Hazlitt Archive

What Makes Our Homestead Reserve Wines So Special?

We produce four Rieslings at Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards: Sweet RieslingRiesling (semi-dry), Dry Riesling, and Homestead Reserve Riesling. Each wine is made from the high-quality Riesling grapes grown in our estate vineyards, varying in sweetness and style. But what makes our Homestead Reserve Riesling so special?

We designated Homestead Reserve Riesling as such because, with this wine, we get back to our roots and tradition a bit. Our winemaker hand-selects the grapes used for this wine. The grapes used to make this Riesling typically come from the same area of the vineyard, a sub-block, and year after year, demonstrate some of the highest levels of quality on the farm. The grapes have a flavor profile that our winemaker is fond of and work well with crafting the style he wants to achieve for this wine. The wine highlights a specific section of our vineyards versus our other Rieslings, which contain grapes from all our Riesling vineyards.

The 2022 harvest allowed us to explore expanding the Homestead Reserve line. We wanted to highlight all the varietals we grow and share them in a way we hadn’t yet. Our winemaker hand-selected sub-blocks from our Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Grüner Veltliner estate vineyards and blended them into one wine that truly represents a sense of place. This new beautifully crafted wine, 2022 Homestead Reserve Prestige, is an elegant, complex, dry white. It pairs nicely with chicken curry, gourmet macaroni and cheese, roasted veggies, fish with lemon and capers, and peach cobbler. It is available at our two winery locations and online store. We can’t wait to share it with you! Check out our latest podcast episode “Making Beautifully Blended Wines” to learn a little more about how the Homestead Reserve Prestige was made.

The next wine we will add to the Homestead Reserve line will come early next year: 2022 Homestead Reserve Meritage. This wine is barrel aging in French oak and contains grapes hand-selected from our estate-grown Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. Stay tuned for updates on the official release

Schooner White Wins Best Vinifera White Wine at 2023 New York Wine Classic

We are thrilled to announce that Schooner White won the Best Vinifera White Wine at the 2023 New York Wine Classic Awards Ceremony on July 13, 2023.

The New York Wine Classic is a competition for New York State wine producers. There were 749 entries from 108 wineries across the state. The Beverage Testing Institute judged the wines from April 15-June 15, 2023.

Winning a Best of Class Award is an honor, and we congratulate our winemaker, Michael Reidy, and the vineyard team for such a fantastic accomplishment. In addition, White Stag and 2020 Merlot also took home gold medals. Click here to see the complete list of awards

Schooner White is a Finger Lakes blend comprised of our estate-grown Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Gewürztraminer. You get notes of rose petals and lemon-lime when you swirl it in your glass. The wine has bright, melon, and citrus fruit flavors, with a touch of raw honey. We love to pair this wine with fresh seafood, a green salad, chicken or pork with cream sauces, and South-East Asian dishes. Schooner White is 11.5% alcohol with a residual sugar of 1.1%. We produced 499 cases, and it retails for $15.99 at either winery location.

Wine & Dine To-Go ~ Not Your Typical Take-Out Dinner

Enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Chef, Randy Savoie with recommended Hazlitt wine pairings + a special video message from our Vinifera Winemaker, Michael Reidy.

Each dinner includes an entrée, salad, Bramble Berry brownie, a sweet and dry wine* recommendation and video featuring our Vinifera Winemaker sharing details about the wines he chose to pair with your meal.

January 26, 2023 • DINNER MENU

• Lasagna, garlic bread, green salad and a Bramble Berry brownie — $19.00

• Vegetarian Lasagna, garlic bread, green salad and a Bramble Berry brownie — $19.00

🍷 Recommended wine for either dinner: 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon or Red Cat Dark
Receive 10% off the recommended wine.

Lasagna and garlic bread

ORDER ONLINE: Monday, January 16 – Sunday, January 22, 2023



February 16, 2023 • DINNER MENU

• Thai Coconut Curry Chicken with Jasmine Rice and grilled Naan, side salad with ginger dressing and a Bramble Berry brownie — $22

– Vegetarian Option
• Thai Coconut Curry with Jasmine Rice and grilled Naan, side salad with ginger dressing and a Bramble Berry brownie — $22

🍷 Recommended wine for either dinner: 2020 Grüner Veltliner, Sweet Riesling, or White Cat
Receive 10% off the recommended wine.

