Finger Lakes Winery Plants New Roots in Texas

Missick Cellars Charts Westward Path, With Hopes and Dreams for Texas Hill Country

DUNDEE, N.Y., Feb. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Villa Bellangelo, ideally located on the west side of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes, celebrated numerous accolades over the course of the last decade, including dozens of 90+ point scores from the top national wine reviewers, and a nod from Wine & Spirits Magazine in 2018, for producing one of the Top 100 Wines in the World. In 2020, a name change to Missick Cellars reflected the family ownership and spirit of this boutique winery.  

Winemaker and co-owner Chris Missick charted an unusual course in his winemaking career. More than a decade in the making, his love of wine was concurrent to his military service and law practice in both California and New York, and resulted in a bold decision to pursue the craft of winemaking with his own artistic approach. Seeking frontiers where great things could be accomplished in American wine, the Missick family purchased a small winery in the Finger Lakes in 2011, to pursue winemaking in a place with deep viticultural roots… and a range of possibilities for the future. 

Pioneering new grape plantings of varietals like Chenin Blanc, Chris also pushed the envelope in the production of sparkling wine, crafting exceptional traditional method wines in the heart of the Finger Lakes. Despite a decade of growth and excellence, 2021 and 2022 handed the family a series of hardships. Challenges involved the total fire loss of their anticipated sparkling wine tasting room and event center, and the theft by winery bookkeeper, Michael Stein, of more than $300,000. He has pleaded guilty in Federal Court after a lengthy investigation by the FBI, and is awaiting sentencing.

In light of the egregious fraud, Missick Cellars now seeks a new incarnation. After viewing the YouTube series “Texas Winemakers,” Chris arranged a visit to the region in 2022. “From my very first day, I was amazed at the energy of the Texas winemaking community, the business friendly environment Texas embraced, and most importantly, the exceptional quality of many of the wines I tasted,” Chris added when discussing that first experience.

As it transitions its operation to Boerne, Texas, nestled in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, Missick Cellars will transition to mobile wine services, offering established Texas wineries crossflow filtration, mobile bottling, and ultimately sparkling wine services. Moreover, Chris will start producing wines from Texas grown grapes as well as planting an estate vineyard, and may also offer a selection from the Missick Cellars library of Finger Lakes wines.

“It’s been a great experience, and I’ve been honored to be a part of an important season of growth for this great wine region. I’ve made some amazing friends, and most importantly, learned so many incredible lessons these last twelve years,” Chris said. The Dundee, NY winery is now for sale. Meticulously reconstructed by the Missick family, the winery offers 30 acres of land, directly on Route 14, with a 10,000 case capacity production cellar, premium tasting room and events space, lakeview patio and commercial kitchen.

Property for sale:

Media contact:
Fabian Barret


SOURCE Missick Cellars