King Ferry Winery

Maker of Treleaven Wines

finger lakes grapes

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Cathy Zimdahl
July 2, 2013 | Cathy Zimdahl

Gold Medals!

Gold never gets old!  We're  pleased to announce the results of the World Wine Championships by The Beverage Testing Institute, in which the winery was awarded 5 gold medals and 3 silver medals, as well as 3 “Best Buy” designations.  We're really happy that our winning wines reflect such diversity of varietals and styles.  It's testament to our winemaker, Lindsay Stevens’,  skills.  She's especially proud of the Dry Rosé score - that particular style of wine takes real winemaking prowess to do well, and Lindsay really hit it out of the park with the 2012.

 The five gold medals were given to: 2011 EIS Late Harvest Riesling (score 95), 2012 Dry Rosé (score 93, “Best Buy”), 2012 Semi-dry Riesling (score 91, “Best Buy”), Apple Mystique (score 91, “Best Buy”), and 2011 Gewurztraminer (score 90).

 The three silver medals were given to: 2011 Reserve Chardonnay (score 88), 2011 Vintner’s Cuvée Chardonnay (score 87), and 2011 Main Chardonnay (score 85).

 Other results may be seen at the BTI website:


Time Posted: Jul 2, 2013 at 8:30 AM
Cathy Zimdahl
May 29, 2013 | Cathy Zimdahl

Ride for Heart Health in the Finger Lakes

Hi, this is Pete Saltonstall.  I survived a sudden cardiac arrest in January of 2013.  Although I don’t recall seeing the white light, ancestors, or Elvis, my heart actually stopped, and I lost consciousness for a significant amount of time.  Thanks to amazing doctors and nurses, I feel great now, and I want to help other people who find themselves in my situation. That’s why my winery is sponsoring the “Ride for Heart Health – Finger Lakes” on Saturday, June 29th.  We encourage all cycling enthusiasts, age 18 and older, to register for either the 27 mile ride or the 47 mile ride, and the proceeds from the registration fee will go to Cayuga Heart Institute.

Registration is $35 and you can sign up here:


Or, you can just call the winery and we'll help you register. The ride starts and ends at King Ferry Winery, where we will continue the fun in the afternoon with an Open House featuring free live music by “Midnite Mood”. 

For more info:



Time Posted: May 29, 2013 at 7:49 AM
Cathy Zimdahl
March 1, 2013 | Cathy Zimdahl

Food Bank Donation

King Ferry Winery donates $4,415 to Food Bank of Central New York


SYRACUSE, NY (2/22/2013) – Lev Saltonstall, Regional Coordinator for King Ferry Winery was at Food Bank of Central New York on Friday, February 22, 2013 to present a check for $4,415. King Ferry Winery, maker of Treleaven wines, generated the donation directly from tasting fees, with $1 from each $3 fee going to the charity. 

Thomas Slater, Executive Director of the Food Bank, was on hand to receive the check, as was Director of Special Nutrition Projects Peter Ricardo.  “We greatly appreciate this generous donation.  King Ferry Winery has been very supportive of our mission, and their efforts have put a lot of nutritious food into the community” stated Mr. Slater.


Food Bank of Central New York is a not-for-profit organization working to eliminate hunger through nutritious food distribution, education, and advocacy in cooperation with the community.  Food Bank serves as the primary food supplier for 268 emergency food assistance programs in 11 counties of New York State, distributing 12,273,003 pounds of food last year. Food Bank of Central New York is a certified member of Feeding America. Visit for more information on the agency and its programs.

Time Posted: Mar 1, 2013 at 9:15 AM
Cathy Zimdahl
July 31, 2012 | Cathy Zimdahl

Fracking - an aerial view with commentary by Peter Saltonstall

Fracking is a big issue in the Finger's our commentary on the visuals, and the safety, of the process...

Time Posted: Jul 31, 2012 at 11:47 AM
Cathy Zimdahl
July 11, 2012 | Cathy Zimdahl

Kestrel Update

“I realized that if I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.”
                                                            Charles Lindbergh

For all our readers who love birds, too, we have an update on the kestrels that live in our vineyard.  Pete and Tacie have spotted a total of 6 of these beautiful little falcons soaring in the skies above our 27 acres of grapes.  Tacie managed to get some photos of them, too.  While we are not sure how many of the special houses we built for them are occupied, clearly they recognize our fields as home.  We welcome their predatory presence, as it eliminates the need for canons and other noisy devices we have utilized in the past to control the bird species that destroy our fruit.

The kestrel condos are just one of the ways our vineyard crew, led by manager Thom Bechtold, have implemented more sustainable growing practices in our quest to be environmentally-friendly.  Minimal spraying of pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides, as well as soil management techniques have become standard operating procedures in the field.  This may not be the easiest way to grow wine grapes, but we all take pride in knowing we are doing the right thing for the land…and the kestrels!

