In 1997, while studying at SUNY New Paltz in New York State's beautiful Hudson Valley, Ian answered a job posting for part time vineyard work at Adair Vineyards just a few miles outside of town. From there, he quickly moved to tasting room and cellar duties. It seems a passion was developing as he also accepted a job managing a wine shop in the village where he got to try wines from all over the world and hone his palate.
Ian left Adair in 2001 to take an internship at Torii Mor winery in McMinnville, Oregon and a love of west coast Pinot Noir began. Staying on the west coast for another year, he took a Cellarmaster position at Mount Baker Vineyards near Bellingham, Washington in the extreme northwest corner of the state.
After solidifying a love of cool climate winemaking and researching various winemaking regions, Ian felt that the Finger Lakes was the right fit for him and that the area was ready for a revolution. So in 2003, he came back home to New York and accepted a position as Assistant Winemaker at Heron Hill just north of Hammondsport on Keuka Lake. At Heron Hill, a love for Riesling as well as some more obscure-at-the-time varieties such as Lemberger began to evolve. Now having worked for small and medium production wineries, it was time for a big move.
In 2006, Ian took over Head Winemaker duties at Swedish Hill Winery on Cayuga Lake in the town of Romulus. While there, he learned to manage a dedicated and hard working team while overseeing all aspects of making over 100,000 cases of wine a year. In his 5 years there, he garnered major awards including two Governor's Cups, the highest award a NY wine can earn within the state; one for a Dry Vidal and one for a sparkling Riesling.
By 2011, Ian was ready to move back to a smaller, more hands-on approach. Back on Keuka Lake, he accepted the role of Winemaker at Keuka Lake Vineyards just a few miles south of Heron Hill while also taking some consulting jobs for other NY wineries. He created two wines during his time there that scored over 90 points. Having come full circle, the idea of owning his own winery began to grow. Renovations to the winery building began and the application for a license was filed.
Licensed in 2012, Barry Family Cellars was born. Being a small, hands-on operation, we focus on artisinal wines and most of our equipment is reclaimed and refurbished. We began selling direct to customers in 2014 and the tasting room opened at the end of Summer in 2016.