By Jill Nagy
Galway Rock Vineyard and Winery in Ballston Lake opened a new tasting room in June.
About 300 people attended, according to Kate Taylor, one of the owners of the business.
The winery was started in 2014 in Taylor’s parents’ garage in Galway. At the time, it was only a production facility. The wines were sold at liquor stores and farmers’ markets. Taylor and her husband, Ryan Taylor, and her father, Vincent Soldani Jr., started the business and still operate it.
They used the garage “until we couldn’t possibly put anything more in there,” she said. In October, they moved to their present site at 998 Saratoga Road, Ballston Lake.
The tasting room is a renovated pole barn. Over the fall and winter, the room shared space in a separate building with the production facility and visitors could watch the renovation project as it went along. The new room is about 2,000 square feet and can seat about 70 people inside and more on the patio.
Taylor studied biology in college. She did some research work, some fish farming, and drifted a bit before deciding to try wine making. She apprenticed at the White Cliff Winery in the Hudson Valley and managed a small winery in Illinois before deciding to return to Galway.
Her husband, a systems engineer, is a “wonderful salesman,” she said. Her father is a landscaper and the handyman who keeps the buildings in shape.
A grant from the town of Ballston helped the business get on its feet.
They plan to put in new vines next spring. In meantime, most of their grapes come from growers on Long Island and in the Finger Lakes region. A local couple from Charlton have a small vineyard in Skaneateles and were looking for someone to turn their grapes into wine without mixing them with other growers’ grapes. Galway Rock created a separate label for them, Robinia Hill, and so far have produced a riesling and a sauvignon frank from those grapes.
Most of their wine is sold under the Galway Rock brand, their original label. A third label, is Saratoga Sparkling Wine.
In addition to the three family members, the company has one full-time and two part-time employees and a distributor.
Their website is galwayrockwines.com. The telephone number is 518-280-6554.
By Jill Nagy