  Thai Coconut Curry Chicken with Jasmine Rice and grilled Naan

ORDER ONLINE: Monday, February 6 – Sunday, February 12, 2023



March 2, 2023 • DINNER MENU

• Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo with broccoli & mushrooms, garden salad, garlic bread, and a Bramble Berry brownie — $20

– Vegetarian Option
• Fettuccini Alfredo with broccoli & mushrooms, garden salad, garlic bread, and a Bramble Berry brownie — $20

• Spaghetti with meat sauce (made with Schooner Red wine), garden salad, garlic bread, and a Bramble Berry brownie –$18

– Vegetarian Option
• Spaghetti with a red sauce (made with Schooner Red wine), garden salad, garlic bread, and a Bramble Berry brownie –$18

🍷 Recommended wine for Alfredo dishes: Schooner White or White Stag
🍷 Recommended wine for Spaghetti dishes: Schooner Red or Red Cat

Receive 10% off the recommended wine.


ORDER ONLINE: Monday, February 20 – Sunday, February 26, 2023



March 23, 2023 • DINNER MENU

• Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with Baby Arugula Salad and roasted corn avocado salsa and a Bramble Berry brownie –$25

🍷 Recommended wine for either dinner: 2021 Dry Riesling or White Cat Fizz
Receive 10% off the recommended wine.

Crab Cakes, baby arugula salad and roasted corn avocado salsa

ORDER ONLINE: Monday, March 13 – Sunday, March 19, 2023



Orders can be placed online only. The ordering dates for each dinner are listed above. Once your order is placed, you will receive an email from [email protected] with your receipt and the scheduled pick-up time (between 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.) that you chose. Dinners can be picked up at Hazlitt1852 Vineyards, 5712 State Route 414, Hector, NY. If you have any questions, please email our Tasting Room Manager at [email protected].

𝘐𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘸𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘴 𝘥𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘪𝘤𝘬-𝘶𝘱 𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘹𝘵 𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘰𝘳 𝘯𝘦𝘹𝘵 𝘴𝘢𝘧𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘢𝘺; 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘛𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘙𝘰𝘰𝘮 𝘔𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘳, 𝘈𝘯𝘯 𝘍𝘭𝘢𝘩𝘪𝘷𝘦, 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘪𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘦.

* Receive 10% off purchase of recommended wine.

Hazlitt’s Sweet Riesling Makes Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Best Buys 2022

We are excited to share that our Sweet Riesling has ranked #16 on the Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Buys for 2022. The editors select the wines for the list by reviewing the last 12 months of ratings/reviews.  They chose 100 wines priced at $15 and under, all of which also received amazing ratings. The wines were all tasted blindly by the editors. The list contains wines from all over the world! What an honor it is to be included.

Earlier this year, Sweet Riesling was rated an 88.

Wine Enthusiast’s Full Review of Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Sweet Riesling

A well-structured Riesling with hints of clover honey and pineapple and a sweet and tart flavor like rock candy with lemonade.

11.3% Alcohol | 5.5% Residual Sugar

Food Pairings
Roasted pork or duck, Cajun cuisine or spicy seafood dishes. Also a great compliment to fruit based desserts

Awards & Accolades
88 & BEST BUY – Wine Enthusiast
#16 – Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Buys 2022
GOLD – 2020 Taster’s Guild

► Wine Info Sheet (more details)   |   ► SHOP NOW




Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Enters Seltzer Market with Red Cat Wine Seltzers

Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards is thrilled to announce the release of four new wine seltzers: Red Cat Splash, White Cat Splash, Pink Cat Splash, and Red Cat Dark Splash.

Using their most popular sweet wines, the Hazlitt family has created a new line of delicious, bubbly, low-alcohol wine seltzers made with only real wine. These convenient and stylish cans are perfect for any-day enjoyment but will undoubtedly make a “Splash” this summer with their light and refreshing flavors. Each wine seltzer is 6.1% ABV ( alcohol by volume) and is a refreshing version of their namesake’s (Red Cat, White Cat, Pink Cat, Red Cat Dark wines) with a touch of carbonation.

