By Jeffery Smith email@example.com
BURDETT - A new wine-tasting room is scheduled to open next month at Silver Spring Winery and owner John D. Zuccarino and winery manager Kimmie Goodwin, his god-daughter, can't wait.
“This is Kimmie and my dream,” said Zuccarino. “Our tasting-room is our gift to Schuyler County and the world. It’s our little place of peace.”
Zuccarino said the tasting room was built by himself and local contractors understanding “it takes a small village to make a bottle of wine and especially with a new tasting room.”
The large new wine-tasting room offers a large bar, offering customers a lot of space to try several different types of wine, a new Napoli-style, brick pizza wood-fire oven, and much more. The winery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. , Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“The new wine tasting room offers speed and accessibility,” Goodwin said. “It’s just beautiful.”
“It’s a ministry of peace, a place for people to come and uplift their spirit. We call it the mystical experience,” Zuccarino said. "It’s not just about the wine. I think it’s the experience. The wine is very good, but it’s about making people happy and making people realize the world is a good place.”
Zuccarino said several Silver Spring wines, both sweet and dry, have won some prestigious awards.
“In fact every wine has won an international gold in the dry and semi-dry category with full-bodied dry reds, whites and semi dry wines,” Zuccarino said. “A fruit wine collection of six wines offers a full bodied fruits as well as estate ice wine and late harvest Riesling wine that seems to be a very big hit with our customers.”
Silver Spring Winery began in 2001 and opened to the public in 2003.
“Year seven really hit, sales were slow and my winemaking was only a B quality and I had become overridden with debt,” Zuccarino said. "Ten years open and I found myself angry at the world, drinking profusely.
Zuccarino said at the age of 50 he found himself divorced, alone and serving 60 days in Tompkins County Jail for a first-offence of driving while intoxicated.
“Sitting in jail I had my Kabbalah books sent inside and I started to make the world a better place,” Zuccarino said. “In jail I mentored the youth that were in my cell block and stopped the fighting over the television by creating a time block for every fellow convict and I turned to Reggae in jail after Bob Marley came to me in a dream.”
Marley reached out to him in that dream.
"I was a changed man from that dream and have been a minister of Bob Marley’s philosophy ever since,” Zuccarino said. “Once out of jail I went to the people I was angry and nasty to and asked for forgiveness.”
Zuccarino said he asked people to judge him now by who he has become.
“Then I learned from experts all around the world to make a better wine,” Zuccarino said. And then the great blessing was to come to me and that was my god-daughter Kimmie, who I affectionately call by daughter. She has helped our business double and with this I was able to pay off that nasty $500,000 credit card debt.”