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Reinventing the Family Farm in the Finger Lakes

Wilhelmus Estate Winery

Boud and Karen Kuenen have been busy the last four years reinventing Wilhelmus Kuenen’s old family farm on East Lake Road (route 364) just outside Canandaigua, NY. Wilhelmus Kuenen, Boud’s father, was a Dutch immigrant who came to the United States in March of 1956 and moved to the current location of the Wilhelmus Estate Winery (click here) in May of 1958. At that time Boud was only a young lad when he moved into the farm house on the property. Today, the enclosed front porch of the farmhouse serves as a wine tasting room.

Wilhelmus Winery Farm House and Tasting Room

Wilhelmus came to start a mink farm which he successfully operated for 20 years but he also discovered some old grape vines growing on the farm which had been left there by the previous owner and he began experimenting with making his own wine for personal use.

Wilhelmus Estate Wine Production Facility

Wilhelmus passed away in 1997. In 2004, Boud and Karen planted two acres of grapes near the family home and then opened the Wilhelmus Estate Winery three years later on August 25, 2007. Wilhelmus’s winemaking skills were passed onto Boud and now Boud and his wife operate a successful family business which features a newly constructed wine production facility. There are many Finger Lakes wineries in this region. Grape farming for sale to the wineries or being in the business of fermenting the grape juice for wholesale or retail wine sales is a real success story here in the Finger Lakes as many family farms are being converted to wineries and/or the production of wine grapes.

James R. Bupp

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