Our Story

Acclaimed winemaker Paul Brock and wine educator Shannon Brock took the helm of Silver Thread Vineyard in 2011.  True to its founding principles, Silver Thread is an owner-operated, boutique winery known for sustainably-grown estate wines.  The Brocks practice a holistic, regenerative style of farming called biointensive viticulture. The winery generates 100% of its energy needs from a 28kw solar array located on-site.

Production is currently 3,000 cases per year.  Wines are available for sale at the tasting room, through the wine club, via mail order, and in select stores and restaurants in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Ohio and Massachusetts.

Silver Thread is located ¾ mile off Route 414 (the wine trail) in a quiet and naturally beautiful environment overlooking Seneca Lake. Wine lovers seeking a relaxing and educational experience will enjoy discovering our off-the-beaten-path location and sampling some of the best wines in the Finger Lakes.

At Silver Thread, we seek to elevate the reputation of the Finger Lakes region by crafting outstanding, terroir-driven wines. Our story is still being written. We are constantly learning, improving and applying new knowledge to our vineyard, winery and hospitality. Thanks for coming along on our journey.

Origins

Silver Thread Vineyard was established in 1982 on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake, at the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes region. At this location the bottom of the lake drops almost 200 feet below sea level, a dramatic mass of water that creates a distinct microclimate on the hillside— cooling breezes in summer, radiating warmth through the winter, and extending the length of the growing season. On this site 250 years ago, the Haudenosaunee (a.k.a. Iroquois) people tended huge peach orchards, a testament to this temperate ‘island’ within a cool region.

The winery is named for a local waterfall, Silver Thread Falls, known as one of the loveliest in the Finger Lakes.  Like our winery, its tucked away in a private spot and only discovered by those intrepid enough to seek it out.

The turtle image on our label was carved in a rock beside one of New York’s woodland creeks by a Native American artist many centuries ago. As an earth symbol to the Haudenosaunee people, the turtle reminds us to care for the land and water that give us the gift of wine.  This artifact is on display at the New York Botanical Garden in Bronx, NY.

Early Years

Silver Thread’s original 6-acre vineyard and ecologically-designed wine cellar were established by organics enthusiast and author Richard Figiel.  It was one of the first Finger Lakes wineries to produce exclusively dry wines from European grape varieties.

Since the late 1980’s, the vineyard has followed the principles of sustainable farming, and was certified organic from 1992-1997.

Our energy-efficient tasting room and wine cellar building was built in 1995 and is set into the hillside for natural temperature control.  The winery building is a contemporary take on Greek Revival, the architectural style of many of the early farm houses in the Finger Lakes.

Since the winery’s first release in 1991, Silver Thread earned critical acclaim for its wines. Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were lauded in Wine Advocate, The New York Times, and The World Atlas of Wine during the 1990s, when Finger Lakes wines were virtually unknown outside the region.

Our People

Winegrower/owner, Paul Brock Portrait

Paul Brock

Ambitious Owner-Winegrower

Winegrower and co-owner Paul Brock has a passion for keeping busy. When not out in the vineyard or in the cellar at Silver Thread, Paul is an Assistant Professor of Viticulture and Wine Technology at Finger Lakes Community College(FLCC) in Geneva, NY. He coordinates the A.A.S in Viticulture and Wine Technology degree program at FLCC, and advises around 50 students through the degree program.

Paul has an M.S. in Enology and Viticulture from Cornell University and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has earned a wine judge certification from the American Wine Society and a level three Advanced Certificate in Wines and Spirits from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust of London. He has judged at several regional, state, and national wine competitions.

Paul is driven by his desire to learn about and explain classical and cutting edge techniques useful to small-scale winemaking and vineyard operations. In recent years, he has delved into biointensive and biodynamic viticulture practices, seeking to improve the quality of grapes used to produce Silver Thread wines.

In his spare time Paul can be found training for or competing in any of the area’s major triathlons.

GM/Owner, Shannon Brock portrait

Shannon Brock

Diligent Owner-Estate Manager

Shannon Brock is thoroughly at home in the role of winery owner-estate manager, where every day presents new challenges and opportunities.  From conceiving new tasting flights, to hand-picking grapes, to designing THIS WEBSITE, she loves that there is always more to learn about wine and the wine business.

After moving to the Finger Lakes in 2005, she became Wine Director at New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua, NY, where she taught wine, beer, spirits, and pairing classes for the general public and the trade, managed the all-NY-wine tasting room, and designed a Wine Spectator-Award-Winning restaurant wine list.  In 2010, she earned the level 4 Diploma in Wine & Spirits through Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), and continues to teach courses as a WSET Certified Educator.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Cornell, a master’s degree in management from University of Virginia, and Wine Judge Certification through American Wine Society.

