Have you ever wanted to startup a winery? Become a Winery Founder
Become a Winery Founder of Mark T. Wiltberger Cellars
Starting up a new Finger Lakes winery, focused on making small-batch, artisanal wines.
Become a Winery Founder to be part of the startup - Rewards are personal recognition, hundreds of dollars of wine, and other great benefits.
Become a Winery Founder
Become a Member of the Founders Club. Be Part of the Startup.
- Recognition as a Winery Founder
- $650 worth of Wine
- Annual Founders Club Picnic
- Private Tastings for You and Your Guests
- $50 Discount for Referrals
One-time payment for the benefits listed. See Conditions.
- Become a Winery Founder - How it Works - Benefits
- Winery Story / Winemaker Bio
- Backers - List of Winery Founders
Be Recognized as a Winery Founder
Your name as a Winery Founder will be displayed prominently wall of the winery. As a contributor at this key moment in the history of the winery, you will be recognized for years to come with the other Winery Founders.
$650 Worth of Wine
Each year for 3 years receive a 12-bottle sampler pack of wine delivered to your door. $650 wine value, free shipping.
Annual Founders Club Picnic
Each year you are invited to the Founders Club Picnic on the farm winery grounds. Mingle with your fellow Founders at this exclusive event hosted by Mark.
Private Tastings for You and Your Guests
Treat your friends to a private tasting with the winemaker owner. As a Winery Founder, the tastings are always complimentary.
$50 Discount for Referrals
Tell your friend about this chance to be a Winery Founder and receive a $50 discount on your next order when your friend becomes a Winery Founder.
Early Days in the Family Vineyard
When Mark was young his parents planted a vineyard in the early days of farm wineries in the relatively unknown Finger Lakes wine region in New York State. He and his brothers and sister helped the family clear the land, plant the vines, put in the vineyard posts, and prune and care for the vines. On college breaks he helped with wine bottling and tasting room sales.
Career and Travel
After earning a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Science in Geography at Penn State, he undertook a career in science and technology. After working for a number of years in information technology in the Washington, DC, area, he pursued a dream to travel for a year in India and Southeast Asia. In India he absorbed the diversity of vast India and reconciled with the pace of solo budget travel.
Returning Home to the Family Winery
Back in the U.S., the family winery was expanding. Mark returned home to the business to make wine. He helped the winery scale up from small production to larger volumes of wine production, implementing the necessary equipment and tanks.
Among the many accolades won during his time as head winemaker at Keuka Spring Vineyards, the family winery, was the Sweepstakes Award in the San Francisco Chronicle Competition of 2009 for the 2008 Gewürztraminer, naming it the best bottle of white wine among over 2000 entries of American wine.
Exploring Winemaking Abroad
His appetite whetted, he sought to learn about winemaking in other wine regions around the world. He worked the harvest at Weingut Keller, a premier winery in Germany. There he saw the influence of vineyard care and vineyard location on wine. Then he worked at the Awatere River Wine Company in Marlborough, New Zealand. When he returned home once again he worked a season at Sawmill Creek Vineyards, a commercial winegrowing vineyard in the Finger Lakes producing over twenty different varietals of premium wine grapes.
Returning Home to the Finger Lakes Again
After this second return home, he decided to start his own winery and found a beautiful vineyard farm property overlooking Keuka Lake in the Finger Lakes a short distance from his parents’ winery. For years the former owner grew table grapes on the property, and the vineyard was planted in excellent soils. The existing pole barn would make an excellent winery for the small scale of production he intended to do.
Founding of Mark T. Wiltberger Cellars
Mark focuses on careful production of small batches of wines, drawing on his variety of experiences and using both modern and traditional techniques. His aim is to make elegant wines from grape varietals that grow well in the cool climate of the Finger Lakes. In addition to the varietal name, each wine is also given a unique name to reflect ideas of discovery, travel, bonds of family and friendship, and connection to home and the land.
Stay in touch with the latest winery news, wine releases and special offerings. If you Join the Email List, you will receive a $10 discount on your first order of wine.
- Dr. William Waller
- John Wiltberger
- Karthik Balakrishnan
- Steven Stanfield
- Sean & Audrey Finan
- Cheryl & Chris Corson
- Mary Lou Wiltberger & James Santella
- Matthew Stork
- James Stork
- Dave & Bonnie Singh
- Karen & Ed Arabas
- Thomas & Andrea Lynch
- Jack & Pat Howell
- Earl & Marla Makatura
- Daniel Gordon
- Mike Wiltberger & Holly Batal
- Tim Flood
- James McGrath
- Jim & Denise Toomey
- Carole Dinmore
- Ginny Turner & Jamie Sisson
- Laurie & Steve DiFrancesco
- Joan Fiene
- Rob & Rachel Anderson
- John & Stacy Refermat
- Vanessa & Tim Fiene
- Lori & Mark Ender
- Michelle & Jeff Morehouse
- Greg & Stephanie Sonner
- Pam & George Dowse
- Sue & Sam Priem
- Elizabeth Crompton
- Nathan Zimmerman
- David & Nancy Struss
- Joan & Douglas Paddock
- Lynn Oswald
- Paul Wiltberger
- Joseph Wiltberger
- Jeffrey Watson
- Tom Wiltberger & Donna Evon
- Paulina Garcés-Reid & Jud Reid
- Peter Hart
September 19, 2017 - Poured Wanderlust and Convivial at Tasting Tuesday at Water Street Wine Bar. Great to see everyone there.
Winery Founder Club is a one-time payment that covers the benefits listed.
Founders receive one case of wine a year for three years. The case is a 12-bottle Sampler Pack (750ml bottles). Shipping is included.
Signing up for the membership is a purchase of wine and your checkout indicates that you are of legal age and location to have wine shipped to you.
Legal Shipping States are listed here: Shipping States
Shipping will be charged standard rate for one case for Alaska and Hawaii orders.
The Winery Founders Club is a wine club and company ownership is not implied.
Founders Club Picnic date To Be Determined.
$100 minimum order for $50 referral discount.
Sales taxes for your location will be added at checkout.