Armed with a PhD in viticulture from the University of Odessa, Dr. Konstantin Frank came to New York State in 1951 ready to teach winemakers about a flaw in their growing techniques. Working in the Geneva Experiment Station at Cornell University, Frank tested his methods based on his thesis on growing in cold climates. He suggested to New York winemakers that they plant traditional European grapes (Vitas Vinifera) rather than Euro-American hybrid grapes… this idea was scoffed at and dismissed. Frank went at it alone starting Vinifera Wine Cellars on Keuka Lake in the heart of Finger Lakes.
Sixty years later, many wineries in the region have adopted his growing techniques, while his wines continue to earn great successes. In 2001 Vinifera Cellars won New York’s first “Winery of the Year Award” under the direction of his son, Willie Frank. Konstantin Frank passed away in 1985, but his cool climate expertise lives strong.
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