Presidents’ Day Sale!

Presidents’ Day Sale!

Founding father George Washington helped create a brand new country, but he wasn’t as successful at making his own wine.*In fact, Washington tried to make a go of his own vineyard at Mt. Vernon for 11 years before giving up. You, on the otherhand, will succeed with Wine Expert’s International Juice Kits for sale all this week in honor of Presidents’ Day.

Choose from these selected International varieties:

Australian Cabernet Shiraz

Australian Shiraz

Chilean Pinor Noir

Chilean Merlot

French Cabernet Sauvignon

French Merlot

New Zealand Pinot Noir


$98.99 this week only

Kits only. Expires Saturday, February 23, 2013.


*Source: Virgina Wine: Virginia Wine HistoryGrapes02



Make Your Holiday Wine Now at Lakeland Winery

Make Your Holiday Wine Now at Lakeland Winery

Okay, so it’s not even Halloween yet, but you can get all of your holiday shopping done early this year by making your holiday wine now at Lakeland Winery.

It takes seven weeks for the wine to ferment, so if you make your wine by November 3, you can have wine gifts for friends, family and coworkers done in time for the holidays. No last minute shopping!

Read up on our custom winemaking process here.

Book your winemaking appointment here.

Watch Andy and Christina on the WSTM Morning Show!

Andy and Christina guest-starred on WSTM’s early morning news show on Tuesday, July 17. They chatted all about Lakeland Winery, making wine and throwing wine making parties.

Lakeland Winery on WSTM


New Groupon Deal From Lakeland Winery

New Groupon Deal From Lakeland Winery

$109 for a Winemaking Party and 30 Bottles of Wine at Lakeland Winery$114 for Winemaking Party for up to 15 People ($228 value)

Our latest Groupon deal is for up to 15 people to make 30 bottles of the award-winning Island Mist wines.

Up to 15 people come together to make 30 bottles of Lakeland Winery’s award-winning Island Mist wines under the guidance of passionate oenophilia. The five-step winemaking process is simple and engaging; it involves slowly mixing water with bentonite, juice, and then additional ingredients such as elderflowers or oak. Later, after fermentation, groups will cork and label each bottle to take home. Groups are encouraged to bring their own hors d’oeuvres to the party.

Lakeland Winery’s expert winemakers guide you through the five-step winemaking process. Bring your own hors d’oeuvres to the party. Island Mist combines the crisp freshness of distinctive varietals wines with delicious fruit flavors.

Choose From:

  • Blackberry Cabernet
  • Blackberry Merlot
  • Green Apple Riesling
  • Exotic Fruit Zinfandel
  • Peach Apricot Chardonnay
  • Strawberry White Merlot
  • Wildberry Shiraz
  • Kiwi Pear Sauvignon Blanc
  • Blueberry Pinot Noir
  • White Cranberry Pinot Gris
  • Pomegranate Zinfandel
  • Cranberry Malbec

The Fine Print:

  • Expires November 14, 2012
  • Limit 1 per customer, may buy 1 additional as a gift
  • Must be 21 or older
  • Must use promotional value in 1 visit
  • $5 tasting fee per person not included

Bare Feet Not Required

You know that classic I Love Lucy episode in which Lucy gets a job in an Italian vineyard and she crushes the grapes with her bare feet? That’s exactly what I thought I’d be doing the first time I ever made wine at Lakeland Winery.

When our website designer, Phil, first invited me to make wine at Lakeland in 2006 (long before I started blogging!), I was a bit apprehensive. I’m not one for getting dirty. Even when I was a kid, the thought of finger painting freaked me out, so the idea of stomping around barefoot in a pile of grapes didn’t sound ideal. However, I like wine more than enough to try making my own even if it meant reddish-purple stains between my toes. I would just have to prepare.

Picture this: On winemaking day, I dressed like someone who was going to be rolling around in a vat of grapes. I wore my oldest pair of jeans with the cuffs rolled up. I pulled my hair back as tight as possible. It was drizzling that late-October day in Syracuse, so I didn’t look like a complete idiot in my raincoat.

So there I was ready to take off my shoes and socks, wondering where they keep the wine-stomping barrels at Lakeland Winery. Owner Andy ushered our party into a cozy wine-tasting room. During the first part of the experience you get to taste about 20 wines before you choose the one you’d like to make. We chose the light, floral Muller-Thurgau, and I wished that I had eaten something more substantial than toast before sampling a bunch of wines (here’s a tip: bring snacks to your wine tasting party).

We then went to the winemaking room. I didn’t see any barrels or vats filled with grapes to be crushed between the toes. That’s when I learned that making wine at Lakeland Winery isn’t like the messy process that Lucy Ricardo endured. Instead, making wine at Lakeland is a bit like mixing ingredients before baking a cake. The winery staff does as much or as little as you’d like all the while explaining how wine is made. It’s fun and educational.

I got to slowly stir the water and bentonite, followed by the juice and the elderflowers before sprinkling the yeast in the fermentation bucket. That’s the first step in making wine. The next step happened a week later when the fermenting wine was siphoned into a carboy. This step is called racking. During week three the wine was stabilized, and potassium sorbate and potassium metabisfulate were added to help sterilize the wine. The wine fermented for another four weeks and then we got to come back to the Lakeland to bottle and label our wines. No bare feet required.



