History of Fox Run

Fox Run history original dairy barn on property

Fox Run sits high on Torrey Ridge, overlooking one of the deepest parts of Seneca Lake. With fifty acres of east facing vineyards on glacial soils, the winery produces a remarkable range of limited-production, site-expressive estate wines.

Native grape varieties put the Finger Lakes on the map a century and half ago, and French-American hybrids, bred for cold resistance, still have an important niche in the region. But Osborn is convinced that non-hybrid European Vinifera grapes can yield wine excellent enough to put the Finger Lakes in the ranks of the world’s top fine wine producers.

For more than a century Fox Run was a dairy farm. The first grapes were planted in 1984 and the Civil War-era dairy barn was converted to a winemaking facility in 1990– three years before Scott Osborn took over the helm. Working closely with winemaker Peter Bell and vineyard manager John Kaiser, the Osborn’s are dedicated to a program of minimal intervention winemaking.

Fox Run Tasting Room original look from 1990

With sustainable practices in both vineyard and cellar, Fox Run adheres to a low impact agricultural philosophy - protecting the diverse ecosystem present on its land and the pristine waters of Seneca Lake.

In 1996, a new wine facility was completed with state-of-the-art capabilities and views of Seneca Lake that remain unrivaled.

In 2001, architects Jim Durfee and Scott Hemenway redesigned the original dairy barn, creating a new wine center and tasting room that maintains the original rustic character, while taking further advantage of the dramatic panoramic views of Seneca Lake. The original barrel room remains at the heart of the 2001 design, retaining the dramatic timber frame character and soaring space.

Pine plank floors and timber detailing extend the "Finger Lakes" style and an expansive stone terrace extends behind the building. The impressive wine center also features a market and café where visitors can stock up on specialty items from the Empire State, or sit down to flights of signature Fox Run wines, well-matched to selections of local farmstead cheeses and farm-to-table specials.

In 2012, Fox Run Vineyards became exclusively family-owned. Scott and Ruth Osborn, together with Kathleen and Albert Zafonte, Ruth Osborn’s sister and brother in-law are setting the course for an exciting new chapter. "We are redefining our legacy", says Scott Osborn. "The team is tight here. Our acclaimed senior winemaker, Peter Bell, has overseen 18 estate vintages and John Kaiser, our vineyard manager, began developing the vineyards in 1984 – even before I set eyes on this magnificent property. We are all excited about the future here and our focus will center on the signature wines of the estate."

Producing 15,000 cases annually, Fox Run Vineyards plantings include: Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Lemberger, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir.

History

Dairy Barn in 1895

Humble Beginings Steeped in History

Fox Run sits high on Torrey Ridge, overlooking one of the deepest parts of Seneca Lake. With fifty acres of east facing vineyards on glacial soils, the winery produces a remarkable range of limited-production, site-expressive estate wines.

For more than a century Fox Run was a dairy farm. Native grape varieties put the Finger Lakes on the map a century and half ago, and French-American hybrids, bred for cold resistance, still have an important niche in the region. But Osborn is convinced that non-hybrid European Vinifera grapes can yield wine excellent enough to put the Finger Lakes in the ranks of the world’s top fine wine producers.

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From Dairy Barn To Winery

The first grapes were planted in 1984 and the Civil War-era dairy barn was converted to a winemaking facility in 1990– three years before Scott Osborn took over the helm. In 1996, farther up the slope a new facility was completed with state-of-the-art capabilities and view of Seneca Lake that is unrivaled. Working closely with winemaker Peter Bell and vineyard manager John Kaiser, the Osborn’s are dedicated to a program of minimal intervention winemaking.

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A State-Of-The-Art Winery

In 1996, a new wine facility was completed with state-of-the-art capabilities and views of Seneca Lake that remain unrivaled. In 2001, architects Jim Durfee and Scott Hemenway redesigned the original dairy barn, creating a new wine center and tasting room that maintains the original rustic character, while taking further advantage of the dramatic panoramic views of Seneca Lake. The original barrel room remains at the heart of the 2001 design, retaining the dramatic timber frame character and soaring space.

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Expansion

in 2000, Fox Run underwent a major renovation. There was an expansion of the Tasting Room, along with the addition of a gift shop and tasting bar.

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Family Owned, Poised for Growth

In 2012, Fox Run Vineyards became exclusively family-owned. Scott and Ruth Osborn, together with Kathleen and Albert Zafonte, Ruth Osborn’s sister and brother in-law are setting the course for an exciting new chapter.

"We are redefining our legacy", says Scott Osborn. "The team is tight here. Our acclaimed senior winemaker, Peter Bell, has overseen 18 estate vintages and John Kaiser, our vineyard manager, began developing the vineyards in 1984 – even before I set eyes on this magnificent property. We are all excited about the future here and our focus will center on the signature wines of the estate."

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Redefining the Legacy

Producing 15,000 cases annually, Fox Run Vineyards plantings include: Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Lemberger, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir.

Current releases include Riesling, Reserve Riesling, Chardonnay, Reserve Chardonnay, Lemberger and Pinot Noir. Fox Run also produces a Meritage blended from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc plus a Blanc de Blancs sparkler made from estate Chardonnay. There are also several wood-aged fortified wines - including a Tawny and Ruby-style Port. Hedonia – a White Port made entirely from Traminette grapes, was launched recently. A trio of Rieslings: The Geology Series, an expression of place, method and time, was also introduced recently.

Featured Video

Interview with Ruth Osborn of Fox Run Vineyards

Paul Thomas of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail conducts an interview with Ruth Osborn, co-owner of Fox Run Vineyards, located on the western side of Seneca Lake in the heart of Finger Lakes Wine Country. This interview took place in mid 2014.

Fox Run current releases include Riesling, Reserve Riesling, Chardonnay, Reserve Chardonnay, Lemberger and Pinot Noir. Fox Run also produces a Meritage blended from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc plus a Blanc de Blancs sparkler made from estate Chardonnay. There are also several wood-aged fortified wines - including a Tawny and Ruby-style Port. In 2012, Hedonia - a White Port made entirely from Traminette grapes, was launched. A trio of Rieslings: The Geology Series, an expression of place, method and time, was introduced in the spring of 2012.