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“They Didn’t Get My Goat”

Many of the labels on the bottles of wine from the Bully Hill Wine Company in Hammondsport, NY have a picture of an outrageous looking goat on the label (click here). In 1970, Walter Taylor was fired from the Taylor Wine Company in Hammondsport, NY which had then merged with the Coca-Cola Company. He and Creyton H. Taylor founded Bully Hill in 1970, but he used his name on the labels and on the packaging materials.

The Coco-Cola Company then sued Walter Taylor, blocking him from using his last name on any labels, packaging materials, etc. in regards to Bully Hill Wines. The suit was upheld in 1979 and Walter Taylor became very angry, stating that “they took my name and my heritage, but they didn’t get my goat!” Hence, he helped create many of the colorful goat labels.

Well, I wouldn’t feel too sorry for Walter Taylor, as his sales grew from $650,000 in 1977 to over 2 million dollars during the lengthy court battle which ended in 1979! Today, Bully Hill Wines has a lovely tasting room and some of the most magnificent views that can be had in the Finger Lakes. We had lunch at the restaurant there and enjoyed looking at the vineyards and Keuka Lake which lies in the valley below. It was a lovely way to spend a bright September day.

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