Here is part of an article from the Life in the Finger Lakes magazine that will be coming out this Spring. This is a great magazine to read if you are interested in finding out about the Finger Lakes and all that has gone on and continues to develop.
You have told me how much you have enjoyed Villa Bellangelo winery, now here is a bit more of the background. Also, keep in mind that now there is a second location for you to visit that is closer to Geneva.
For Chris Missick, the decision to become a winery owner took shape when he got married. Part of the celebration was a wine tour through the Finger Lakes. He and his wife loved it. The couple returned to their home in Los Angeles, and not long after, his mother called and said, “Remember that last winery we visited? It’s for sale.”
Missick made wine as a hobby, but when he and his family bought Villa Bellangelo in the heart of Dundee, he focused on the business side as general manager. Things went fairly well until his winemaker left to make his own product. “That’s when it really started for me,” he said. He had begun the FLCC program in 2015, but that was when he took a step back and decided to become the winemaker at Bellangelo, combining his real-world experience with the knowledge he gained as an FLCC student.
Missick had so many good things to say about the program. “It’s a methodical approach to taking someone who hasn’t been in the industry and teaching them the core basics of the culture of the industry, all the way to the basic sciences of making wine. And that’s where it really gets good. The practice. You understand what you’re going to be doing and then you do what needs to happen in order to make world-class wine.”
Missick and his family have big plans for Seneca Lake Country Club in Geneva, a property they purchased not long ago. Plans begin with a state-of-the-art winery. When Chris’s father, a land developer, visited FLCC’s Viticulture and Wine Center, he fell in love with it and wants to build one for Bellangelo, said Chris.