We are one of the newest wineries of Lake Erie Wine Country, opening our doors September 2011. Our distinctive wines are created from family-owned vineyards - around 15 different grape varieties call our 300 acres their home - including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Concord, and Niagara to name a few. Our tasting room is open daily for sampling and our comfy seating area is waiting for you!
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The Farm & Winery You can certainly say that our love for wine runs deep - as deep as the roots in our 250 acre vineyard. Our third-generation family farm, Olde Chautauqua Farms, has been growing grapes since the 1950s and we've been making award-winning wines with these grapes since we opened in 2011. There are currently seventeen varieties of grapes grown on the farm including Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Concord and Vidal. Although the farm has been in operation for decades, it wasn't always the family's plan to open a winery.
It wasn't until Kris Kane was a junior at Canisius College majoring in Biology/Pre-Med with dreams of becoming a chiropractor and massage therapist that he began to realize his true passion was out in the vineyard. Kris approached his parents, Mike and Marion Jordan, about his dream to open a winery but they all realized that he needed to have some work experience first. So, when a winemaker position opened up at Presque Isle Wine Cellars in North East, Pennsylvania, Kris jumped at the opportunity to put his biology and chemistry background to work. As the winemaker at Presque Isle for ten years between 2005 and 2015, Kris processed thousands of tons of grapes and used the juice to make wine as well as selling to amateur winemakers and wineries. He also worked “down under” in Australia for Stuart Wine Company during their harvest. Since their seasons are opposite ours, he left at the beginning of February in order to experience their peak time of harvest. While working outside of Melbourne, he was lead cellar hand and night shift supervisor.
Armed with Kris’ winemaking experience, Mike’s grape farming knowledge and Marion’s business skills, the winery slowly began to take shape. By 2009, building plans for 21 Brix Winery were well underway and ground was broken at the beginning of August 2010. It took only about two months to build the exterior of the winery and by October, the construction moved to the inside of the building. By September 2011, the winery was ready to open. Each year, the winery has been making award-winning wines and has won over 400 medals, including over 50 Double Gold/Best of Class distinctions. Kris was also named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Winemakers in the United States according to IntoWine.
Not only has the family been crafting delicious wines, the winery has evolved and now hosts many events including their ever- popular monthly music series, Beats at the Brix and Soupin' Sundays in addition to hosting private parties such as birthday parties, rehearsal dinners and bridal showers. Check out the Event Calendar to see what is happening at the winery so you can come and join in the fun, because after all, life (and wine) is sweeter shared.
Ella the Elephant Originally, when we opened our doors in 2011, we received many phone calls asking where exactly on Route 20 we were located. By telling customers we were on Route 20 between Brocton and Westfield, many people mistakenly pulled into the parking lot for the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program building, which is a few hundred feet down the road from the winery.
So, until we could have a roadside sign created, we figured a life-size elephant located near the road was the next best thing to draw people’s attention to the winery! We borrowed the elephant from the Farm, which had been using the grey elephant as a denotation for the driveway back to its cherry orchard. When people called the winery asking about our location, we told them to look for the elephant on the side of Route 20. We’re sure this left people a little confused, but once they saw the grey elephant at the entranceway, they knew they had arrived at the right place! Once people began asking what the elephant’s name was, we knew that we needed to name her. “Ella the Elephant” had a certain charm to it and so, Ella she became.
Our original intent was to paint the elephant a different color every few months. However, during the winter of 2011, we soon realized that every color was not flattering on Ella (hence why she stayed yellow – to match the grape harvester – for a very short time)! While planning our Grand Opening Celebration for April 2012, we were looking to release our Pink Catawaba wine but were at a loss of what to name it. After running a contest on Facebook, “Ellatawba” was added to the tasting sheet and Ella went in to the paint shop. She came out all pretty and bright pink just in time for our big party. We changed the names of two house wines (Ella’s White and Ella’s Red) to round out our sweeter series of wines and Ella has been blushing and beaming with pride ever since.
It is safe to say that Ella has literally made her mark at the winery and is a great, eye-catching attraction to the winery. Make sure to snap a picture with Ella during your next visit here!