Shannon’s areas of particular interest include pairing New York wines with local foods, improving the quality of people’s wine experiences in tasting rooms and restaurants, and understanding New York wines in a global context.  In her rare moments of free time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, cross-country skiing and taking her two children on little adventures around the Finger Lakes.

Max Murphy

Max Murphy

Indispensable Assistant Winegrower

FLASHBACK.

IT’S 2013.

I’M 22.

I’m munching on a crab cake sandwich dolloped with Old Bay remoulade and sipping this rad, grassy, fruit bomb of a New Zealand Sauv Blanc with my best friend sitting across from me; both of us laughing and drenched in midday sunlight. That was the moment I knew I had to learn everything about wine.

I grew up in Eastern Connecticut. After managing the wine list at a farm to table restaurant and then working as a sales rep for an alcohol distributor, I drove to California with no other plan aside from learning how to make wine. Eventually landed in Paso Robles to work my first harvest and that’s where I found out winemaking is this beautiful blend of brains, brawn and beauty. Thirsting for more knowledge and missing the East Coast, I moved to Geneva in 2017 to get my degree in Enology/Viticulture at FLCC. I have been a part of the Silver Thread team since 2018 and I’ve gotten really good at driving a tractor.

Colin Marker

Colin Marker

Chief Enthusiasm Officer

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Colin C. Marker has lived in the Finger Lakes since 2014. Having first found the region through Hobart College, he grew to love the local wine and hospitality industry, eventually deciding to stay and put down roots.

While pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies at Hobart College, Colin’s casual hobby of wine turned into an obsession when he decided to take his first wine class while living and studying in Scotland. Loving the environment, outdoor recreation, history, traveling, and, of course, gastronomy: wine was the obvious choice of vocation. So, while completing his degree, he started reading every wine source he could get his hands on and annoying every wine professional he could talk to.

Colin has worked in the industry for 4 long years, ranging in roles from serving as sommelier at high end restaurants to managing multiple wine shops and operations at once. He is now coordinating our Marketing and Hospitality here at Silver Thread and has a hand in the wholesale side of the business as well. He is passionate about seeing the Finger Lakes receive the recognition it deserves and seeing Riesling take over the entire world.

When he’s not nerd-ing out about wine, beer or spirits, you can find Colin hiking, swimming, cleaning, planning road trips, or playing the occasional game of tennis. His favorite holiday, by far, is Thanksgiving. Top three favorite colors are turquoise, British racing green, and black.

Janice Brunner

Janice Brunner

Tasting Room Server Extraordinaire

Beginning in the early ’90’s, Janice and her husband, Scott, made frequent trips to the Finger Lakes, enjoying the scenery and the wineries.  As the region’s winemaking developed, so did their tastes.  At retirement, they were able to make the long awaited move to Caywood.  During a walk with their new pup, Janice and Scott discovered that Silver Thread Vineyard had passed to the creative hands of Paul and Shannon Brock.  A tasting room position was open and provided Janice with the opportunity to become part of the industry and gain further knowledge of the fascinating world of wine.  She has been a valued Silver Thread team member since 2012, and has earned Level I and II certifications from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. Perks of the job include enjoying the wines of Silver Thread and meeting so many interesting people as they pass through the area.

Peter Portrait

Peter FitzRandolph

Gracious Host & Sustainability Guru

Peter J. FitzRandolph has lived in the Finger Lakes Region for most of his adult life. During that time, he has enjoyed watching the growth of our local wine industry as it evolved from rustic beginnings into the world-class wine region we know today.

After a 30-year career in sales, marketing, and operations management in the high-tech world, Peter took a leap in a new direction and completed an MBA in Sustainability at Antioch University New England. While at Antioch, he had the opportunity to explore the Finger Lakes wine industry in the context of business management with projects focused on winery marketing and strategic planning, winery waste product management, and industry life-cycle analysis.

After graduation he consulted with Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station to help create a Sustainable Best Practices development program for the Finger Lakes wine industry. During this project, Peter met Shannon and Paul Brock, and found that Silver Thread Vineyard is a clear example of a winery focused on sustainability.

When the opportunity came around to join the team at Silver Thread, to get to know the industry from the inside point of view, Peter did not hesitate. He is a proud member of the tasting room staff, and is also helping out in the winery’s external sales and marketing efforts. He has completed Level II certification from the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust. Peter is looking forward to a continuous hands-on education, and expects that in another 60 years he will be a master winemaker.

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