Naylor Wine Cellars was officially founded 41 years ago, in 1978, by Richard and Audrey Naylor. Winemaking started as a hobby of Mr. Naylor’s in the late 60’s. His interest in winemaking progressed and Richard and Audrey traveled all over the world visiting wineries and talking to the winemakers about their methods, and how to start their own winery in Pennsylvania. This wine knowledge has helped them throughout the decades as they built their Pennsylvania winery.
Over his long career in the wine industry, Mr. Naylor has been the Director of Wine America and President of the Pennsylvania Wine Association. He was an advocate for the Chambourcin grape being cultivated in the United States which is a major contribution to wine in America. He was recently recognized for his pioneering achievements by the American Wine Society. In November of 2013, they presented them with their highest honor, the Award of Merit, joining a long list of wine superstars, including Robert Mondavi and Konstantin Frank.
Naylor Wine Cellars has been perfecting its wine selection for over four decades so you can be assured of quality and delicious taste. Naylor wines are made in the vineyard. Come visit us and see where our estate wines are lovingly produced and bottled using traditions that date back to the 1800's.
Lindsay C VanAsdalan, York Dispatch
Published 9:46 p.m. ET Aug. 25, 2019
Updated 2:48 p.m. ET Aug. 26, 2019
Naylor Wine Cellars is the oldest winery in the York region, and since its opening in the late 1970s, owner Richard "Dick" Naylor could be seen there every day, sitting in the tasting room and waiting to greet everyone.
"Naylor was the pioneer," said Susan Ewing, owner of Balla Cloiche Vineyards, in North Hopewell Township. It wasn't until 1968 that wineries as they are today could even exist in the state, said Carl Helrich, winemaker and owner of Allegro Wine Cellars — which opened in 1980, about eight air miles from Naylor.
After 40 years, it was the end of an era in York County as Naylor's winery, at 4069 Vineyard Road in Hopewell Township, provided its last bottles of wine on Saturday, Aug. 24.
ollowing Naylor's death in December at age 90, his family continued operations until Helrich purchased the winery building and vineyard. Naylor's winery will add 7,000 square feet to Allegro's production space.
It will allow Helrich to double or triple the amount of wine he makes now — which has been in high demand with a changing market, he said. He hopes to open in a few weeks.
"We’ve been neighbors for 40 years; I’ve known them for 17 years," he said of the family. "It’s a perfect partnership with this transition." One reason he decided to utilize the same space was to keep the memory and tradition of Naylor alive, Helrich said.
Naylor didn't begin winemaking until his 50s, said his granddaughter, Amanda Brimfield. He was an established salesman who kept getting compliments and winning amateur contests for the wine he made in his basement, she said.
Before he opened his vineyard, he flew Chambourcin grapes from France into Canada to bypass a quarantine at the time, Brimfield said, adding, "He saw something he wanted, and he went for it."
Many who knew him spoke about his larger-than-life character, including tales of Naylor sitting at his special table under the pavilion during music nights and talking to attendees.
"He drank Traminette," said John Stewart, of Glen Rock. "If you went over and you had a glass, he would ask you what you were drinking, and say, 'That goes really well with Traminette,' and pour it in your glass."
"He treated everybody the same — whether he knew them or not," Brimfield said. "People would just come visit the winery to talk to him."
Ewing, his closest neighbor in the wine scene after opening a tasting room last year, said there's a real sense of camaraderie among the York County wineries.
Each has its own niche, so they would often refer customers to each other, borrow needed items or share skills. Naylor's grandson, Dan Potter, "taught us how to prune," she said.
It's fitting that the last day at the winery had a final Summer Sounds — the big band music series — which was a well-remembered tradition of Naylor's.
"Dick's one of those rare guys who actually got to live out his dreams," said Tom McLaughlin, musical director of Unforgettable Big Band, from York County — a longtime performer at the event.
For at least 20 years, Naylor got to see his favorite style of music played at the summer series — which saw between 300 and 800 people at each event, McLaughlin said.
Gene Gruver, a former principal at Eastern York School District and a big fan of the Unforgettable band, was there Saturday celebrating his 90th birthday and called it "a great place to be — very sociable."
"To think not to have this around, it's going to be a void," said John Manley, Gruver's longtime friend and former principal for Eastern and Littlestown high schools.
Ron Trayer noted that Naylor always sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the start of each night — and the band gave a tribute to him that evening with "God Bless America."
As the winery is ushered into a new era, the Naylor name will not die. His family will continue distributing Naylor wine and sell it at Queensgate Town Center and the Markets at Shrewsbury, furthering his original business of selling wine carriers and shipping boxes all over the country.
"I just feel really fortunate that I was a part of it for a little bit," Brimfield said.
York - Richard "Dick" Harvey Naylor entered into eternal rest on December 10, 2018 at 90 years young.
Dick was born on June 8, 1928 in York, Pennsylvania. Shortly after graduating from Glen Burnie High School, he met the love of his life, Audrey. They were married on June 2, 1951. In 1969, Dick and Audrey purchased a potato farm in Stewartstown and starting making plans for a vineyard. Together, they traveled the world visiting wineries and talking to winemakers about how they operate and which grapes to plant. They started planting grapes in 1975 and officially opened Naylor Wine Cellars in 1978.
Mr. Naylor has been recognized as a pioneer in the wine industry. He was influential in bringing the Chambourcin grape to America, Director of Wine America, President of the Pennsylvania Wine Association, President of the American Wine Society First Capital Chapter, member of the Society of Wine Educators, member of the South Eastern Grape Growers of Pennsylvania, and he also taught classes at Penn State about winemaking for 10 years.
In 2013, the American Wine Society presented him with the Award of Merit, their highest honor for a lifetime of achievements in the wine industry. He was also instrumental in helping other vineyards get started and was always willing to help in any way he could. He was an open book of information and spread his knowledge generously. He believed the wine industry was a community, not a competition.
With his packaging background, he founded Wine Packaging by Naylor and created and patented the Ultimate Wine Cradle™. He was a champion for big bands, his favorite genre of music, and kept it alive at his Summer Sounds concerts. He was the smiling face that greeted you as you walked into the winery tasting room and could be found serenading customers with "Danny Boy" and "Moon River".
YORK Audrey M. Naylor, 80, entered into eternal rest Monday, May 6, 2013, at York Hospital after a lengthy illness. She was born June 1, 1932, on a farm in Somerset County.
After graduating from Somerset High School, came to York to study and graduate from Thompson Business College. During her college years she worked at the Capitol Theater in York selling movie tickets, and met Richard who lived across the street with his Aunt and Uncle. They married on June 2, 1951, waited one day after her 18th birthday, as her mother insisted she not marry until she was 18. They would have celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary on June 2nd this year.
After marriage, Audrey was employed as a secretary at the Engineering office of Dentsply for many years, then executive secretary at Cor Box, Inc., and then in 1978 she, along with her husband, founded Naylor Wine Cellars, where she served as Vice President and Corporate Secretary up until the time of her death.
She was a member of the First Capital Chapter of the American Wine Society. Audrey, Rich, and family are members of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in York. She was a member of a monthly ladies' card club for over 40 years, enjoyed family vacations to Chincoteague, Va., traveling, and visiting wineries worldwide.
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