IMMERSE YOURSELF IN SPRINGTIME AT THE WESTERNMOST WINERY OF THE FINGER LAKES. Spring is one of the best times of the year to visit wineries. The first blush of spring brings an array of vibrant, diverse flavors to the wines of the Finger Lakes region. With over 100 wineries spanning the area, you have the opportunity to taste an incredible variety of wines - from crisp, fruity whites to bold, full-bodied reds.

From wine flights that tease your palate to the breathtaking vistas of vineyards in bloom, there's something magical about a winery visit during springtime. And there's no better place to experience this magic than at Deer Run Winery nestled on Conesus Lake.


Get to Know: Scott & Marie Kuyon, Owners of Deer Run Winery


Scott and Marie Kunyon


Tell us about your story and what motivated you to start a winery in Livingston County.

Established in 2003 on the northern shores of Conesus Lake, Deer Run Winery was a lifelong dream for owner George Kuyon. In 1975, George attended an amateur winemaking class; he became hooked and enjoyed his newfound hobby of making wine for his friends and family. He and his wife, Joan, traveled to wineries in the Finger Lakes and George always had a strong feeling that one day he would own his own winery. 

Upon his retirement from Kodak in 1998, George purchased a twenty-acre plot of farmland located on West Lake Road on the northern end of Conesus Lake. He began working with the local town government to begin to establish a winery on the westernmost Finger Lake. He worked with representatives from Cornell to test the land’s soil and decided on varietals to plant, some of which were new hybrids that were in the final stages of being tested. The vineyard was planted in 2001. The varietals initially planted that were unnamed at the time would become known as Corot Noir and Noiret, along with plantings of Traminette, Valvin Muscat, Vidal, Frontenac, Marechal Foch, and Riesling. 

The modest 5-acre vineyard today contributes to twenty percent of the overall wine production. The remaining grapes and juice are purchased solely from vineyards within the Finger Lakes appellation.


Wine at Deer Run


Today, Deer Run Winery's portfolio includes over 15 different wines ranging from white to red and dry to sweet. Their best selling wines include:

Max Black: A sweet red Niagara grape based blend. The go-to wine pairing with Max Black are peanut butter cups and brownies! Pro-tip: when making a box mix of brownies, swap the water with Max Black for an added depth of flavor!

Conesus White: Named for the Finger Lake they are built on, a semi-dry grape-forward white blend. Conesus White is a delicious white wine that compliments spicy foods such as jalapeno poppers, Thai dishes or tacos!

Runway Red: Their most awarded wine overall! An off-dry blend of two red grapes that they grow in the vineyard, Corot Noir & Noiret. Folks love Runway Red paired with red sauce pasta dishes with the wine incorporated into the sauce!

Pebble Beach Blush: Named for the section of lake across the street from the winery, a sweet blush with fruity notes of peach. Pebble Beach Blush goes great with fresh fruit salads in the summertime and creamy cheesecake!


Can you talk about your offerings and happenings at the winery?

Events are integral to our business and we enjoy offering unique in-person experiences. We have hosted a myriad of events over the years including Wineerie nights (an escape room and haunted hayride), Murder Mystery dinners, summer concerts, weddings, Paint & Sips, Yoga/Spa events, cooking demonstration classes, food and wine pairing events indoors and in our vineyard, upscale wine pairing dinners and so much more! We enjoy brainstorming and coming up with new ideas for events and will continue to do so in the future.  

The Tankroom Café was added and opened in 2022. We added a full-service restaurant to our winery to allow our customers to savor and enjoy great food paired with our award-winning Finger Lakes wines! Since we opened the cafe, we added brunch on Sundays which has been well-received by the local crowd. In addition to weekly specials and menu changes, one of the most-loved items on our menu continues to be the Cheesy New Yorker, a grilled cheese sandwich made with New York white cheddar, apple slices, and Riesling hot pepper jelly! This simple sandwich includes three main ingredients that represent what New York does very well: Apples, Cheese, and Riesling! 

Another top selling menu item is the Calabria made with chicken, pesto mayonnaise, roasted red peppers and mozzarella served hot & toasty on a hoagie roll. The name was derived from owner Joan Kuyon's side of the family and pays tribute to her Italian heritage.


Food at Deer Run


You recently celebrated your 20-year anniversary, congratulations! What has changed over the years?

In the last 20 years, much has changed from the original business plan. Deer Run Winery has grown tremendously and expanded to include a new 5,300 square foot production space and 4,000 square foot pavilion under which we host showers, weddings and other events. As a family owned business, we have faced and overcome many trials which have helped us build resiliency and have contributed to Deer Run Winery's staying power over the years.


People at Deer Run


What’s the best thing about being in Livingston County?

The very best thing about being in Livingston County is the small town feeling while having the convenience of all the necessary amenities close by. Livingston County is a nature lover's playground with Letchworth State Park, Stony Brook State Park, Conesus Lake, Hemlock and Canadice Lakes along with all the forestland and hiking trails that accompanies these unblemished landscapes. Livingston County is a destination where visitors can safely enjoy nature, dining, craft beverage sampling, water sports, cycling, hot air ballooning, shopping, and the list goes on! We live in a beautiful corner of the world; that knowledge is never lost on me. I (Marie) grew up in a largely industrial neighborhood, and here in Livingston County, the greenery and expansive blue skies with its stunning sunrises and sunsets are a daily refreshment for the soul. We are very fortunate to be here and thank God for the blessings that have allowed us to remain in business and grow over the last 20 years.


Inside Barrel Room at Deer Run


What’s coming up for Deer Run this spring/summer?

As we move forward into warmer weather, we will prepare the vines for the growing season by pruning, shoot positioning, and leaf thinning as needed to ensure a strong crop. Our farm staff work very hard to maintain the grounds and gardens to keep them looking beautiful for our guests and visitors. On the tasting room and event side of things, we will get ourselves ready for another busy summer season filled with tourists, locals who love their wine, wedding guests and friendly new faces!


Women at Deer Run