Six Eighty Cellars, the newest winery on Cayuga Lake, has recently opened at 3050 Swick Road, Ovid. The owners of nearby Buttonwood Grove Winery, Melissa and Dave Pittard of Skaneateles, were seeking to purchase additional vineyard acreage when the former Toro Run Winery became available for sale. Attracted by the well maintained vines and wide array of classic grapes, as well as its proximity to their other facilities, they seized the opportunity to establish a second brand. Rising 680 feet from the bottom of the lake to the uppermost point of the property, the steeply sloped vineyards and panoramic view reflect their bold vision for this new venture, and is the origin of the winery’s name.
Led by head winemaker Ian Barry, Six Eighty Cellars will focus on innovative winemaking techniques using a variety of clay, stone, concrete, and terracotta vessels. These unique amphorae-style containers are a departure from the traditional oak barrels and stainless steel tanks generally seen in the Finger Lakes region. Using a combination of ancient techniques and state-of-the-art technology, the resulting small-batch wines highlight the distinctive characteristics of each grape varietal. The inclusion of less common vinifera grapes, including Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Meunier, and Chenin Blanc provides a welcome addition to the more familiar Rieslings, Cabernet Francs, and Chardonnays found on wine lists throughout the area. Uncommon winemaking styles such as wild fermentation, skin fermented white wines, and appassimento are being widely utilized in the production of the wines. Several Pétillant Naturel sparkling wines crafted in the méthode ancestral style are a distinctive focal point for the winemaking team.
Wine tastings are currently being offered in the production facility while the tasting room undergoes renovations. Each tasting includes 5 wines, individual cheese and charcuterie plates and personalized service during an approximately one hour session. This elevated experience is designed to allow guests to relax and enjoy learning about the unique concepts of winemaking, sustainability, minimal intervention, and exploration that are the focus of Six Eighty Cellars.
The winery is open Thursday through Sunday for tastings and wine purchases. Wine by the glass or bottle can be enjoyed at the expansive outdoor seating area overlooking the lake. Reservations are suggested, and can be made on the winery’s website: www.sixeightycellars.com. Onsite lodging is also available at the newly renovated 513 House, which can be seen and booked through AirBnB: www.airbnb.com/rooms/49096154