Steve DiFrancesco

Winemaking Consultant

Steve became fascinated with wine while working in a restaurant during college and became the wine specialist there. He graduated with a BS in Plant Science from Stetson University, entered the wine business in the Finger Lakes of New York, and has since enjoyed 42 harvests there (plus one in Chile).

Steve worked with Guy DeVaux and Charles Fournier at Gold Seal Vineyards (owned by Seagram’s), with their excellent sparkling wines, from the late ‘70’s to the mid ‘80’s. He then worked with high quality red hybrids at Bully Hill Vineyards, and became an assistant winemaker at Glenora Wine Cellars in the late ‘80’s. He became winemaker at Lucas Vineyards in the early ‘90’s and helped expand production in high quality sparkling and still wines.

Steve returned to Glenora in 1995 and has helped expand its reputation and production. In 2000, the owners of Glenora purchased Knapp Winery, and Steve was responsible for production at both wineries. Riesling is at the forefront of a broad production line, including sparkling wines, red and white viniferas, as well as hybrids and natives.

During Steve’s career he has been involved in scale-ups, scale-backs, acquisitions, start-ups, and shutdowns. His wines have won over 450 gold medals in regional, national, and international competitions. He has made over 40 professional presentations in the Northeast and Midwest.

He has judged in wine competitions from California to New York to Virginia. In 2022, Steve was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Eastern Winery Exposition. He is also a board member for the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association. Steve retired during the summer of 2021, and is now available as a winemaking consultant. 

Contact: | P: 315-719-2113