Heron Hill uses only the most careful processes and state-of-the-art equipment in order to yield the finest, best quality wines.
Barry Tortolon was trained and educated in California where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Enology and Chemistry from California State University at Fresno, additionally he is a graduate of SUNY Morrisville with a food science and technology degree. His experience includes working at the California Agricultural Technology Institute and the Italian Swiss Colony Wine Company in California. In the Finger Lakes, Barry was an instructor at Corning Community College in the Enology and Viticulture program and has winemaking and consulting experience with well established wineries in the region. Barry joined the winemaking team at Heron Hill Winery full-time in March 2015. Tortolon is a lifelong resident of the Finger Lakes and lives with his wife and two sons in Dundee, NY. Heron Hill Winery’s owners and staff welcome his experience, proven ability, and friendliness to their team.
Sam Pendleton, the Cellar Master and Barry's right hand man, has been with Heron Hill since June of 2016. He worked part time in the cellar and vineyards while he was completing his viticulture degree from Finger Lakes Community College. Sam came on full time once he graduated and has played a key role in harvest and the winemaking process. His family owns vineyards in Rushville, NY and Sam grew up around vineyards, so he's no stranger to the industry!
The winery employs a six-ton Bucher RFP 30 press, which is known for being the most gentle and delicate press available for crushing the grapes. The winery also uses the Gai 1513 bottling system, which lowers the amount of oxygen exposure during bottling.
Heron Hill houses almost 80,000 gallons of stainless steel tanks and 12,000 gallons of oak barrels. In the main cellar, the stainless steel tanks have refrigeration jackets, which allow for temperature-controlled fermentation and aging. In the nearby barrel room, American and Hungarian oak barrels along with barrels from the French districts of Troncais, Allier, Nevers, and Chagny enhance Chardonnay and red wine varieties.