Thom recently gave an interview to YNN regarding this summer’s drought:

Time Posted: Jul 11, 2012 at 7:19 AM
Cathy Zimdahl
May 9, 2012 | Cathy Zimdahl

Can You Dig It?

Can You Dig It?

There’s a little piece of the bucolic King Ferry landscape that has been transplanted to Brooklyn, where it will soon be sprouting carrots and squash, and teaching city kids the many benefits of having a garden. Grow to Learn NYC: The Citywide School Garden Initiative was founded by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC and GrowNYC, the organization that runs the Greenmarket system. King Ferry Winery began selling their wines on weekends at several Greenmarket locations throughout the city during 2010. Owner Pete Saltonstall worked the markets during both 2010 and 2011, and has been impressed with the welcoming attitude of the Greenmarket shoppers. “The folks who attend the markets were so happy to have us there! They were simply so welcoming that they made me look forward to my time there each week. When I heard about the school gardens initiative, I knew just what I could do to thank them for their hospitality and support of the winery. I could bring them some really great soil!”
Thom Bechtold, the vineyard manager at King Ferry Winery, has been composting the seeds, stems, and skins that are left after the grapes have been pressed, and an impressive mound of rich, black earth has been accumulating at the edge of the vineyard. Horse manure and bedding from winery owner Tacie Saltonstall’s horses is mixed with the pulpy residue (called “pomace”) and aged over a year before it is used in the fields. “I try to turn the pile monthly,” reports Thom. “When it’s ready, we use it to
top-dress plants, or it goes in the hole when we plant new vines, or to amend deficient soils in place of chemical fertilizers. It also increases the organic matter in our soil, which improves soil structure. Chemical fertilizers do nothing for the soil health.”
So, with an eye on the weather scanning for rain clouds, Pete fired up his tractor on a warm April afternoon, and loaded up his pick-up truck with a ton or so of the “black gold” to be delivered to Bushwick Campus Gardens, in Brooklyn. The load-in was done with assistance from John Deere, but the load-out was strictly man-powered, with Pete and his son Lev unloading the truck shovelful by shovelful. “Grow to Learn NYC” promotes school gardens as a way to connect children to the natural world, to teach them the value and joy in hard work, and to promote more positive attitudes towards healthy food. For more information on the program, visit

Time Posted: May 9, 2012 at 9:05 AM
Cathy Zimdahl
February 20, 2012 | Cathy Zimdahl

King Ferry Winery Donates to Food Bank of CNY

In support of the Food Bank of Central New York, King Ferry Winery donated  $4,405 in 2011, (and an additional $695 in January 2012 for a total of $5,100) to help fight hunger in upstate New York. The Food Bank serves as a central supplier to local food banks throughout the region. The funds were used in support of a “value added processing” purchase, allowing the food bank to buy food directly from processors for ten cents a pound. Through this program, the King Ferry Winery funds were used to buy 9,890 lbs. of apples, 14,450 lbs. of onions, and 3,540 lbs. of winter squash to date, leaving $1600 still available for future purchases.
The winery generated the donation directly from tasting fees, with $1 from each $3 fee going to the charity. Owner Peter Saltonstall has been impressed with his customer’s enthusiasm for the program – “The response by the public was phenomenal. While the economy recovers it is important to remember that there are many people in great need of the basics that many of us take for granted. We hope to continue this program and have some interesting plans for our future participation that we will share with our customers soon. We have found our partnership with the Food Bank to be incredibly rewarding, and we would like to challenge the other Finger Lakes wineries to support this organization.” Director of Operations Chris Couch adds, “Our customers have been very happy to find out that a part of the tasting fee goes to the Food Bank. We even had some of our Frequent Buyers, who do not pay tasting fees, insist upon donating a dollar each time they visit us!”
King Ferry Winery plans on continuing the program through 2012.

Time Posted: Feb 20, 2012 at 11:04 AM
Cathy Zimdahl
January 19, 2012 | Cathy Zimdahl

In Which We Resolve Our Identity Crisis

One of the most common questions we hear from our customers is, "Are you 'King Ferry Winery' or are you 'Treleaven'?".  Now, because Al Gore invented the Internet, and Arianna Huffington invented blogging, we have the perfect venue to clarify this issue.   We are both.  Are we clear?

"Treleaven" is the name we put on our line of premium, vinifera wines - the Chardonnays and Rieslings and the Gewurtztraminer you've known and loved, and on which we built the business for the last 23 years.  "King Ferry Winery" is the name on the label of our proprietary blends and non-vinifera wines like Silver Lining, Apple Mystique, and Saumon.  These wines offer value and quality at a lower price point.  We are happy to be able to provide our customers with as many choices as possible while keeping our winemaking standards high.

Bottom can call us whatever you want.  Just don't call us late for happy hour!

Time Posted: Jan 19, 2012 at 10:59 AM