Review: Three Brothers Winery and Estates – Finger Lakes, NY

Official Review by The Traveling Winers

3-three-brothers-wineryAre you a winer that not only loves wine but also loves a good time? If so (come on, you can admit it!), then this is a winery not to be missed! Three Brothers Winery is kinda like, well, an adult amusement park. You’ve got to see it to believe it. As you venture through the property you will see exactly what we mean. It’s an adult imagination gone wild, inviting everyone to come along for the ride. With three wineries, one brewery, food, shopping and entertainment, there is something for everyone.

And yes, there really are three brothers…

41-three-brothers-wineryor at least in representation. So here’s how the story goes, told by our host and co-owner of Three Brothers Winery, Erica Paolicelli. One of the brothers, Dave Mansfield, is the brain child, the  man with the over-active imagination, the visionary, the energizer bunny, the guy that never stops, is the “idea man” behind Three Brothers. Dave’s dream was to create a winery, but not just any ole winery. His idea was to build a destination that would offer something for everyone, from sweet wine lovers, to semi-sweet, to dry, and even to those folks that prefer the hops. Although Dave’s two brothers aren’t owners of the winery they are there greeting people everyday…in a way…as each of the wineries is modeled after the personalities of the three brothers. Cool, huh?

69-three-brothers-wineryDave co-owns the winery with his wife Luanne and their business partner Erica Paolicelli. We were quite taken with Erica due to her confident personality and the fact that, at such a young age, she has been involved in the creation of something so successful. We got to hear Erica’s story of her entrance into the ownership and it was quite interesting to say the least. In 2007, Erica had just graduated from college with her dietetics degree, and as fate would have it, met Dave. Dave and Luanne had just started Three Brothers Winery and, in Erica’s words “he was so excited and it was contagious!”.  Dave must have seen something special in Erica too, because he offered for her to stay on with them. Throwing the dietetics degree out the window, Erica joined Three Brothers as their General Manager only to change the role to co-owner in 2011. Pretty amazing story, right?

4-three-brothers-wineryNow back to the winery proper. The winery has grown over the years in stages. According to Erica, Dave is a “creative mastermind…and that’s why we are always building something new”. We asked Erica if, when they came up with an idea, did they map it out, think about it, plan it and then finally break ground? She responded with a resounding “no!” We pretty much talk about it and then, if we think it’s a good idea, run with it. Wow! No wonder they have a whole estate to play around in!

So now, for a tour of Three Brothers Winery and Estates, what we affectionately call the “winery park”…

Entering the “winery park”

At the entrance of the winery park is a map. We immediately could tell that we were in for something different than the typical winery visit. And such it was. The first building to your right is their “Wine Store”. Erica said that they built this building as a “one stop shop” for all the wines, beers and other items that they sell on the property. So basically, a person can either make their purchases inside each winery or brewery location or they can wait until the end and make their selections on the way out to their car. Saves from having to carry your items around from building to building.

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Passion Feet Wine Barn

This winery is for those that prefer a semi-sweet tasting wine. The atmosphere is a playful and relaxed setting where you can stroll around and do some shopping for more high-end boutique style items such as jewelry, scarves, items for the home, and of course, wine. They even sell wine slushies in a variety of flavors; a nice refreshment on a hot summer day. And the wine labels reflect this atmosphere – fun and flirtatious.


Bagg Dare Wine Company


This winery is just plain fun! It is fashioned after a backwoods bayou and is kind of like “eye candy” at every turn, so be on the lookout. It starts with a walk down a dirt path only to arrive at a pond on your left with a old truck strategically sunk into the water, serving as a stage for the many bands that come to play for the crowd. Straight ahead is the winery, housed in what looks like an old dilapidated shack, but actually has been craftily created from reclaimed wood from an old estate barn and tin from the original wine cellar ceiling.

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This winery is almost a theme park within itself. All of the wine names and labels are just a bit risqué, with names such as “Well Hung”, “69 Was to Have Fun”, “Skirt Lifter”, and “Poor Limp Richard’s”. And all the merchandise in this winery is centered around fun…everything from hot sauce to gag gifts. Tom Joe had so much fun in this winery that we kept loosing him; he just wouldn’t keep up! In fact his words were “I fell like a kid in a candy store. I love what’s going on here!” Proof enough!

