Ray & Sandi got started when they purchased a small, existing wine store in 1999 in Penn Yan, NY. In just a few years they doubled the business and moved the store to a significantly larger space where they existed for another 10 years. Five years ago they purchased a derelict warehouse on Water Street, originally the Lake Keuka Fruit Sales Co. that was built in 1886. After careful renovation and restoration, they moved their store into this unique location.
Built in 1886 on the site of a tannery owned by John Conklin & Sons, our beautiful brick warehouse was conveniently located for import/export via the adjacent railway and steamboats and remained the Lake Keuka Fruit Sales Co. until being sold off to a number of owners in 1928.
The Spencers are currently renovating the ground floor of the warehouse and will be welcoming the Union Block Italian Bistro in the summer of 2019.
Ray & Sandi Spencer, Owners
Ray has worked in the wine industry for the last 45 years after getting bit by the wine bug as a junior at the University of Buffalo where he worked as an intern for Gallo. After graduating from UB with a degree in Business & Marketing, he returned to the Finger Lakes and spent a total of 25 years working for Glenora Wine Cellars, and working in all aspects of the industry from winemaking, to sales and distribution, and now retail.
Sandi’s wine knowledge has evolved and grown through her 20 years of being at the helm of the store. After leaving her full-time position at a medical office, she was thrown into the wine and spirits business when she and Ray decided to buy a store in 1999. In those early years, Ray kept his full-time job at Glenora, and Sandi was the only employee, working open-close, 6 days a week.
The happy couple now run the store together with 4 employees, along with supporting and taking an active part in their local community.
Kyle Knapton, Asst. Manager
Kyle joined Water Street Wines & Spirits in November of 2018 as their new Asst. Manager. A Penn Yan native, Kyle left his first full-time career as an educator and spent the last 6 years engrossed in the local wine industry from winemaking to general management of a boutique Seneca Lake winery.
Kyle holds an Advanced Certificate in Wine from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET-3) in London, England.
Learned in local wines and wines of the world, Kyle continues to grow and expand his knowledge of wines and spirits through travel and education. His love of whisk(e)ys of all kinds is an asset to our spirits customers, and he is an avid homebrewer and craft beer enthusiast.
Kyle is available 5 days a week to answer questions and educate customers, help them pick the best bottles, and assist in pairing ideas!