The Student News Site of State University of New York at Brockport

The Stylus

The Stylus

The Stylus

New Brockport winery looks to aid college students

Rambling Road Winery will open in Brockport once it gains enough funding to buy land. (Photo credit: Rambling Road Winery via Facebook)

By Ben Blakely / Contributing Writer

BROCKPORT, N.Y.— Western New York is known for wine. In particular, the Finger Lakes Region has 92 wineries, offering everything from dry reds and sweet whites. It seems wineries are opening every day and one hopes to open in the Brockport area. 

Mark Speed, the owner of Rambling Road Winery, says the idea is not spur of the moment.  

“This has been something that I have wanted to do for a long time. Now it seemed like a good time to start instead of having the idea sit on the shelf,” Speed said.  

For more information, go to

The building of the winery will happen in two phases. First, a vineyard and main winery will be built in the Brockport/Holley area. Then, Rambling Road will construct a tasting room in downtown Batavia. 

No specific plot of land has been purchased to house the winery and vineyard yet, but Speed is talking to local realtors about buying the 10 acres of land needed. 

SUNY Brockport student Leslie Hoag says supporting local businesses is important, and she is looking forward to the winery’s opening.  

“The local businesses [in Brockport] tend to want to help college kids and want to have a positive effect on the community, so I am happy to help when I can. Wineries are either hit or miss for me to feel like I am the target audience based on the ambiance of the place,” Hoag said. 

Rambling Road Winery is looking to target college students more than a typical winery. (Photo credit: Rambling Road Winery via Facebook)

The winery is launching a crowdfunding campaign to build its business, but it can’t officially launch the campaign until a certain amount of people like, follow and share its Facebook page. The winery also has financial deals in place that are contingent on raising a certain amount of money through crowdfunding. 

If it can generate enough funds, the winery will be the second one based in Brockport. Five Sons Winery opened in 2005.  

Portion of profits to benefit college students  

Speed is hoping the winery will also help students. In the Rambling Road Scholarship Program, 10% of the winery’s profits will help students pay for college. This percentage was part of market research done by the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester.  

Speed has connections to higher education and understands the challenges of paying for college. 

“I have talked to some students, and I know that it is difficult to pay for college. This is a small way that I could help,” Speed said. 

For the scholarship program to become a reality, the winery must be open for a year. Once available, Speed hopes to find a program a school may be lacking to award them fairly. 

“We do not want it to be a scholarship on top of other scholarships,” Speed said. “We want to permanently find ones that will fill a bigger need for students in an area that is not covered well.” 

Rambling Road Winery’s goal is to help college students out with some of its profits earned through selling wine. (Photo credit: Rambling Road Winery via Facebook)

Speed says he wants the scholarships to support SUNY Brockport students.  

Garrett Roe, the scholarship coordinator at SUNY Brockport, says the extra money will always be helpful for college students. 

“Students have mentioned that they do not qualify for state or federal aid, and they are looking for assistance to help pay for their education. Even beyond the educational aspect, students are looking for funds to help their families by fixing their broken car or paying rent and this opportunity could help,” Roe said.  

For the upcoming school year, these scholarship programs will become more competitive due to financial burdens from the COVID-19 pandemicA poll by Discover Student Loans found 68% of U.S. parents of college-bound students are concerned about paying for their child’s education.  

Still, Hoag believes the scholarship can help everyone. 

“In terms of supporting Brockport students, they just need to make it clear that is the goal. There are so many students and organizations who would benefit from an opportunity like this,” Hoag said. 

Like pairing wine and cheese, the developers of the winery hope the pairing of wine with educational opportunity is a winning combination.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Stylus

Your donation will support the student journalists of State University of New York at Brockport. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Stylus

Comments (0)

All The Stylus Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *