One of the Craft Wine Association’s founding members, John Brahm of Naples, New York, passed in early March. The Finger Lakes native embodied the passionate, warm spirit of the CWA. “He was as down-to-earth as the wines he made,” shares Carole Lawson, the CWA’s founder and CEO about the loss. “He cared deeply about the wine community, offering thoughts and advice whenever he was asked. The association will miss him, I will miss him,” she adds.
John H. Brahm III, co-owner of Arbor Hill Grapery & Winery and legendary Finger Lakes winemaker died suddenly in early March of this year. John was 76 and had founded the Arbor Hill Grapery & Winery with his wife Katie in 1987.
He had studied at Cornell University graduate and had a long career with Widmer Wine Cellars, before deciding to open his own winery and restaurant.
A Focus on Local Products
John had long produced wines made from local, indigenous New York State grape varieties that could not be found in other regions of the world, according to The Grapery’s manager Angela Monaco MacAllister. They included grapes such as Iona and Diana.
Angela shares the story that Brahm had been a student of pomology, which is the science of growing fruit. She says that he jokingly often referred to it as the science of growing “round fruit,” so grapes—and all the products derived from them—fit right in.
The winery also produces candies, jellies and pie fillings. Braham became a local legend when he opened a restaurant as part of the winery, in 2011, so the tasting, celebrating and sharing could continue after winery hours. It features steaks and bratwurst as well as live music.
I know it is customary to close with “He will be missed.” Truth is, we already do.