When David Whiting graduated from New York State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, there weren’t a lot of job opportunities in the Finger Lakes region where he was born and raised, so he packed up everything he owned in his 1971 Volkswagon Bus and headed West. David ended up in the Russian River Valley where he spent the days visiting wineries and very quickly fell in love with wine and the wine business. About the same time, David started reading about the potential of vinifera grapes back home in the Finger Lakes and soon was turning his bus around and headed back home armed with his now quite valuable Biology degree. David immediately landed a job at McGregor Vineyards over on Keuka Lake, where he worked as a cellar assistant while going through the great enology and viticulture program at Cornell University. It was at Cornell University where he met his future wife Debra. The couple’s longtime dream became a reality in 1998 with the opening of Red Newt Cellars and Bistro in the bucolic village of Hector on the East side of Seneca Lake. They had a dream of combining world class cuisine based on locally farmed ingredients with world class wines from the finest vineyards in the Finger Lakes. Tragedy also hit the winery in 2011 with the death of Debra Whiting in a car accident that literally shook the region to its core. A devastated David Whiting buried himself in his work after that, and working day and night to finish the vision that he and Debra had, has taken the Red Newt Cellars onto another level in the region and is without a doubt today. Winemaker is Kelby Russell.