Monday, June 18, 2012

Glorie Farm Winery

We've been talking about it recently, but it is nice to see the reality of the situation.

Doug Glorie represents the One Percent. Not the One Percent with the money, though he assures us that both his farm and winery have been profitable for the last five years (a rare feat for the farming industry, which relies on unpredictable Mother Nature). Instead, he is part of that hard working one percentage of the American population that brings us our food, and in his case, our drink as well.

Nestled among the wooded hills just a couple of hours north of NYC, Glorie Farm is 54 acres of fruit producing farmland tended by Doug Glorie and his wife. They grow apples and peaches to sell at local markets, roadside stands, and CSAs. They also grow grapes, to make wine. For years, they have been growing grapes for sale. A few years ago they had more grapes than they knew what to do with, so they found a winemaker to help them out. The result impressed them and their friends, so they decided to diversify their business, and get into wine making full time while continuing the produce operation, as well.
Baskets of grapes in vineyard row
Of course, it's not a question of one or the other. Harvest comes at the same time for everything, and the wine needs to be started right away, so fall is a madhouse. But a farmer's life is never dull. Doug showed us his list of tasks for the day, tucked into his shirt pocket for safe keeping, just moments before his wife came looking for his help to find receipt paper for the credit card machine, as our tour bus swamped their tasting room. But before he ran off, we enjoyed the chance to sample a few of his wines, although he lamented that most tour groups don't appreciate the craft of wine making. He assured us that the sweet fruit wines weren't all that he had to offer, but that the bus loads of tourists demand them. He told me of his desire to work more with more complex dry wines, but at the same time I was enjoying something startling; a carefully crafted fruit wine, made from ripe peaches, rich with the sweet flavors of summer, but with a subtle bitter undertone of peach skin that showed skill at extracting the true flavors of the fruit. That bitter quality kept the sweetness at bay. Delicious.

While there is a lot of money to be had in the world of wine, it's as hard for the little guy as any other business or industry. With no budget for marketing, and no time for social media (which is a full-time job in and of itself), it is hard for the small business to get their names out there, and just as easy to get lost in the noise of everyone else clamoring for attention.  And of course, there is always the resistance of the establishment, where in some people's mind if it isn't from California (or France, or maybe just Long Island), it's not worth considering. But to some of us, its refreshing to find something small and unique--and shake hands with the grape-stained ones of the person behind our dinner--and the wine that goes along with it. Of the three wineries we visited on The Little Wine Bus tour, this was probably our favorite experience.


  1. Thanks for the fantastic writing about one of my favorite places & two of my favorite, hard working people on the planet. Uncle Doug is as 'down to earth' as they come, Aunt MaryEllen is refreshing as a cool summer breeze... and the fruits & wine they yield are spectacular.

  2. We're so glad you enjoyed your experience with us here at Glorie Farm Winery. Our location is far enough off the beaten path that people don't just happen to drive by and stop in. Thank you for encouraging people to come up and find us! I've posted a link to this post at Cheers! (~MaryEllen, the aforementioned wife)

  3. Our pleasure. Glad you enjoyed the piece; we just as much enjoyed learning about your farm. We like to remind our readers that wine just doesn't show up in the bottle. The amount of work required is unbelievable and not for the weak of heart. Cheers!

  4. One percent, huh? Well 99 percent of the people i know need to buy your wine.*

    *Disclaimer: short attention span and wine consumption... i.e. i only read the first line of the article.

    1. Well said, and a much deserved chuckle, Martinjohnfox!