In May, we moved off the Commons and down to the West End. We’re excited for so many reasons, but nothing beats our new neighbors. Meet Frédéric, owner and proprietor of Ports of New York.
Describe Ports of New York.
FB: My business is to make fortified wines. I make a white and a red. They are light in body and very good to consume with foods and desserts.
In adjectives, describe what you do.
FB: The white is elegant, fragrant. The red is velvety, bold, and sophisticated.
Why Ithaca? Why the West End?
FB: My wife teaches here. She got a job at Cornell and we moved in 24 hours, and we’ve never moved since! That’s almost 20 years ago. I had to look in the city for industrial zoning because I store a lot of high-proof spirits, so I looked for the industrial zoning areas. One of them is right here and I really liked it!
Who is your favorite type of customer?
FB: Mostly what happens here is that there are people who did a little research before they come here. This is generally the case because I’m not on the main road so they know, more or less, what they’re going to find. But typically they are always much more surprised then they thought they would be. They are people who have had experiences with wines so they can really appreciate it in different ways. They come with education and fantastic questions… some surprising challenging questions.
What are your visitors generally surprised about?
FB: The contrast between the outside and the inside of the building. But there is a similarity in a sense… and how neat it is. ::laughs:: I’m very much into detail!
Words of wisdom?
FB: Relating to wine? Patience, and that’s something that applies to life.
My father in law told us when my wife and i got married, he said make sure you talked to each other. and talk. and talk and talk. This was the words of wisdom I thought would stay with me.