“Creating these seltzers was a fun project. The Labrusca grapes used for the ‘Cat’ wines have the perfect flavor profile to develop into a refreshing wine seltzer.” says Tim Benedict, winemaker for Hazlitt. Each wine seltzer is a beautiful representation of the original wine’s flavor profile. The only differences they have from their namesake wines are less sugar and lower alcohol, which allows them to shine as independent dry seltzer products.

Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards produces outstanding dry vinifera wines but is most famous for a high-quality sweet red known as Red Cat. “Making Red Cat into a wine seltzer was a no-brainer. It’s a perfect brand extension for this fun, party wine,” says Brad Phillips, Director of Sales and Business Development. “And, adding the other three popular “cat” wines allows us to continue to expand our brand portfolio to a larger, new audience that we have not been able to reach yet.”

Leigh Hazlitt Triner, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Co-CEO, shared, “we have wanted to offer a low-alcohol option for years. With the ready-to-drink category exploding, it felt like a great time for us to enter the market with a product that allows us to remain unique and true to our fun approach to enjoying wine. We were able to be creative and maintain the integrity of our popular Catawba, Niagara, and Concord Finger Lakes wines.”

Red Cat Splash, White Cat Splash, Pink Cat Splash, and Red Cat Dark Splash retail in 250ml cans for $3.00 each. They are available for purchase at Hazlitt winery locations: Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards in Hector, NY and Hazlitt Red Cat Cellars in Naples, NY, and New York State wine and liquor stores.

New York State Announces Top Winners of the 2022 New York Wine Classic

Governor’s Cup Presented to Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards and Wölffer Estate Vineyard, Weis Vineyards Named Winery of the Year

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the top winners of the 36th annual New York Wine Classic, a nationally recognized competition highlighting the best of New York’s wine. Governor Hochul made the announcement this evening during a special live virtual event hosted by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. This year, the Governor’s Cup was presented to two wineries in a surprise tie for the competition’s most esteemed award. The Governor’s Cup recognizes the “Best of Show” in the New York Wine Classic and was presented to Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards’ Solera Sherry from the Finger Lakes region and Wölffer Estate Vineyard’s 2020 Diosa Late-Harvest from Long Island. In addition, Weis Vineyards from the Finger Lakes was presented with the “Winery of the Year” award. This award is presented to the winery with the best overall showing based on the level and number of awards in relation to entries.

“The New York Wine Classic celebrates the very best of New York’s wine and grape industries, and this year’s winners are stellar examples of the high-quality wine we’ve come to know and love in our State. I congratulate Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, Wölffer Estate Vineyard, and Weis Vineyards on receiving these prestigious awards.” said Governor Hochul. “The wine industry is an essential part of New York’s agricultural economy and I’m proud to work hard in support of the continued innovation, growth, and success of our wineries and farmers.

Organized annually by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF), the New York Wine Classic celebrates a diverse selection of world-class wines from producers within the State. For the second year, NYWGF has partnered with the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) to judge wines submitted. Scores were awarded by BTI’s trained sensory panel comprised of beverage directors, sommeliers, top bartenders, retail buyers, and educators.

The Governor’s Cup, a large silver chalice, recognizes the “Best of Show” or top prize of all entries in the New York Wine Classic. The “Winery of the Year” award is presented to the winery with the best overall showing.

In addition to winning the Governor’s Cup, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards also received a Platinum medal and tied for Best Dessert Wine for their Solera Sherry. Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, located in Hector, New York, was established in 1985 by the late Jerry Hazlitt and his wife Elaine. The family has been growing grapes and orchard fruits for a living since 1852. The winery and vineyards are now managed by sixth generation family members Doug Hazlitt and Leigh (Hazlitt) Triner.