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Stony Lonesome Wine Cellars

And now a place for the more discerning wine taster. A higher end winery with more focus on dry wines. Three Brothers Winery has 35 acres of vinifera grapes planted, two winemakers and an entire vineyard and cellar crew, all to produce some award winning wines.


gruner-veltliner2013 Grüner Veltliner – A grape originating from Austria, this vintage is actually a semi-sweet and nicely balanced with just the right amount of acidity, tasting of pink grapefruit, kiwi and pear. The winemaker suggests serving with a nice green salad and cold poached salmon.

Zweigelt – Also of Austrian origin, this was a favorite in our books. Full flavored with a huge peppery taste, nicely matched medium tannins and a refreshing pomegranate flavor. In Tom Joe’s words (again…) “I could drink this!”

cask2Bourbon Barbera – Now here is an interesting one. A limited supply that sells out every year at about $60 a bottle, this barbera wine is aged in bourbon casks for 372 days, is elegantly wax cap-sealed, and is individually numbered and signed by the head winemaker, Justin, who, we failed to mention earlier, is Erica’s husband. 🙂 This is in our books a “sipper” wine, and since not fortified, would need to be consumed within a couple of days once opened, so plan the grand opening for a dinner party or else it may go bad.

War Horse Brewing Company

37-three-brothers-wineryAnd let there be beer! Initially, the theme of the brewery was focused on WWII, but as the public started to visit and wanted to pay their respects to those that served, started donating war memorabilia from all different eras. It is now, simply put, a place to remember those who have served and to raise a glass in their honor. Of course the glass can be filled with any of the home crafted beverages sold at the War Horse Brewing Company such as custom ale and lager, hard cider, seasonal beers and even hand crafted soda.  Apparently they have a mean Root Beer! Check out some of the memorabilia on display.

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Exiting the wine park…y’all come back, ya hear!

So there you have it. A tour through Three Brothers Winery and Estates. We hear they also have some eats now too at Iron Heart serving pizzas, snacks, coffee and more. So, grab some friends, hop in the car and drive on down to Three Brothers, purchase your Tasting Passport and start your journey through the wine park. Plan to stay a while and wear some comfortable shoes (just’s not THAT big) and bring an appetite! We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

 Tom Joe
“Hops ‘r Better” Winer

The wine tasting  rooms were really nice and clean.  However, The War Horse tasting room offered beers and ciders of all shapes and sizes, with acquired and donated war memorabilia displayed throughout. Leaving this tasting room, you can cross over to the Bagg Dare Bayou.  This place is awesome and had me running around like a kid with a new camera.

“Hippie” Winer

Got to taste the Zweigelt with our friends.  Beautiful, clear color and a wonderful bouquet.  The flavor of the pomegranates was a nice surprise.  I agreed with Tom Joe!

“This Is The Life” Winer

Tasting and shopping to my hearts content while I allowed my husband to safely roam around the Bayou was not much of a sacrifice.  You know me!  Love to taste and shop.  This place is so much fun to explore.  Make sure to plan on spending a couple of hours minimum, if you want to check out all the fun. I would recommend this stop for everyone!

“Timeless” Winer

Something I rarely do is agree with Elizabeth and Tom Joe but, the Zweigeld was a definite winner.  the pomegranate was lovely and teased my nose.  The pepper was just enough snap to make me want to taste (drink) more.  Wish we had two or three to share.


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The Winer’s Experience

Feels like an amusement park for adults as there is something for everyone – sweets on the right, dry on the left and hops straight ahead. Let’s just say you gotta go back and check out the brewery.  It is so cool! Setting is like a Louisiana Bayou! There are three of them, all decorated differently and quite fun.  One is full of war memorabilia, some donated by the public, one is in the more sophisticated wine drinkers’ style and the brewery looks like an old rustic saloon.
Our experience was excellent as we tasted with one of the owners, Erica. However we looked around, everyone else appeared to be having a great time also.  Would highly recommend this experience All of the staff were friendly and attentive in every tasting room. Erica is married to the wine maker and definitely knows her stuff.

Vineyard & Winery Information

Three Brothers Winery & Estates 623 Lerch Road, Geneva, NY  14456
Daily 10am – 6pm
Yes Yes $12 – $20 Passport style
Self-guided Food trucks Fri – Sun, otherwise snacks This winery is akin to an adult amusement part – has a winery for sweet wine lovers, for dry wine lovers and a brewery for the hops folks.


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