There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to keeping Adirondack Winery running smoothly and successfully. One of those parts is our Assistant Wine Maker, Brad. Brad joined Adirondack Winery about a year and a half ago and has been a key component in our growth. Sometimes bottling up to 1,200 bottles of wine in a day, he is one of the people you can thank for keeping your favorite wines stocked!
Brad has watched and taken part in the accelerated growth of Adirondack Winery since he joined us. With his help, larger tanks and faster pumps, our wine-making process has become faster and more efficient, keeping our shelves stocked and your glass full! When Brad first started, the old tanks produced approximately 350 bottles of wine. With our newer, larger tanks, each one can produce up to 1200 bottles! As I looked at the cases and cases of wine stacked all the way to the back wall of our 4,000-square-foot facility, I asked Brad how many more cases we have in our warehouse compared to a year and a half ago – he said it’s about doubled!
At different stages throughout the wine fermenting and aging process, Brad & Mike will extract a bit of wine straight from the tanks to taste and lab-test for things such as sulfites, sugar and acidity levels, as well as consistency in flavor from batch-to-batch. Sounds interesting and like a pretty good perk of the job, if you ask me!
Testing the wines is an important part of the job and Brad recently had the opportunity to take a class in the Finger Lakes to expand his knowledge. This two-day lecture and lab, run through Cornell University allowed him to learn and practice alternate testing methods to ensure our wines are just right, every time!
Prior to working for Adirondack Winery, Brad worked in the Sponsorship Department for a professional hockey team in Florida. After developing a love for wine and making his own wine at home, he decided to turn his hobby into a profession. When asked what drew him to Adirondack Winery, Brad responded, “Other than a love for wine, I like that it’s a local business that cares about its employees.”
In addition to wine-making, Brad’s other hobbies and interests include sports and traveling. His most recent, favorite place to travel to is Key West.
I decided to ask Brad a few questions about his likes & dislikes about wine-making as well as what his favorite wines are and what he considers to be Adirondack Winery’s “hidden gem.” Here’s what our Assistant Wine Maker had to say:
What is your favorite and least favorite part of wine-making?
“Once in a while we will have a wine that will ferment very slowly, which can be a pain. But I enjoy bottling our wines. It can make for a long day but it’s nice to see the wine go to a finished product.”
“I’d have to go with Tempranillo, it’s a nicely balanced dry oaky red, which I tend to lean towards for my palate. “
Is there a wine that you would consider a “hidden gem” or our “best kept secret” / a wine that maybe isn’t as popular as you think it should be?
“Semillon, it’s got a nice crisp taste to it which makes it great for a hot summer day.”
Brad is not the only person who feels that way about our Semillon. Not only has it started to gain popularity with our customers, this distinct, dry white wine is also a gold medal winner of the 2011 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Brad and getting a small glimpse into what goes on “behind the bar” at Adirondack Winery!