In 1977 Mr. Naylor produced the first 1600 gallons of wine in the original winery – a potato cellar underneath the chicken house that still stands on the property today. He would lug all of his grapes down the road to Blevins Fruit Farm and use their apple press to crush his grapes. Some of the first wines produced were York White Rose – a Chablis style dry white wine, First Capital – an Italian style red wine, and Niagara – a sweet and fruity wine that tastes like eating grapes right off the vine. Over 35 years later, those are still three of our most popular wines.
Over his long career in the wine industry, Mr. Naylor has been the Director of Wine America and President of the Pennsylvania Wine Association.
For ten years, he taught classes at Penn State on how to grow grapes and make wine. He even designed a special shipping box he trademarked as “the ultimate wine cradle” which keeps bottles safe and secure in the shipping process. He was also an advocate for the Chambourcin grape being cultivated in the United States which is a major contribution to wine in America. He was recently recognized for his pioneering achievements by the American Wine Society. In November of 2013, they presented them with their highest honor, the Award of Merit, joining a long list of wine superstars, including Robert Mondavi and Konstantin Frank.
Today the winery is still a family owned and operated business in its third generation.
Mr. Naylor’s daughter Janey says, “My dad’s love of wine is apparent in everything he does. You can tell by the way he talks to people how much he enjoys educating and promoting winemaking and local business.” When asked what his favorite thing about wine is, his response is, “the people. Both amateurs and professionals, I love the way they look at life with such positivity. Life is an inspiration.” His advice to aspiring wine makers is to “proceed slowly and lay a lot of groundwork, never stop learning, and above all, have fun! You’re making wine!”