In addition to winning the Governor’s Cup, Wölffer Estate Vineyard also took home a Platinum medal and tied for Best Dessert Wine with their 2020 Diosa Late-Harvest. Wölffer Estate Vineyard, located in Sagaponack, New York, has been known as one of the finest producers on the East Coast and a center for innovation and hospitality for over 30 years. Founded in 1988 by Christian Wölffer, the estate is currently owned and operated by his children, Marc and Joey Wölffer, and Winemaker/Partner Roman Roth.

In addition to Winery of the Year, Weis Vineyards, located in Hammondsport, New York, also took home a Platinum medal and Best Pink Wine award for their 2021 Dry Rosé, along with the Best White Wine award for their 2020 Winzer Select Riesling A which received a Gold medal. They also took home Gold medals for their 2019 Merlot, 2021 Zweigelt Dry Rosé, 2017 Riesling Ice Wine, 2019 Riesling Ice Wine, 2020 Semi Dry Riesling, and their 2020 Dry Riesling. Wine Winemaker Hans Peter Weis, owner of Weis Vineyards, was born in Zell Mosel, Germany and grew up in the vineyards and cellar of his family winery. It is there that he gained his passion for wine. ​In the spring of 2016 he and his wife Ashlee, a native of the Finger Lakes, decided they would begin this adventure together and open Weis Vineyards. He found the Finger Lakes to be the perfect place to pursue his passion of handcrafting traditional German-style wines for all to enjoy.

Samuel Filler, Executive Director of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation said, “We wish to extend our congratulations to all the winners, and recognize the two historic and important wineries that tied for the Governor’s Cup trophy this year. They, along with the Winery of the Year, Weis Vineyards, are perfect examples of the breadth and depth of quality wines New York can produce. From Long Island to the Finger Lakes, from dry wines to dessert wines, New York truly does have something for every wine enthusiast. What an adventure it would be to plan a visit to each of these winners this summer and fall.”

Leigh Hazlitt-Triner, Co-CEO of Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards said, “We are honored to receive the coveted Governor’s Cup. This award is a testament to our talented and hardworking winemaking & vineyard teams; we couldn’t be more proud.”

Roman Roth, Winemaker & Partner of Wölffer Estate Vineyard said, “The forward-thinking actions of the New York Governors office have been instrumental in the success and progression of the New York Wine Industry. To receive the Governor’s cup at the New York Wine Classic is a huge milestone for a winery and a fantastic achievement. This award is for the owners Joey and Marc Wölffer, for our CEO Max Rohn, for the best Vineyard manager Richie Pisacano, and for our entire outstanding team.”

Peter & Ashlee Weis, Owners of Weis Vineyards said, “Wow! We are so honored to receive this recognition of our hard work.  As a relatively new winery, only 5 years in, this is an unexpected honor. It means so much for our continued growth and success.  We put our heart and soul into our business, and we are overwhelmed with gratitude for this award.  We would like to thank our entire Weis team, as we would not be here without them. Zum Wohl!”

The New York Wine Classic “Best in Category” winners were also announced today. They are:

Best Red Wine
Keuka Lake Vineyards 2020 Leon Millot

Best White Wine
Weis Vineyards 2020 Winzer Select Riesling A

Best Sparkling Wine
Dr. Konstantin Frank 2017 Blanc De Blanc

Best Pink Wine
Weis Vineyards 2021 Dry Rosé

Best Dessert Wine
Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Solera Sherry
Wölffer Estate Vineyard 2020 Diosa Late-Harvest

Best Specialty Wine
Winery of Ellicottville Red Raspberry Wine

“Best of Class” winners of the New York Wine Classic can be found here.

Judging for The New York Wine Classic took place from April 15 through June 15, 2022, and included 694 entries from 101 wineries from across the state. A total of seven Platinum, 234 Gold, 324 Silver, and 110 Bronze medals were awarded.

New York State Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Thanks to our partners at the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, the New York Wine Classic is an annual opportunity to raise a glass to New York’s innovative, world-class wine industry. I congratulate all of the winners for their dedication to quality, and thank Governor Hochul for her continued support of New York’s many craft beverage producers.”

