In this non-sponsored article, we are going to look at great small producers outside of California who deserve some recognition. Today, we will explore four different regions, including one from a more famous area.

The vineyards of Dr. Konstantin Franc Winery at the Finger Lakes in winter (Photo:

Yes, at VinoVoss, we love big brands; we enjoy our Gallo, Kendall-Jackson, and other prestigious wines like the Aix Rosé from Provence. However, these wineries already have great exposure, a fan base, and sometimes even a cult status.

In this special article, for Small Business Saturday 2023 we are highlighting staff favorites that we hope you will enjoy and support.

Dr. Konstantin Frank, The Finger Lakes Pioneer

Dr. Konstantin Frank has received accolades for his wines around the world. Being the only reknown producer in the New York state from Five Finger Lakes, he ignited the “Vinifera Revolution”, a movement that changed the local wine producing scene by its core.

Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery is the pioneer of the Eastern United States’ vinifera movement. Situated on the southwestern hills of Keuka Lake, it was here in 1957 that Dr. Konstantin Frank planted the first vinifera vines in the Eastern United States and ignited the “Vinifera Revolution”. This movement would forever change the course of winemaking in New York. Four generations strong, the Frank family are leaders of grape growing and winemaking throughout the Finger Lakes.

To support the winery, you can join the wine club and receive wines on a monthly or scheduled basis and receive some discounts on his wines.

Dr. Konstantin Frank Riesling Semi Dry

Old Westminster Winery - From Natural to Single Vineyard Wines

Amid Maryland's lush greenery, Old Westminster Winery stands as a beacon of devotion and artistry, each bottle telling a tale of its maker's fervor. This boutique winery offers a special engagement for wine aficionados, presenting the chance to indulge in rare selections via a subscription every other month, or to be at the forefront of tasting their latest batches.

Despite being a producer of fine wines, the winery serves as an idyllic backdrop for events, ensuring every occasion is as distinctive and cherished as the wines it produces.

They have embraced a new style of winemaking, ranging from classic expressions to funky natural wines. Old Westminster has embraced the idea of terroir, producing small batches of historically rich, single-vineyard wines on their small estate.

Old Westminster Blinded by the Light

Elk Cove - The Oregon Pioneers

Elk Cove is one of Oregon's pioneering family-run vineyards, now operated by fifth-generation farmers and second-generation winemakers. Pat and Joe Campbell planted the first vines in 1974, while residing in a trailer on the vineyard property.

They christened their winery "Elk Cove" after a herd of about 40 Roosevelt elk settled in the clearing of the family's estate during the winter of that year, inspiring its name. They won their first award for Riesling in 1978 at an Oregon State Fair, part of a Tri-City Wine Festival. Pioneering efforts like theirs have contributed to Oregon's growth as a wine region, now home to over 700 wineries.

Today, their son Adam oversees the 380 planted acres, handcrafting wines and upholding the family tradition with pride.

Elk Cove Five Mountain Pinot Noir

Taking the Center Stage: Caduceus Cellars

Originally founded by Maynard James Keenan, the progressive metal frontman of the band Tool, the winery is focused on the unique terroir of Arizona. Today, they maintain multiple vineyard sites across the state, including six in the breathtaking Verde Valley, as well as the Al Buhl Memorial Vineyards in Willcox to the southeast. The vineyards span elevations from 3,300 to 4,900 feet, adopting farming practices centered on a philosophy of low yield and high density. With 110 total acres under vine, the winery produces approximately fourteen thousand cases annually across all its brands.

In an interview with VinoVoss, Keenan shared that his involvement with the vineyards taught him much about responsibility—consistently showing up to tend the vines and wines is crucial. Nature is indifferent to one's schedule or level of motivation; grapes will overripen, and they must be picked and pressed in a timely manner to craft the best wine possible. He reflected that this project has had a profound and positive impact on both his personal and professional life.

Caduceus Nagual del Marzo

This article celebrates the vibrant variety and unique charm of small wineries across America, often overlooked due to California's spotlight. It highlights the drive and creativity flourishing in U.S. winemaking, from Dr. Konstantin Frank's trailblazing efforts in New York's Finger Lakes to Maryland's Old Westminster's craftsmanship, Oregon's Elk Cove's pioneering spirit, and Arizona's Caduceus Cellars' focus on distinct terroir. These wineries are a tribute to the hardworking individuals dedicated to creating standout wines nationwide.

Supporting these local gems through memberships, attending events, or word-of-mouth not only lets us enjoy distinctive wines but also enriches the narrative of American winemaking. Take advantage of Small Business Saturday 2023 to support these unique wineries!

Discover and buy these exceptional wines at and be part of the extraordinary story each bottle from these vineyards tells.

Peter Douglas

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