Dr Konstantin Frank

Dr Konstantin Frank, the man, is responsible for giving New York wines made from vinifera grapes (eg Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling etc.). He came to the Finger Lakes region in the 1950s and started planting trials of vinifera vines in the early 1960s. This was in a time when there was nothing but native/table grapes being made into cheap, sweeter wines with no complexity and average flavour. Konstantin’s trials were very successful, though many were still doubtful of the future successes, he decided to start his own winery. He started Dr Konstantin Frank & Sons Vinifera Wine Cellar in 1962 where he planted a whole raft of experimental vines – such as Cabernet Franc, Rkatsiteli (a Georgian grape varietal), Lemberger amongst many more. He also travelled around the states sharing his results and it is due to his confidence and expertise that many other states such as Virginia, Maryland, Washington are now able to make wines – before it was often seen as too cold.