Michael Kontokosta is the co-owner and vineyard manager of Kontokosta Winery, and was a lot of fun to hang out with. His tasting room is beautiful and LEED-gold certified to boot. He describes their materials in the episode, and it is fascinating to see. You have that big wind turbine, which powers everything but the AC, and the “skin” of the building is an old barn from Rochester with the structure within 90% recycled steel. His conservation of water stems from drought-resistant, native plants on the property and fixtures in the tasting room that use nearly half the water of what others would use.
It is all about the wine, too of course, which is a theme by which Michael operates. He has his own philosophies about the grapes he grows and he doesn’t stray from having his guests appreciate the wine. He’s not about bands and limos and busses, he’s about the wines and the property and its gorgeous views.
That is not to say his place is a stuffy dead end by any stretch. He packs it in with people, there are tables outside and even games to play. Sometimes he gets so many people on the property that he has some extra staff on hand to walk around and make sure everyone is enjoying themselves.
I enjoyed trying the rosé with him, along with some of the other blends (anemometer red and white for example!). He only makes about 700 cases a year of it, which is not much by comparison. And when it’s gone, it’s gone.
If you want fantastic wine (his 2014 rosé won best in class/double gold at the New York Food and Wine Classic) and just an amazing view, this is your place.