Wines by Design

We’re in the business of helping you make wine! Whether you’re just starting out, or if you’re already an experienced vintner, we can help. Stop by for some instruction and help with your first batch or stop by for some supplies. We’ll be here!

Quality, without the cost

Wines By Design has been in business since 2006. While some things have changed, our love of quality wine production hasn’t! Whether you enjoy red or white, dry to sweet, we have something for everyone!

Let the wine making begin.

Welcome to Wines By Design!

We are a full service, on-premises wine making facility and wine-making kit supplier, located in Rochester NY. If you’re interested in making your own wine, come on in and we can help! We have hosted families, small groups, wedding parties and corporate team building events.

Or, if you are already an experienced vintner and are simply looking for supplies, we can help with that too. While our primary focus is wine-kits, check in with us, if we don’t have it in stock, we can probably get it for you!

For more detail on how your time will be spent making your very own wine, please see: our process.

2015 Wine Tasting Results

The 2015 Wine Tasting Results are in!

2015 Wine tasting results

2015 Wine tasting results

But, before we share the results or our Wine Tasting event, just a quick “Thank You”!

To those of you who contributed: Thanks for sharing your wine. They were all delicious!

To those of you who stopped by, tasted, and voted: Thanks for all of your “hard work”!

It was a pleasure to see all of you (and finally meet some of you). It was a fun time for us, we trust that it was for you as well.

Now, let’s get to the 2015 Wine Tasting Results:

We had three categories: Red, White, and Dessert/Fruit Wines. The wine receiving the highest number of votes in each individual category will receive a $50 Wines By Design Gift Certificate.

Additionally, an Overall Winner (the winner with the greatest number of votes) will receive an additional $50 Gift Certificate.

Our 2015 Winners were:

Category Winner Style
Red Cindi Soppe Malbec
White Julie Philippone Difabio Pinot Grigio
Dessert/Fruit Carrie Rissinger Orange Chocolate
Overall winner Cindi Soppe Malbec

Congratulations to ALL of this years winners!

We’re looking forward to next year’s event, so set one bottle of that “special wine” aside for your next chance to win!

Reminder: You can keep up to date with what’s happening at Wines By Design by signing up for our newsletter on our Contact page.

Bottle cleaning

Bottle cleaning

Bottle cleaning

Bottles are a big deal at Wines by Design, we try to get the best bottles for you to put your best wine in. However, reusing your bottles is OK also. Just remember that proper bottle cleaning is very important, otherwise the sanitizer can’t do the job you need it to do. There are just a couple of simple steps to keeping your bottles clean. First, make sure that you rinse them once they are empty. This will flush out the last of the remaining wine. Leaving the bottles with wine residue in them will promote the growth of molds and if you miss that little colony on bottling day then they will ruin your great wine.

Next is storage, you just rinsed out the bottle. Now, let it air dry upside down overnight. This will make sure that residual water and wine will drain out of the bottle and not pool in the bottom. Again, standing water is a hotspot for mold to grow. Last, when you set that bottle aside, why not put it in a case for storage? just make sure you store the bottle upside down to make sure that little spores and dirt stay out of your bottles. Following these suggestions will help the sanitizer do the job it was meant to and it will ensure that you have great wine throughout the batches you make.

Remember that we discourage anyone from using twist top bottles. If you want to, you do so at your own risk. The reason is that the twist top bottles have thinner glass at the neck than cork top bottles. The thinner glass may not be strong enough to withstand the pressure of the cork. The bottle may break as you are corking it or it might happen later in your wine cellar. Either way that is a wasted bottle of wine and someone might get a nasty cut if it happens while you’re corking. That would ruin a good time.

New Store Hours

New Hours

New hours

We’ve been hearing some gentle suggestions from our customers that it would be easier for them if we could tweak the store hours a little bit. We know that everyone’s busy and has a lot on their plates, and we’d like to listen. See below for our new store hours.

We heard that you want your Saturday afternoons back. Effective immediately, we will open Saturday morning an hour earlier (and close an hour earlier) making the Saturday store hours: 9:00a – 2:00p.

As always, check out our web site for up to date store hours and announcements.

Changes at WBD

You may have heard that there are some changes happening at Wines By Design. Well, you’re partly right. After nine years, Jim Hilbert and Michael Ferugia, owners of Wines By Design, have decided to step aside and enjoy the fruits of their labors (as well as the vine). Marty Zess and Dan Hartwig have stepped in to take on the responsibilities Jim and Michael have admirably filled since 2006.

From Michael and Jim:
Jim and I would like to thank all of you for your support and patronage these past 9.5 years. We have met a lot of good people and made some incredible friends over the years and it has been a fun ride and lots of memories that we would not trade for anything. Some of you may know we have considered selling the business and we have found the perfect folks to continue on with what we have started. Dan Hartwig and Marty Zess have taken over the business 12/01/2014.

Jim and I would like to enjoy more of that retirement phase without working two jobs. We will miss each and every one of you and the fond memories made over the years.

If anyone has a gift card, purchased prior to 12/01/2014, please redeem it within the next six months so Jim and I can make good on it. We’ve set aside an escrow account to insure all our past customers can redeem gift cards. After that point any old gift cards will be null and void.

I wish you all the best and look forward to seeing you around town.

“The Wine Guys” (Michael Ferugia & Jim Hilbert)

From Dan and Marty:
You’ve heard the old adage “You don’t fix what’s not broke”? Well, so have we.

Jim and Michael have done a fantastic job with Wines By Design. We’re hoping to continue that tradition. We both started out as customers of Wines By Design ourselves and when we heard that they were looking to move on, we didn’t want the fun to stop. We’re privileged to continue the “WBD experience”.

You’ll see the same faces that you are already used to: Matt, James, Joe and Christina are all still here to help you put up another batch of wine. We’re planning on some small changes (like the new web site) down the road, but mostly, it’s business as usual!

We look forward to meeting new friends, working together with you to put up (y)our favorite wine(s), and celebrating the fact that: The more things change, the more they stay the same!


1424 Buffalo Road
Rochester, NY 14624
Contact Us:
Business Hours:
Tue – Fri: 3:30p – 7:30p
Sat: 9:00a – 2:00p
Sun & Mon: CLOSED


Continuing Education

Looking for something to do? Got four nights free? How about joining one of classes, we’ll show you how to make your very own delicious wine!


Why not share your special day with all your guests? Let them take home part of your special day, a bottle of your very own wedding vintage.

A Night at Home

What’s better than a night by the fire, some artisan cheese and a bottle of terrific wine you’ve made yourself?
We heard many great things about you, so we decided to check you out for ourselves.

(BTW: They were right!) DH

We cannot say enough good things about Wines By Design. The quality of the wine is better than most bottles of wine you can buy at the store, plus you get to tell your friends and family you made it on your own! Krista Hudson