GENEVA, N.Y., May 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Missick Cellars, formerly Bellangelo Winery, is a benchmark in the trend of small businesses that experienced massive disruption as a result of the pandemic, but have found ways to grow their business and reimagine what the future holds for their family enterprise.
The Covid-19 pandemic brought tragedy to many and caused enormous hardship for America’s small businesses. In the Finger Lakes wine region, Chris Missick, co-owner and winemaker at Villa Bellangelo Winery on Seneca Lake, shared his thoughts and concerns from April 2020. “Without visitors and with restaurants closed, I didn’t know how we would possibly manage cash-flow and be able to stay afloat.”
The year proved to be one of soul-searching for many entrepreneurs. For Missick, it came down to thinking about the history of his business, as well as its legacy. “In the wine industry, we build generational businesses. We still have some vines left that were planted in 1866. Our industry includes stewards of the land and producers of unique local products. We want this business to be here for our grandchildren, and it really got me thinking about where we were going, particularly with regard to the name and our identity.”
After ten years of ownership of Bellangelo, a name the Missick family inherited with the purchase in 2011, the pandemic forced a stark realization. In a letter to his wine club, Missick noted, “[w]e came to realize that what we had built was no longer what we had bought a decade ago. The vision for our business has changed so much. Over this last decade, we earned a spot in Wine & Spirits Magazine’s ‘Top 100 Wines of the World,’ established a remarkable sparkling wine program, elevated customer service and expanded wine education, introduced the first Chenin Blanc to be made in the Finger Lakes in 40 years… and so much more.”
The pandemic and the closure of on-premise consumption, resulted in a large decline in the winery’s wholesale business. Fortunately, business at the winery’s tasting rooms in Geneva and Dundee, New York, was very strong. “Ultimately, it made us realize that any existential questions of ownership, of place, of legacy, we’re behind us. The wines, the experience, the reputation – these were ours. After so much thought and reflection, we have decided to move forward with the change of the winery name to Missick Cellars.”
According to Missick, the family pursued an eponymous designation, because “at the end of the day, it was less about creating a catchy on social media brand, than it was about representing the truest expressions of ourselves, of our land, and our life’s work. We are all thirsty for those things that we know are real and are authentic, it has been one of the two guiding principles of my winemaking, and this change fulfills that promise on another level. The brand is our work, it’s what we grow and make.”
Along with some dramatic changes to the winery’s tasting room in Dundee, Missick Cellars will unveil new labels later this year, centered on its new logo. The logo, which drew inspiration from the fruit of life symbolism of sacred geometry, centers the concept with a crown of M’s, and reflects a family heritage of stained glass making. Regarding the logo, Missick added that, “the fruit of life is an ancient symbol of creation and connection. Out of the chaos of 2020, we embraced a new beginning anchored on perseverance.”
The winery sponsors the Viti+Culture podcast, available on YouTube and Apple Podcasts, which features conversations with makers and discussions on vineyard development.
SOURCE Bellangelo Winery