Since taking office, Governor Hochul has supported effort to grow New York’s craft beverage industry and pave the way for unprecedented growth through regulatory reform and groundbreaking initiatives. Today, there are 496 licensed wineries across the State, including 394 farm wineries.

See Full Competition Results

Impressive Ratings from Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Congratulations to Michael Reidy, our vinifera winemaker and the Hazlitt vineyard crew for receiving impressive ratings from Wine Enthusiast magazine for the 2019 & 2020 vinifera white wines!

91: 2019 Homestead Reserve Riesling

90: 2019 Dry Riesling

90 & BEST BUY:  2019 Riesling

89: 2020 Pinot Gris

88: 2020 Sauvignon Blanc

88 & BEST BUY: Sweet Riesling

87: 2019 Grüner Veltliner

We caught up with Michael Reidy in the wine cellar to get some more details about these wines. “These two vintages were very different. 2019 was moderate in temperature and rainfall and 2020 was very hot and dry (drought at times). The two vintages were actually similar in that they both had a sunny, dry stretch when it was time to harvest the grapes,” said Reidy. He shared that “the wines reflect the vintages (year) they were produced which is always a top priority, but, the consistency of the scores are a testament to the ability and flexibility of the vineyard and winemaking teams to produce high quality wines year in and year out.”  We couldn’t agree more and are so proud of all the handwork that went into making these delicious wines.

Although some of these vintages may no longer be available at our winery locations, you may be able to find them on the shelves at your favorite NYS wine retailer. In the coming weeks you can view these great scores accompanied by the editor’s reviews on the Wine Enthusiast website and in print in the April issue of Wine Enthusiast which is set to hit shelves March 14, 2022.

Ratings defined by Wine Enthusiast Magazine:

98–100: CLASSIC The pinnacle of quality
94–97: SUPERB A great achievement
90–93: EXCELLENT Highly recommended
87–89: VERY GOOD Often good value; well recommended
83–86: GOOD Suitable for everyday consumption; often good value
80–82: ACCEPTABLE Can be employed in casual, less-critical circumstances

Special Designations defined by Wine Enthusiast Magazine:

Best Buy—products that offer a high level of quality in relation to price. Wines meriting this award are generally priced at $15 or less, and are designated Best Buys after surpassing a specific quality-to-price ratio benchmark.

Rating and special designation definitions are directly from the Wine Enthusiast magazine website.

Hazlitt’s World Famous Chicken Wing Dip

Need a dish to pass for your Super Bowl or Puppy Bowl party? Try one of our favorite dips that just happens to be made with our very own, Red Catastrophe hot sauce!⁣ 
𝐇𝐚𝐳𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐭’𝐬 𝗪𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐅𝐚𝐦𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐁𝐮𝐟𝐟𝐚𝐥𝐨 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐧 𝗪𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐃𝐢𝐩⁣
(6 – 8 Servings)⁣
• 1.5 lbs. chicken breasts, cooked and shredded⁣
• 3 oz. Tabasco hot sauce or your favorite hot sauce⁣
• 2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened⁣
• 1 (16 oz.) bottle of bleu cheese salad dressing, or ranch combined with 8 oz. crumbled bleu cheese⁣
• 2/3 cup chopped celery⁣
• 3 cups shredded cheddar or Monterrey jack⁣
• Tri-colored or your favorite tortilla chips⁣
1. Preheat oven to 350.⁣
2. In a large bowl, mix shredded chicken, celery and cheese.⁣
3. In a saucepan over med-low heat, combine cream cheese and salad dressing and stir until smooth. Stir in both hot sauces. Pour heated mixture into bowl with chicken mixture. Stir to mix well.⁣
4. Pour into a 13″ x 9″ baking pan. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until bubbly—-make sure top doesn’t get browned. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve warm OR cold—–tastes best warm— with celery or other veggies and crackers.⁣
𝗪𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐏𝐚𝐢𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬: Red Cat, White Cat Fizz, Red Cat Sangria, 2019 Grüner Veltliner, 2020 Gewürztraminer, 2020 Riesling.⁣
*𝘙𝘦𝘥 𝘊𝘢𝘵𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘱𝘩𝘦! 𝘩𝘰𝘵 𝘴𝘢𝘶𝘤𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘷𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘵 𝘣𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘵𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘮 𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘏𝘢𝘻𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘵 𝘸𝘦𝘣 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘦. 𝘞𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱 𝘩𝘰𝘵 𝘴𝘢𝘶𝘤𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘜𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘴. 

