News & Events



November 18, 2021

Hector, NY — Daniel DeBell and Marc Hurlbut have been named to leadership positions at Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards. DeBell has been promoted to President and COO and Hurlbut to Chief Financial Officer. John Keeler, who served as President starting in 2009 announced his retirement earlier this year. He will continue to serve during the transition.

“We are very excited to make this announcement.” Leigh Triner, Co-CEO said. “John has served the company well and led us through the transition from a small regional winery into a significant East Coast producer.” “We wish him the best as he moves into a well-deserved retirement.”  Doug Hazlitt, Leigh’s brother and Co-CEO added, “With Dan and Marc leading the way, we are in very capable hands to move this company forward to even greater success.” Hazlitt went on, “I’m sure John will keep busy in retirement. There are plenty of fishing holes that need attention!”

Before joining the Hazlitt team in 2011, Daniel DeBell worked for nineteen years at the Goodrich Corporation, IRS Systems in Ithaca, NY. The management, negotiation, and problem-solving skills he utilized there as General Manager has translated seamlessly into the wine business. Initially hired as General Manager, Daniel was promoted to Executive Vice President in 2015.

Marc Hurlbut was hired as Controller in February 2021. His 30 years of finance experience in the manufacturing industry quickly benefited financial operations at Hazitt’s two production facilities and retail locations in Hector, NY, and Naples, NY as well as the company’s custom wine production business, East Coast Crush & Co-Pack. Before working at Hazlitt, Marc was the Executive V.P. Finance Administration at SYNTEC Optics, Wordingham Technologies in Rochester, NY.

John Keeler joined Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards as company President in February 2009. During his tenure, Hazlitt acquired Widmer Wine Cellars from Constellation Brands and founded East Coast Crush & Co-Pack. Before Hazlitt, he was Co-CEO at Monarch Machine Tool in Cortland, NY.

“John Keeler will be missed.” Daniel DeBell emphasized. “He’s been a great mentor and team leader. He laid the groundwork over the past 12 years that will allow Marc and I to really step up, take the reins, and drive the business forward.”

DeBell continued, “The industry is changing. It is evolving very rapidly. There are abundant challenges at every turn right now. From COVID and supply chain issues to staffing shortages.”  “The Hazlitt family has been proactive and visionary. They have assembled a team, from top to bottom, that is configured for success.”



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


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.

Changing The Wine Game With Michael Reidy

Michael Reidy hadn’t planned to enter the wine industry. In fact, although the Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards winemaker attended Cornell’s Viticulture and Enology program, he only intended to glean what he could of the science and bring that knowledge to the beer industry, where his father worked before him. But a short while into his time at Cornell, things changed, and Reidy found himself on a path that led away from breweries and toward a fruitful career creating Hazlitt 1852 Vineyard’s award-winning vinifera wines on Seneca Lake.

Soon after graduating from Cornell in 2006, Reidy took a position as assistant winemaker at Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards in Hector, New York, on the east bank of scenic Seneca Lake. This job offered the recent graduate a chance to refine his skills by monitoring fermentations and helping ensure everything went according to plan. But it wasn’t until January of 2011 – when Hazlitt purchased another location in Naples, New York – that Reidy was presented the opportunity to truly make his mark.

Taking on the role of head winemaker granted him the ability to flex his creative side more than ever before. Soon he began to garner a reputation as someone who was willing to stray from the beaten path. “I have kind of a reputation for being a bit of a mad scientist,” Reidy said. While many Finger Lakes wineries test their ideas with small batches, Reidy rejects those tactics, because they’re difficult to scale up. Instead, he experiments without hesitation, which lends his work a unique style. And experimentation brings him back to the reasons he was interested in wine in the first place. He notes that he enjoys “the fun of the underlying science there – it’s an art form that you’re doing, but every year is different.”

And based on the many awards achieved by Reidy’s wines, he’s perfecting his art form. One of his earliest successes at the winery came in the form of a barrel of 2010 Chardonnay sent to California to compete in Jerry D. Mead’s New World International Wine Competition. California is well-known for its top-quality Chardonnays, but Hazlitt’s offering surged ahead of the pack to win best overall Chardonnay. Many more awards were to follow as Reidy continued to help establish Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards as a true force in the world of vinifera wines. “It’s fun to win people over who associated Hazlitt with a certain kind of wine,” he notes, “and to have people realize that there’s a whole other aspect of it with high-end reds and whites.”

Those high-end wines define Reidy’s work and a transformation of Hazlitt itself. While production of the vineyard’s beloved Red Cat and White Cat varieties continues in Naples, Reidy can be found whipping up vinifera wines, a name inspired by the types of grapes used in their creation. Furthermore, many of these wines have achieved 90-point ratings awarded by Wine Enthusiast magazine. Reidy explained that these high-end selections represent a more subtle side of Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards that’s an exciting, and always growing, part of the vineyard’s story.

The latest vinifera wines showcase a change in Reidy’s work, too. “The wines I was making my first couple years were really big,” Reidy says. “I always likened them to a teenage boy.” But more recently, Reidy has transitioned to what he describes as a more austere, refined style of winemaking. The result? He’s still having a great time, but you can expect more nuance and sophistication from his latest vintages. “One of the cool things is that, as a winemaker, I essentially make wine for myself,” he explains. “Hopefully there are enough people out there who will enjoy it as well.”

Learn more about Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards’ and its award-winning vinifera wines – which include Rieslings, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc and many more – by visiting Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards online or the winery located at 5712 State Route 414, Hector, NY 14841.

Update: Case Club Rewards Program

Over the last few months, we have been reviewing the details and benefits that our most valuable customers receive in the Case Club Rewards Program. After careful consideration we are excited to share some changes. On July 31, 2020, the Case Club Rewards Program will come to an end. But, don’t worry; we have big plans ahead that we know you’ll love!

Beginning August 1, 2020, you will become a Grandfathered Case Club Rewards Program Member and receive the benefit of 25% off 12-bottle purchases for life!

In the coming months, we will introduce two new ways to buy and save on your favorite wines: an online subscription service and a traditional Wine Club. Both of these options will offer bottle discounts. The Wine Club will also have additional perks/benefits that will be similar to what you experienced in the Case Club Rewards Program.

We look forward to sharing more details with you soon, so stay tuned!