Wine with friends: Sheldrake Point Wine Club

You plan the dinner party. You meticulously choose the appetizers, courses, and the pairings. You set the table and chill the wine. Then, you await the arrival of your guests. It goes much the same for us, except that most recently we were waiting for 50 of our closest friends to arrive for our 12th Annual Sheldrake Point Wine Club Dinner.

We ♥ Sheldrake Point Wine Club Members 20160806_173927b

We put on a mid-summer dinner event to celebrate the height of our growing season, and the people who support us all year long: our Wine Club members.

Sheldrake Point Wine Club members are part of our vibrant wine community, and we see them as friends and ambassadors who feel a special connection with our winemaking mission. For them, Sheldrake Point Winery is a home-away-from-home on the wine trail, where they can be immersed in the experience of what it’s like to be part of a Finger Lakes estate winery.

Dinner is served


The Vintage Room tasting bar poured samples of nine library wines and one pre-release.

Party-planning for a four-course meal, including pairings for each course plus for three appetizers, takes some doing. On top of it all, this year’s Wine Club Dinner also served as the unveiling of our new wine library, the Vintage Room (the stained glass windows were installed just days before!). However, once we set the tables with the more than 250 wine glasses for dinner, it all came together.

Our guests mingled while enjoying appetizers, and helped us to inaugurate the Vintage Room tasting bar, which offered before- and after-dinner tastings of nine library wines and one pre-release.

Chuck wcdinner16

Chuck Tauck and Fran Littin, co-owners and co-founders of Sheldrake Point, mingle with Wine Club members.

A gorgeous blue sky with puffy clouds made Sheldrake Point and Cayuga Lake look like a Finger Lakes landscape painting. The smooth jazz-swing of The Pelotones set the party atmosphere, and Serendipity Catering made magic in the kitchen.

Chuck Tauck, co-owner and co-founder of Sheldrake Point, introduced himself and co-owner Fran Littin by joking “This place is our fault,” before filling dinner guests in on news from the past year:

Touring the Vineyard

wcdinner vineyard dave

Dave Wiemann leads a dusk tour of our vineyard.

As dusk settled around Sheldrake Point after dinner, Vineyard Manager Dave Wiemann led a short walk up among the vines to show off our new Cabernet Franc plantings (alongside our “secret garden”). A crescent moon hung in the western sky as bats darted through nearby treetops.

Dave talked about how successfully cultivating grape vines is all about balance, and pointed out how the profile changes in the vines spread out over the hillside hint at subterranean water (or not) feeding roots that grow 25 feet deep.

Though summer 2016 has been hot and very dry, our vineyard is thriving, particularly the new Cab Franc vines that we’ve been watering from our own pond at 40,000 gallons a week. The warmth and our watering program mean we can expect a small harvest from those vines next year, whereas new plantings typically do not fruit for 3-5 years.

Sheldrake Point Wine Club: You’re invited

Want to be included in special dinners, tours of our winemaking production facility and vineyard, and get in on select library wine tastings? Want specially selected wines shipped to your door? The Sheldrake Point Wine Club provides a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the inner-workings of our vineyard and winery, plus:

  • Access to library wines.
  • 20% discount on wine and retail purchases.
  • Complimentary tastings for yourself and up to three guests.
  • Invitations to member-only events.
  • Seminars led by our winemaking team.
  • Quarterly newsletters, including tasting and technical notes, food pairing suggestions, a wine-inspired recipe, and educational articles.

Find out more about Sheldrake Point Wine Club membership here, or contact Wine Club Manager Whitney Elrod at or call her at (607)-532- 9401 extension 107.

Sheldrake Point Wine Club dinner 2016 group photo

We put on a mid-summer dinner event to celebrate the height of our growing season, and the people who support us all year long: our Wine Club members.

Born and raised in the Finger Lakes, Whitney has always been passionate about the region.  She attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges, where she earned her degree in English and Education.  After a tasting room position at a local winery, she traveled to California, New Zealand, and Washington State to work harvest and gain production experience, returning in early 2015 to join the Sheldrake Point team.