Because it is often a race against the sun, ice wine harvest at Sheldrake Point often begins at 4:00 in the morning. The crew dons wool sweaters, Carhartts, and headlamps, and traipses out to the vineyard to pick the frozen berries until the job is finished or until temperatures rise above 17 degrees, whichever comes first.

The freshly picked grapes are loaded into the press, which runs on a high-pressure cycle for 50 hours. Since the grapes are frozen, the water content of the berries remains as ice in the press while a small amount of very sweet, concentrated juice (ranging from 35 to 39 ° Brix) is extracted. Due to the high sugar content, fermentation can be difficult and the process is different to that of a table wine. The winemaking team first dilutes a small amount of juice until sugar levels suitable to yeast are reached. The fermentation is nursed along over a period of weeks, and even takes months to complete.

Sheldrake Point Winery Ice Wine Grape Bunch and Pruners
Ice Wine Grape Harvest at Sheldrake Point Winery

Because the production of ice wine is entirely dependent on specific temperatures, it can be a challenge to make every year. But when the quality of fruit and cold temperatures align, we are thrilled to have another chance to make this liquid gold. Sheldrake Point has become known for high-quality ice wines made from both Riesling and Cabernet Franc grapes. Awards are numerous, including Best Wine at the 2015 Canberra International Riesling Challenge besting nearly 500 wines from 7 countries. For us, however, the biggest accolade is seeing our customers’ reaction when they take their first sip.


Beta, or β, the second letter of the Greek alphabet, denotes the second in a series, and while each Beta Series wine is a finished product, it is still considered part of a trial run—second to our classic line. As we say on the label: Beta Series highlights the wild musings of the winemaking team. With these small lot releases, we invite you into the winemaking lab, provide insight behind the creative genius, and include you in the production trials.

Winemaking is often considered both a science and an art and as such, winemakers revel in experimentation and pushing boundaries. For many, these small-lot trial wines are never offered up for public consumption, but at Sheldrake Point, a particularly exciting experiment in 2017 led us to create this label for our affectionately named “Acid Head Riesling”.

Sold exclusively from our Tasting Room, some Beta Series wines are a one-time thing, while others may eventually become part of our classic line as they grow in popularity and production is increased such as our Riesling Bubbles in 2020, Rosé of Merlot and Muscat Ottonel Bubbles in 2023.  

Since 2017, we have introduced our guests to new table, dessert, and sparkling wines through our Beta Series line, and we look forward to the delicious experiments that each new vintage brings!