Another Groupon Syracuse Deal from Lakeland Winery!

Another Groupon Syracuse Deal from Lakeland Winery!

$109 for a Winemaking Party and 30 Bottles of Wine at Lakeland Winery$109 for a Winemaking Party and 30 Bottles of Wine at Lakeland Winery

Ends Sunday night May 8th at 11:59pm

Our friends over at Groupon Syracuse have helped us to set up yet another great deal for everyone!

Our previous wine deal on Groupon was such a great success—we sold well over 250(!!)—that we could not help but offer up an even better deal this time around!

$109 for a Winemaking Party and 30 Bottles of Wine at Lakeland Winery

  • Deal ends Sunday night May 8th at 11:59pm
  • Invite as many as 29 friends to wine-making party
  • Wide variety of wine flavors
  • Bottle, cork & label wine
  • Limit 1 per person, may buy multiple as gifts.
  • Expires Oct 5, 2012

Via Groupon Syracuse:

Winemaking is generally considered the best way to get to know wine, narrowly beating out writing it letters and getting stuck with it on top of a ferris wheel. Make a delicious new acquaintance with today’s Groupon: for $109, you get a winemaking party and 30 bottles of homemade wine at Lakeland Winery (a $218 value).

Under the guidance of Lakeland Winery’s grape gurus, you and up to 29 friends will craft 30 bottles of Island Mist Series wine-based fruit juice. Wine-whisperers commence the 90-minute soiree by choosing from Island Mist’s easy-drinking incarnations of grape goodness, including pomegranate zinfandel, peach-apricot chardonnay, and black-raspberry merlot, while munching on snacks brought from home. Once a flavor is selected, it’s poured into a fermenting bucket, mixed with ingredients like elderflowers and oak, stirred, sprinkled with yeast, and air-locked to hibernate for seven weeks at the Lakeland warehouse.

Following the fermentation, guests return to Lakeland to exorcise, bottle, cork, label, and dress 30 wine bottles. Finally, guests head for home with the bounding bundles of bottled joy, then let them nap in the cupboards, and wake them up just in time for dinner. For an extra fee, customers can upgrade from the Island Mist Series to one of Lakeland’s Estate Series wines.

Truck delivers grapes from California

Truck delivers grapes from California

Our grapes from California arrived yesterday by refrigerated truck. It took an hour to unload 120 crates of luscious red Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. I hired a professional winemaker (not that I’m not) to personally create the best wine you’ve ever had for under $100. The “crushing party” begins at 9:00 this Saturday, October 3, 2009. Pay $270 for a guaranteed 30 bottles of wine. You may join us at our “blending party” in several months to produce the ‘perfect wine’ – your wine.Truck driver helps unload.2579Helpers unload grapes.2580grapes safely tucked away.2581Pinot Noir Grapes.2585

Andy’s How to Make Wine Videos – Step 5 – Bottling

Here’s Step 5 of my How to Make Wine Video Series! In this fifth video, I explain how to use an automatic bottle filler to transfer wine into bottles while leaving enough room for the cork—and how using a floor mounted bottle corker speeds up the bottling process. Enjoy!

Joie de Vivre!


Custom Crush or Adopt a jug at Lakeland Winery

This October, we will be making our first batch of wine from California and New York grapes. And, you can be involved in this educative process.

I have hired a professional wine maker to take us through the lessons of making wine from fresh grapes at Lakeland Winery. I have tasted his wines in years past, and they are exceptional. I’m sure you will be happy to crush, press, ferment, punch the cap, rack, blend & sip, and basically just coo over your wines. Taste the subtle changes as your wine ages from month to month.

We are making Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon wine from California grapes, and Cayuga White from New York Cayuga grapes. You can ‘adopt a jug’ or ‘custom crush’ your very own 6 gallon batch of wine. This makes about 30 bottles of wine. Sorry, this first year we will not be making any other varieties. Of course you can blend the two red wines if you like to your own specifications. The cost will be $250 for a jug of red, and $200 for a jug of white. This includes everything from soup to nuts: Wine, bottles, corks, labels and shrink caps. Plus, a whole lot of training! Did you know that grapes actually scream when they are pressed? Come find out.

The first year I made a batch, I thought it would take me 2 years to drink. A year later when it was ready to drink, it was gone in 4 months. WOW! Was it ever delicious! Six gallons is gone in four months after drinking only one glass each night for your health.

Stayed tuned for the first day when we unload the truck of grapes. It will be so exciting to see those grapes and taste the difference between each variety. I will keep you informed, but until then e-mail me at [email protected] and let me know if you want to participate. Or respond to this e-mail.


Wine for the Confused – Watch it online now!

If you’ve never seen the great 2004 documentary, Wine for the Confused, starring John Cleese of Monty Python, then you’re in for a treat. Although it is John Cleese, the film’s description points out that it is meant to be more educational than funny:

Wine is confusing…overwhelming even. So where do you start if you want to learn more about it? Join comedy legend John Cleese on a witty and personal look at the world of winemaking.

You can watch the entire film below or head over to and watch it there.