Hans Peter (Peter) Weis is the seventh generation in his family to make wine; however, he’s the first generation to make wine outside of the Mosel. Born and raised in Zell, Germany, Peter first came to the US for a winemaking job in Sonoma. A friend who was working at Dr. Konstantin Frank’s winery encouraged Peter to stop in the Finger Lakes on his way home…he never left. “The climate was nice and cold,” he says. For the next 10 years, Peter managed Dr. Frank’s German varietals from vineyard to glass, which helped him forge connections with terrific growers all over the Finger Lakes.
In 2016, Peter and his wife Ashlee, a Hammondsport native and fellow winemaker, received the opportunity to buy a property on the East side of Keuka Lake from retiring winemakers. They took a leap of faith and produced their first vintage that year. The tasting room was opened in May 2017 and in the Spring of 2020, they started their first estate vineyard, Day Road. Located by Keuka Lake just minutes from the winery, it is planted with Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Saperavi, a teinturier-type grape variety native to the country of Georgia.
The Weis wines can be summed up in one word: precision. Every one of Peter’s wines has a pure and elegant focus, the result of a detailed, Germanic-style dialogue between a winemaker and excellent vineyard sites. In a very short period of time, Weis Vineyards has emerged as one of the most exciting wineries in the Finger Lakes.