Billsboro Winery celebrates 15th anniversary under Aliperti ownership

Billsboro Winery celebrates its 15th anniversary under the ownership of Kim and Vinny Aliperti. The Alipertis bought the property in 2007 from Bob and Jennifer Pool, who founded Billsboro as the first Geneva-linked winery in 2000. “I’ll never forget the morning Jen called to ask if we were interested in l purchase of the domain,” says Kim, COO, “the minute I informed Vinny of their proposal, he quickly objected, saying we’d be crazy to go along with it.” He went on to say, “Our lives will never be the same again!”

The road begins in Tunisia

Kim and Vinny’s origin story began in 1992 when they met as Peace Corps volunteers in Tunisia. Upon their return to the fast pace of life in the United States in New York City, it became apparent that they were not cut out for the suit and tie office lifestyle. While many people fall in love with the idea of ​​becoming a winemaker, it was the young couple’s honeymoon in the Pacific Northwest wine country that sparked the idea and the rest is history. Thanks to his ties to the Long Island wine industry and Vinny’s family winemaking tradition, he finally set foot in the proverbial Wolfffer Estate winery in 1997 where he apprenticed for three vintages.

In 2000, the couple and their two-year-old twins packed up and headed to the Finger Lakes. “The running joke for a while was that our move to Geneva was almost like being reemployed in the Peace Corps,” Vinny joked, as the pace and living space on Seneca Lake was a world away from the Hamptons. Vinny was hired as an associate winemaker at Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, where he worked alongside longtime viticulture pioneer Hermann Wiemer. In 2001, Vinny then joined startup Atwater Vineyards, where he rose through the ranks and eventually became head winemaker in 2003. In 2006, they received the “phone call” that would inevitably change the trajectory of their winemaking journey. Atwater owner Ted Marks was only supportive of their plan to create their own brand. “Ted’s spirit of collaboration and trust is indicative of the willingness of the entire Finger Lakes wine industry to work together for the greater good,” says Aliperti. Over the next fifteen years, Vinny continued to produce Atwater wines from grapes grown on their estate, while sharing cellar space to make Billsboro wines from locally sourced grapes.

Community spirit

The Aliperti’s penchant for volunteerism and commitment to their community is inextricably linked to the Billsboro brand. Their dedication to improving the lives of children, increasing access to the arts and preserving the environment for the next generation of winemakers is an integral part of their philosophy. The connections they have developed through board and committee work with organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, the Smith Opera House and the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance have had an impact on many of these important issues. . More recently, Kim is a member of the board of directors of the city of Geneva and Vinny co-founded a non-profit organization called FLX Craft Beverage Environmental Coalition, created to advocate for sustainable environmental policies. “We’ve always thought the best part of living in a small town is the feeling that if you get involved, you can make real-time, tangible change.”

The Billsboro Experience

Billsboro’s century-old post-and-beam barn and adjoining newly constructed lodge sit on idyllic 60 acres at the northwest tip of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region. The solar-powered tasting barn is surrounded by majestic walnut trees, terraced fields, a deep wooded ravine and lake views. pairing flights, or can even schedule a more intimate guided wine tasting for those who want to go out. Wine-friendly snacks and charcuterie boards are also available to enhance your wine-tasting experience. Special events are held throughout the year, including Billsboro’s signature bi-weekly event, Pizza on the Patio, which runs from May through October. Billsboro also has a robust Wine Club, where members have special access to limited releases such as Albariño, Syrah, and library wine offerings. In fifteen years, Billsboro Winery grew its production from just 1,200 cases to more than 4,000. “Over the past fifteen years,” Kim recalls, “the industry has definitely matured, the quality of wine has Much improved, the focus on customer experience and direct-to-consumer sales has transformed our business model, and we now look forward to sharing our wines with future customers over the next fifteen years!

Billsboro is committed to producing classic dry European varietal wines from the finest Finger Lakes winemakers and showcasing a highquality product and customer experience. Billsboro won the 2016 NYS Governor’s Cup for its 2013 Syrah. The company employs 4 full-time and 12 part-time employees and is located at 4760 West Lake Road, Geneva, NY 14456. For more information, visit billsborowinery. com.

Elisha A. Tilghman