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Arbor Hill founder, beloved winemaker dies suddenly in accident

John H. Brahm III, co-owner of Arbor Hill Grapery & Winery and legendary Finger Lakes winemaker died suddenly over the weekend.


Ontario County Sheriff Kevin Henderson says emergency crews were dispatched to Hawks Road in South Bristol around 12 p.m. for the report of a man trapped between a vehicle and garage.

First responders arrived on-scene to find Brahm trapped between a minivan and the garage. Brahm was deceased when first responders arrived, according to the Sheriff’s report.

The incident appears to be an accident at this point, according to Sheriff Henderson.

Brahm, 76, founded Arbor Hill Grapery & Winery with his wife Katie in 1987. A Cornell University graduate who had a long career with Widmer Wine Cellars, Mr. Brahm carried on a family tradition of grape-growing and winemaking in the Naples and South Bristol areas along the west side of Canandaigua Lake.

Arbor Hill Grapery & Winery posted the following to Facebook on Sunday:

“John Brahm III, a man who devoted his life to his family, his friends, his community, and his business has left us suddenly. Over his 76 years, John has touched numerous lives and created a legacy that will last for decades to come. He will be missed dearly. Because this was unexpected, we need to ask that you respect the family’s privacy as arrangements are being made. When information about his celebration of life becomes available we will post it. If you feel that you need to reach out, or visit, please contact John French first as they are still grieving. 585-746-7810.”

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.