“Our mission is to share the natural beauty of our Estate together with the premium wines that we craft and food we prepare inspiring our guests with a space to enjoy – to live, love and laugh celebrating the time that they spend here in tradition and heritage of the Colloca family name.”
~ Chris, Mindy, Melia, Kai, and Nico Colloca and the Colloca Team
Mindy Colloca is the backbone of the Colloca clan. Mindy graduated from Wichita Area Technical College with a degree in nursing. She sacrificed her career ambitions to raise her family while supporting her husband’s career and busy travel schedule. Mindy loves working in the tasting room and also working with our brides.
She is also passionate about nutritional counseling and enjoys hiking, running, and working out. Most of all, she loves being a mom and family time. She loves punk rock and her favorite wine is Colloca Cabernet Franc.
Chris Colloca graduated with a BS from Ithaca College where he and won a NCAA Football National Championship, and in his senior year earned All-American honors and captained the team. He went on to Life College School of Chiropractic where he received his Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree, and earned his PhD in Kinesiology at Arizona State University in 2015. As the CEO for the medical device company he founded, Chris travels over 200,000 miles annually training chiropractors around the World on his invention of the Impulse Adjusting Instruments®. He is actively involved in spinal research in both the chiropractic and orthopedic fields and has authored over 50 scientific journal publications. He enjoys travel but cherishes summers when he can spend down time with his family at the Lake Effect Vineyard® where he oversees operations. Chris loves studying everything about the wine industry, his hobby is travel, his favorite Colloca wine is Pinot Noir, and he loves Classic Rock-n-Roll.
Melia Colloca carries the middle name of her grandmother, Eris, and shares her kindred giving and loving spirit. She is an eager and loving little girl who loves her brothers (sometimes, sometimes not) and likes to help her mom. She enjoys dressing up, sewing, dancing, gymnastics, and soccer, but none as much as ice cream.
She aspires to be a mermaid, although deep down her Dad hopes someday hopes that she’ll become a winemaker, at least part-time.
Kai Colloca has his dad’s middle name and is a bouncy, energetic little boy who loves digging in the dirt, catching frogs, and going fishing. He likes soccer, building legos, Scooby Doo, and Super Heroes.
He says he wants to be a police officer when he grows up, although his dad secretly hopes he will want to be a winemaker. Kai’s favorite food is steak and corn on the cob, which is a bit of a problem now that he has lost both of his front teeth.
Nico Colloca carries his great-grandfather’s name, Sebastiano, as his middle name and has gorgeous blue eyes and blond curls. Nico is funny and adventurous and likes splashing in mud puddles, playing in the sand, and taking toys from his brother.
He loves to be tickled almost as much as bananas. Who knows, maybe someday he’ll become a winemaker.
Aaron Roisen is the rockstar winemaker at Hosmer Winery, located about an hour south on Cayuga Lake at Hosmer Winery where our estate wines are currently made. In 2009, Cameron and Tim Hosmer and crew planted our Lake Effect Vineyard® blossoming a wonderful relationship in nurturing and training us as a newly established vineyard. We owe much of our success to their talents and advice. Aaron studied viticulture at the fabled Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology in New Zealand and knew he wanted to be a winemaker after working his first harvest in 2002 at Marlborough vintners. After college, Aaron landed a job of assistant winemaker at Lamoreaux Landing wine cellars in Lodi, New York after which he returned to New Zealand to be part of a custom crush facility, South Pacific cellars. After harvest he returned to New York to reprise the role as assistant winemaker at Atwater Estate vineyards. Following three vintages, filled the position as head winemaker at Hosmer Winery in Ovid, NY where he has been since 2007.
Our Australian wines were made by Alex Peel at Ross Estate located in Lyndoch in the Barossa Valley. Alex has been making wine since he graduated from the University of Adelaide a decade ago. Although a graduated Winemaker, he chose to work as cellar hand for his first couple of years so he could grasp the workings of a winery through the entire process. During this time he had the opportunity to travel and completed a vintage in the Sonoma Valley at Limerick Lane Wines as well as a tour of the Chilean wine regions. Upon his return he was offered the Assistant Winemaking role at Ross Estate wines and Hemera Estate. Here he worked under 2 head winemakers that had both been involved in making ‘Grange’ at Penfolds wines, before becoming the head winemaker there. Alex’s wines have won numerous Gold medals and Trophy’s including the winery being named rated ‘RED 5 star’ by expert critic, James Halliday, ranking it in the top 10% in Australia.
Julie Ferguson is the newest addition to our already wonderful team. She has spent the past 25 years serving as a manager to various local businesses and has an excellent grasp on how to motivate people. While keeping the gears of the Colloca Estate Winery well-greased, you can also look to Julie to fulfill all of your event booking needs. From the macro to the micro, Julie will be your go-to person for weddings, class reunions or just making sure your wood fired pizza is cooked perfectly. Julie is a confessed “pool rat,” and when she’s not at the vineyard, you will find her reading a book while floating in her pool. She lives in Cato with her husband of 8 years, 4 children and their Great Dane, Molly. You can email Julie HERE, or visit our CONTACT US page.
Randy Hill has served as our Vineyard Manager for the past 4 years. Randy’s role in working with the vines begins early in the year when he and his crew begin pruning during our cold winter months in February with snow still on the ground. From tying to training through harvest, Randy is responsible for all aspects of maintaining the Lake Effect Vineyard® at Colloca Estate with harvests that have created our award-winning wines. In addition to his Vigneron role, he performs many other tasks and duties on property including wine education and pouring in our tasting room and conducting estate tours among others. He also enjoys tending to his own garden and coaching our local JV soccer team in Red Creek.
With extensive experience in farming and landscaping among other tasks, the beauty of our property is credited to the manicuring efforts of Ross Younglove, Jr. Ross grew up in Red Creek and has enjoyed farming his whole life. Our greatest challenge is trying to find something that Ross can’t fix.
Colloca Estate Wine Ambassadors are responsible for presenting our brand to our guests. We have a well-educated and talented team of oenophiles that proudly show our wines and tell our story.
When Anna White isn’t performing live with her band ‘The Billionaires’, she shows our wines in the Tasting Room and when we’re lucky, sits in with the band on a couple of tunes as well.
You can’t help running into one of the extended Colloca family during one of your visits.
Chris’ seven siblings have twenty-nine children and grandchildren and you’ll often find them pitching in a hand when needed.
Mindy rescued Harleigh as a puppy from the pound. Mindy recognized Harleigh’s loving personality immediately from observing her interaction with her siblings. Instead of choosing the more dominant pup in the litter, Mindy chose Harleigh, believing that she wouldn’t as easily find a home. She’s been our true first born ever since.
Harleigh shares time as an Arizona living room dog in winter, but each year looks forward to summer when she flies to New York and has full rein at the vineyard. She helps (sometimes) in chasing away deer and geese who are feeding on our grapes (don’t worry, she can’t catch them), and follows her Dad on property wherever he goes. Most of all, she loves swimming in the Bay on hot summer days.