After purchasing a small winery overlooking Seneca Lake in 2011, Chris Messick pioneered new plantings of varietals like Chenin Blanc and crafted traditional recognized as exceptional. So why is Messick pulling up stakes and moving his winery and family to the Texas Hill Country?
Not because of New York's high taxes. But rather, the destruction of his sparkling wine tasting room and event center and the theft by his winery bookkeeper of more than $500,000, Michael Stein, led him to want a fresh start.
After viewing the YouTube series "Texas Winemakers," Messick arranged a visit to the region in 2022. "From my very first day, I was amazed at the energy of the Texas winemaking community, the business friendly environment Texas embraced, and most importantly, the exceptional quality of many of the wines I tasted," Chris added when discussing that first experience.
As it transitions its operation to Boerne, Texas, nestled in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, Missick Cellars will transition to mobile wine services, offering established Texas wineries crossflow filtration, mobile bottling, and ultimately sparkling wine services. Moreover, Chris will start producing wines from Texas grown grapes as well as planting an estate vineyard, and may also offer a selection from the Missick Cellars library of Finger Lakes wines.
"It's been a great experience, and I've been honored to be a part of an important season of growth for this great wine region. I've made some amazing friends, and most importantly, learned so many incredible lessons these last twelve years," Messick said. The Dundee, N.Y., winery is now for sale. Meticulously reconstructed by the Missick family, the winery offers 30 acres of land, directly on Route 14, with a 10,000 case capacity production cellar, premium tasting room and events space, lakeview patio and commercial kitchen.