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WILD BRUTE: A winery and tasting room in downtown Hornell?

The traditional model for the Finger Lakes wine industry is fairly straightforward: Build a tasting room and they will come. Typically, this tasting room comes with a production facility and a vineyard, although many wineries started with neither and sourced their grapes and rented production space elsewhere (a differentiation many visitors do not recognize). Regardless, the standard presentation for many years was tasting-room oriented, a standalone building somewhere near a main route and a given lake, a dot on the map, if you will, with a big sign out front.

While the vast majority of Finger Lakes wineries still resemble the tried-and-true, newer wine is being marketed and sold in decidedly different ways. Young, independent winemakers are selling their wine wholesale without even contemplating a tasting room. In the case of new label Wild Brute, Justin Recktenwald is selling much of his wine in a wine bar, one that serves food and sells beer and other wine as well. And unlike most tasting rooms, this establishment is not located next to a picturesque lake, but in a storefront in downtown Hornell.

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