When asked what advice he would give wannabe winemakers, Paul Deninno had this this to say.

1. You have to have a passion for growing grapes and making wine. That’s about 80 percent of it.

2. You must be dedicated and expect to work really, really hard. People who love what they are doing will succeed.

3. Don’t expect to get rich. There’s an old saying in the wine business: “Know how to get a small fortune in the wine business? Start with a large fortune.”

4. Do your homework and know where you want to grow grapes and make wine. Working with varieties that do well in New York is very different than doing so with those that produce good wine in California.

5. There is always something new to learn. That keeps the business exciting.

6. It helps and saves money if you have mechanical skills and some basic knowledge of chemistry and viticulture.

Is all the hard work worth it? “Yes,” Paul said. “Sometimes I feel like pulling the rest of my hair out, but when you sample the finished product it’s worth it.”

This article was originally published in The NEW PIONEER™ Spring 2016 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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