Hazlitt Receives Stellar Awards at 2021 Dan Berger’s International Wine & Cider Competitions

Congratulations to our winemaking and vineyard teams for receiving stellar awards at the 2021 Dan Berger International Wine & Cider Competitions. The top three awards we received are:

We also received gold medals for Cider Tree Light’ n Dry and Cider Tree Cinnamon Spice.

The competition took place on December 16, 2021, in California.

To see the complete list of awards we received at the competition, please visit Dan Berger’s International Wine Competition 2021 Results Page

Hazlitt Red Cat Cellars Celebrates 10 Years Of Successful Workforce And Economic Growth


Naples, NY — Hazlitt Red Cat Cellars, part of the Hazlitt family wine production holdings, is celebrating 10 years in business and its benefit to the workforce and economic growth in the Naples community.

The expansive facility is now home to multiple businesses. These include East Coast Crush and Co-Pack, Hazlitt’s custom beverage production services company, as well as an on-site retail and tasting room, a brewery, and a recreational hiking trail.

In 2011, at the time of purchase, the facility employed 14 people (full-time equivalents) and was producing wine at just a fraction of its full capacity. Along with significant investments by the Hazlitt family, Hazlitt Red Cat Cellars received an economic development grant from New York State that was administered through the Ontario County Economic Development office. As specified by the grant, the funds were used specifically to increase opportunities for the local workforce.

Currently, the company employs 53 full-time employees with an additional 10-12 at any time as temporary hires.

“One of the requirements of the grant was to reach a total of 26 full-time positions in the first 10 years. We reached that number within our third year!” said Leigh Hazlitt Triner, Co-CEO. “That’s a true success by anyone’s measure.” She added. “Naples is now home to us. We care about the success of this area. We care about the people.”

“We are very excited to be part of the ongoing growth and success of the community.” said company President Dan DeBell. “We knew that purchasing the facility was a bit of a leap of faith on the part of the Hazlitt family 10 years ago. Their flagship brands, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, and Red Cat wines needed a larger production facility to match market demands. But it was still a big gamble financially. It was really great that both Ontario County and New York State were able to lend a hand. Our success is their success.” He went on, “Even more importantly, we’ve been able to contribute to the local economy by adding, and keeping, employees in good jobs. Especially, throughout the challenges of the last two years.”

As a long-time advocate and leader of organizations that strive to expand job opportunities, Lynn Freid, Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board (FLWIB) added “This is a great example of private–public partnership opportunity in this region. The strength of local business with strong ties to local community agencies with sustainable careers and investment in long-term growth for the working families they employ.”  She continued, “The Finger Lakes region is ripe with employment opportunity.  Building a strong workforce/economic/community eco-system is the foundation of these successes”.


About Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards & Hazlitt Red Cat Cellars

The Hazlitt family has been growing superb grapes on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake, NY for over 150 years. Established in 1984, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards continues the family tradition of award-winning viticulture and wine production. In 2010, Hazlitt Red Cat Cellars was founded when the Hazlitt family purchased the 3+ million gallon Widmer Wine Cellars in Naples, New York from Constellation Brands. 

 The family’s internationally renowned wines include Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, and Cabernet Franc. Most notably, Hazlitt is infamous for its Red Cat, White Cat, and Cabin Fever – some of the most popular and best-selling New York State wines. For more information, please visit Hazlit1852.com.

 About East Coast Crush

East Coast Crush & Co-Pack (EC3) was founded in 2011 to take advantage of excess production space at Hazlitt Red Cat Cellars. EC3 is a custom service beverage production company that works with customers regionally, nationally, and globally. The company also imports, produces and packages wines for US distribution for customers throughout the world. EC3 specializes in the production and packaging of controlled beverages including wine, cider, seltzer, and other spirits.