1. Cindy & Dick Peterson planted their first vines on the current Swedish Hill property in 1969 to sell to other local wineries.
2. In 1985 the Petersons crushed the first grapes for their own winery, Swedish Hill.
3. The initial production of Swedish Hill wines consisted of 1,200 cases. Today the winery produces over 60,000 cases annually.
4. The first Swedish Hill vintage in 1985 was produced in our old vineyard shop building, which although it was modest, it is still in service today with some of the original smaller tanks.
5. There are currently five resident cats that live at Swedish Hill; Boots, Cupid, Tipsy, Smudge, and Biggie. All five have been adopted strays and are still quite content with the constant attention they recieve from all staff.
6. The Peterson's named their winery Swedish Hill to reflect their Swedish heritage. Even though the Scandinavian Festival is no longer hosted at Swedish Hill, we still have a number of guests from Sweden visit each year.
7. The original tasting room of Swedish Hill opened in May 1986 with five wines: Chablis, Estate Cuveť, Vignoles, Svenska White and Svenska Blush. Today the Swedish Hill tasting room has over 30 different wines, sparkling wines and distilled products available.
8. We claimed our first Gold Medal with the 1985 vintage of Vignoles Late Harvest at the Intervin International in 1987. The current vintage of this wine (2007) has won four Gold Medals at international wine competitions. Through the years Swedish Hill has acquired an impressive collection of medals including 53 in 2011 alone.
9. After starting Swedish Hill and holding their full time jobs for the first few years, Dick and Cindy Peterson "retired" from their other jobs and began to run Swedish Hill full time at the end of 1987.
10. Doobie arrived at Swedish Hill in 1988 and has called it home ever since. He has been at Swedish Hill longer than any other current employee.
11. The Finger Lakes is highly acclaimed for its Rieslings. In 1990 Swedish Hill released our first Riesling from the 1989 vintage.
12. Swedish Hill released our first Optimus in 1993. This blend was thought to be the first Finger Lakes Meritage ever produced.
13. In 1994 Swedish Hill was honored to win our first Governor's Cup, one of the most coveted awards for any winery in New York State.
14. In 1996 Dick & Cindy's son, Dave joined the team as the Winemaker. Dave had spent the seven previous years as a Viticulture Extension Specialist at Cornell University.
15. After restoring a century old barn on the shores of Cayuga Lake, the Peterson's opened a second winery, Goose Watch, in 1997.
16. Swedish Hill expanded its reach in 1999 by opening a tasting room in Lake Placid. Then in 2011, a second tasting room was opened in Saratoga Springs.
17. It isn't just the wines at Swedish Hill that have been awarded at international wine competitions! In 2001 we were awarded the "Andre Tchelistcheff" award for "Winemaker of the Year"!
18. In 2005 the Peterson's transformed the former Finger Lakes Champagne House into its third winery, Penguin Bay. All three wineries offer distinct product lines of wine.
19. Derek Wilber joined the winery as Head Winemaker in 2000. In 2006 he left to work at another winery, but returned in May 2011. We were thrilled to welcome him back!
20. Swedish Hill purchased the 170 acre Blue Waters Farm on Cayuga Lake in 2006 and began planting grapes there the following year. To date we have planted 28 acres of varietal grapes there including: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Vidal Blanc and Salem.
21. In 2008 Swedish Hill was thrilled to bring home our second Governor's Cup for our Vidal Blanc.
22. Swedish Hill was awarded "Best New York Red Wine" for our 2007 Cabernet Franc at the 2009 New York Wine and Food Classic.
23. Swedish Hill currently owns and maintains 87 acres of vineyards that are spread among four different farms on Seneca and Cayuga Lakes.
24. In 2010 Swedish Hill won our third Governor's Cup for our Riesling Cuvee sparkling wine! Swedish Hill is currently the only New York Winery to have won three Governor's Cups.
25. Jean Peterson, Dave Peterson's wife, joined the winery full time in 2010 as Operations Manager. The same year their daughter, Amanda Fitzgerald, joined as the Finance Manager.
26. 2012 has already been an interesting year of highs and lows! Between seeing an early spring turn into a late winter; to already winning 17 Gold and Double Gold medals; to the ultimate high of welcoming the next generation of the Peterson family, Bailey, daughter of Amanda and Kevin Fitzgerald, and granddaughter of Dave and Jean Peterson, born in January!