Caleb Fulkerson (1762-1840)
In 1805, the same year Lewis & Clark set out on their expedition to explore the west, Caleb Fulkerson journeyed north from a settlement in New Jersey in search of fertile farmland. He staked out a piece of land on the western slopes of Seneca Lake. To mark his claim, he stuck his walking stick, a black willow branch, into a spring on the land.
The branch took root and over the years grew into a great tree. He used the wood from that tree to make coffins for himself and his wife Deborah, and they’re buried in the small family plot on the hill behind this location.
Samuel Fulkerson (1807-1877)
Caleb’s son Samuel inherited the farm in 1840 and built the farmhouse that stands on the property today. Samuel died at the age of 43, leaving behind his wife Jane and seven young children. Jane never remarried, but she held the farm and kept her six sons out of the Civil War.
Harlan P. Fulkerson Sr. (1842-1915)
Harlan Paye Fulkerson Sr. was the only son to stay on the farm, which he bought from his brothers and sister. He took care of his mother and had one son with his wife Phoebe. The farm's main crop was black raspberries.
Harlan P. Fulkerson Jr. (1886-1953)
Under the direction of Harlan Paye Fulkerson Jr., black raspberries became the first significant commercial crop for the farm.
Roger Fulkerson (1917-2002)
Grapes had been grown on the farm since the 1830s, but it wasn’t until a blight wiped out the raspberry industry in the 1960s that Roger Fulkerson began expanding grape plantings.
Sayre Fulkerson (b. 1953)
Sayre Fulkerson graduated from Cornell University in 1975 with a degree in pomology (the study of fruit production) and worked at Glenora Wine Cellars. In 1979 he bought the Jensen Juice plant from Glenora and began selling grape juice to home winemakers.
Sayre and his wife Nancy opened Fulkerson Winery in 1989; he now serves as Winemaker. They have continued to expand the farm’s grape juice production, attracting a loyal and growing following of home winemakers.
Steven Fulkerson (b. 1985)
Steven Fulkerson represents the 7th generation of Fulkersons to work this land, and the 2nd to produce Seneca Lake wines. He graduated from Cornell University in 2007 with a degree in viticulture and oenology (grape-growing and winemaking) and has been General Manager since 2015.
Steven and his wife Regina are proud parents to the 8th generation, Sarah Fulkerson, born October 2018.
The Winemakers’ Winery
We used to be a simple farm, growing raspberries & grapes. Then, we took it a step further; we acquired Jensen Juice and began to offer fresh grape juice to home winemakers. Before we knew it, our passion grew into the Fulkerson Winery you know & love today. We believe progression is natural, and we are proud to have become the winemakers’ winery.