What wine lover hasn’t dreamt of a winery of their own?
It’s an easy thing to imagine, yet a much harder dream to achieve. After all, it’s not every day that wineries pop up for sale, awaiting a new caretaker to cultivate the grapes and produce vintages with a distinctly local terroir.
Yet that’s precisely what happened for Dan and Jacqui Ferrari Heavens. Now the proprietors of Glorie Farms and Glorie Farm Winery in Marlboro, the couple didn’t necessarily plan to be in the wine industry, although their backgrounds certainly honed them to excel within it. Dan spent his early years on a family farm and has a degree in brewing, while Jacqui is a CPA with bar and event management experience.
“We are both hard workers who love to learn!” they enthuse.
That drive and enthusiasm came in handy when Jacqui spotted the real estate listing that Doug and MaryEllen Glorie, the winery’s previous owners, just posted. She sent it to Dan that very night, then he contacted the agents the following day. Over the course of a year, the couple persevered through meetings, due diligence, and planning to acquire the winery.
“In many ways it was a crazy thing to do, but we knew we had to try,” they say.
At the end of January 2020, the pair closed on Glorie Farms and Glorie Farm Winery, the Hudson Valley destination they had been visiting since shortly after it opened in 2004. Although Doug and MaryEllen launched the fruit farm in 1979, their introduction of the winery 20-plus years later is what turned the location into a local hotspot. Indeed, the winery is what drew Dan and Jacqui to the property in the first place.
“We have been visiting Glorie since 2006, when there wasn’t even a tasting room built yet and Doug and MaryEllen poured the tastings themselves downstairs in the working barn,” they explain. “In the years since then, the wineries along the Shawangunk Wine Trail have been a big part of our lives, and we dreamed that one day we could take the leap and make this our family business.”
And leap they did. Upon purchasing the winery, Dan and Jacqui made a point to work closely with the Glories to make the transition as smooth as possible.
“[The Glories] built this business, and we are grateful for the knowledge and experience they were able to share with us,” the new owners note. Of course, while the duo relied upon the Glories to teach them the ways of the winery, they also brought their own ideas into the fold. Since taking charge at Glorie, they have added over 40 well-spaced picnic tables around the vineyard to make visits safe and comfortable for all. Tastings and service now take place outside, so more servers have been hired to ensure a seamless experience.
“This is a place to linger, spend the day, no reservations needed, and no time limits,” the pair remarks. “We have live music every weekend, farm-to-table food available for purchase, and we are pet- and family-friendly.”
In addition to ramping up the experiential component at Glorie Farm Winery, the duo also introduced a number of new wines, including a bone-dry Riesling, a quince wine, and a naturally fermented Cayuga blend. On top of that, they added an ice cider, three hard ciders, and a perry (pear cider) for visitors who want to sample something other than wine.
Even with those changes, the heart of Glorie Farm Winery remains true to its original identity. Many of the winery’s core team members continue to work under the Heavens family, including farm foreman Kevin Lockhart and assistant foreman Thomas Lockhart, both of whom have worked on the property for years. Kristop Brown continues on as the winemaker, utilizing his 20 or so years of industry experience to craft top-tier vintages. Joining him is new team addition Megan Lamb, the property’s assistant winemaker and a graduate from The Culinary Institute of America.
“The commitment to quality that has always been a part of Glorie will continue here,” they say. “We are so grateful that much of our team remains the same.”
With a tried-and-true team and a fresh set of eyes, Glorie Winery is as much of a destination for wine lovers in the Hudson Valley as it ever was – if not more so. In fact, since the Heavens family stepped in as owners, production has increased, with 34 wines and ciders currently on offer. Plus, since almost everything is made in small, limited batches, Glorie ensures that no two trips to the Marlboro locale are ever the same.
“We want to offer outstanding, high quality wines that are unique and different,” the pair explains. “We want the experience at Glorie to be like nothing else.”
Glorie Farm Winery
40 Mountain Rd, Marlboro