In 1992, Mel Goldman and his wife Dorothee fell for the Finger Lakes on a family camping trip. This affection, paired with a long-standing dream to plant a vineyard, led them to purchase a few acres of former Taylor Wine Co. vineyard in 1993. Mel retired early, in 1997, to focus totally on the vineyard, and the Riesling and Pinot Noir vines that he and Dorothee would plant soon after still stand on the estate to this day.
Mel sold his crop in the early years, but as the vines matured, he saw the quality in KLV grapes. So, Mel asked neighboring winemakers to assist in making a test vintage. He and Dorothee then carried a few bottles to France, where the wines excelled in blind tastings amidst bottlings from premier European appellations. On the heels of this praise, KLV made its first official vintage in 2005 with the winemaking skills of Ravines Wine Cellar’s Morten Hallgren.
Today, KLV’s estate vineyards have grown to include 40 acres on the east and west slopes of Keuka Lake’s southern end. Six varietals grow in the glacial soils, both vinifera and hybrid. Every vintage that we produce is rooted in the original passion that brought us to the Finger Lakes, and in honoring what our spectacular vineyards provide.
Mel started Keuka Lake Vineyards after a diverse career in economic development in developing countries. After serving in the Peace Corps, he got his start with farming while in college on a two-month stint on a vineyard focused on table grapes at a kibbutz in Israel, a short experience on a friend’s Michigan grain farm and working with small farmers in Colombia.
Margot started making KLV wines in the 2022 vintage after 15 years of winemaking experience in California and Ohio. Before that, she earned a degree in enology and viticulture at the hands-on program at California State University at Fresno.
A Finger Lakes native, Carla Lederman’s passion for wine comes to her as naturally as her love of fishing on Keuka Lake and estate sales treasure hunting.
Before working in the wine industry, Carla worked for years as a paralegal. She moved to Hammondsport in 2016 and took up part-time work in the Keuka Lake tasting room of Ravines Wine Cellars. In 2017, Carla joined our tasting room team and quickly became a fixture at the winery. In the summer of 2021, craving a change of pace, she decided to take the leap away from private practice law firms and full-time into wine and hospitality as our tasting room manager.
Brad D. is a passionate outdoorsman and dedicated to maintaining and managing the KLV vineyards sustainably. Born and raised in a small town in New York State, Brad has always been drawn to the natural beauty of the area. He spent his childhood exploring the nearby forests and lakes, and developed a love for hiking, fishing, and camping.
John was born in the Philippines and came to Hawaii at a young age. He graduated Farrington High School in Oahu, Hawaii and subsequently met his wife, a Hammondsport native. They eventually made their way back to Hammondsport, where John started working in vineyards in 1987.
A native of Dundee, NY, just 15 miles from Hammondsport, Ryan joined KLV less than a year after graduating Dundee High School, in 2014. Ryan has worked on many tasks in the vineyard, including spraying, harvesting and pruning.
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