By Evan Dawson, Finger Lakes Editor
The shell of the new spillover tasting room and special event building at Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars has taken shape. With crews working every day on the project, it's on schedule for a spring opening, and could end up opening right around the one-year anniversary of the fire that destroyed the previous building on April 22, 2009.
"That was a big shock," says Frederick Frank, President of Dr. Frank Wine Cellars. "We were all saddened. We lost business as a result."
The new 2400-square foot building will serve multiple purposes. It will act as a spillover tasting room on busy weekends and summer days. It will also host private tastings and special events, and several bars on wheels will allow the Dr. Frank staff to flexibly accommodate groups of varying sizes.
"We're excited that the new tasting room will be bigger, better and nicer by all accounts," Frank says.
And while the fire destroyed some personal artifacts related to the Frank family, one of the lost items has been replaced -- in a sense. Fire melted the Governor's Cup that Dr. Frank won for New York Wine of the Year, but the New York Wine and Grape Foundation created a replica cup that will serve as a replacement.
Despite the fire, Dr. Frank has continued to offer several tasting rooms that have remained open. That's because the fire only damaged one building, missing the winery and other tasting rooms entirely. Fred Frank says firefighters deserve credit for making sure only one building was damaged, allowing the company to rebuild without ever having to temporarily close.