Located close to Seneca Falls and easily accessible from the New York State Thru-Way, Knapp Winery has been a popular winery from its inception in 1984. In the year 2000, the winery was sold to current owners Gene Pierce and Scott Welliver. They recognized a gem when they saw it. The Knapp's had planted some of the first vinifera grapes along the shores of Cayuga Lake. Knapp was the first winery in the Finger Lakes Appellation to plant and vinify the grape variety Cabernet Franc. Recognizing the importance of wine with food, Knapp opened the Vineyard Restaurant in 1992, becoming the first winery restaurant on Cayuga Lake. The winery also had all of the production equipment and resources to continue to produce the premium wine it was known for, including an alembic pot for crafting cordials and aperitifs.
As one of the owners of Glenora Wine Cellars (the first winery on Seneca Lake) and one of the pioneers of the Finger Lakes grape growing region, Gene Pierce oversees the Knapp estate which encompasses sixty-five acres of land of which forty acres are currently cultivated for growing estate Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Lemberger, Sangiovese, Merlot, Baco Noir, Cayuga, Catawba, Seyval, Vignoles and DeChaunac. His involvement in all aspects of the farm and production facilities is legendary for his hard work and passion for producing quality wine and making his customers and employees happy. If you visit Knapp, don't be surprised to see him in the vineyards harvesting grapes during harvest, directing traffic during large events or keeping a watchful eye on ensuring a good experience for all visitors in the Finger Lakes. Forty years of experience have made owner Gene Pierce a leader in the wine community. His volunteer efforts in many organizations in Finger Lakes wine country have made him a go-to leader in the industry.