To Scott Osborn, a Rochester native, the acquisition of Fox Run Vineyards was the natural culmination of his passion for wine and commitment to the industry.
The son of two professors, Scott’s first interest was international politics. Attending the Friends World College, a unique university with campuses all over the globe, he studied in Kenya, India, Thailand, Japan, and England.
He went into real estate development in 1974, later opening an office in Lake County California, a well-known viticulture area. The move proved to be fortuitous; living so close to the vines, Scott became interested in wine. In 1980, he took his first job at Konocti Winery labeling bottles. He went on to work at Firestone Vineyards, Zaca Mesa, and Byron Winery in Santa Barbara. In 1984, while working at Byron, he returned to visit family in Rochester. During a wine tasting trip around Seneca Lake, Scott tasted a Wagner Vineyards 1982 Barrel aged Chardonnay, his first experience with a brilliant cool climate wine. He realized that this was where he wanted to make wines and ultimately, own his own vineyard and winery.
In 1985, there were not a lot of winemaking jobs available, so he began working for a wine distributor before moving on to be General Manager of Pindar Vineyards on Long Island. In 1993, Fox Run became available and, in partnership with Andy Hale, they purchased it.
Since the purchase of the winery in 1994, Scott has resided in the beautifully renovated farmhouse originally built on the property in 1870. Initially, he assumed the responsibilities of winemaking, along with the myriad tasks of management, speaking engagements, and travel. He then chose to hire a full-time winemaker. His selection of Peter Bell in June of 1995 satisfied his desire to engage the most gifted winemaker in the Finger Lakes region. Their shared vision for quality wine production has freed Scott to the task of managing the winery and planning for its future. He regularly participates in wine judgings, panel discussions, and symposiums addressing the many challenges of an increasingly sophisticated appellation.
On Christmas day of 1998, three days after turning 50, Scott married his long time sweetheart, Ruth Worden, and in 2012, Ruth’s sister, Kathy and her husband, Albert became partners, making Fox Run a family owned winery.
The highly successful working relationship between Scott, Peter, and vineyard manager, John Kaiser, has resulted in spectacular grapes and wines, and the successful introduction of state-of-the-art vineyard practices, keeping Fox Run Vineyards on the cutting edge of grape growing and winemaking.
Scott is constantly working to reduce the environmental impact of the winery. Since 2002, Fox Run has been awarded the Lake Friendly Farm designation from Yates County Soil and Water Conservation. This award is given to farms whose agricultural practices do not negatively impact the water quality of Seneca Lake. He also installed a 151-Kilowatt solar system, which provides 100% of the electricity needed to operate the winery, tasting room and café. In addition, herbicide and pesticide use has been reduced throughout the vineyard, and replaced with organic and biological sprays with less environmental impact.
Scott has served as President of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail twice and is a founding member and past President of Finger Lakes Wine Alliance. He is a founding member of the New York Wine Industry Association, created in 2009 to represent the wine industry and to educate legislators in Albany on issues that impact New York State wineries and vineyards. Elected by his statewide peers, Scott currently serves as the New York representative on the board of Wine America, the national advocacy organization for the US Wine Industry in Washington DC.
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