Meet the Wohlschlegels

February 13, 2014

How many gallons of sap does it take to make one gallon of maple syrup? Any guesses? 5? 10? Think higher. Much higher. (Keep guessing … we’ll fill you in later!)

naples overlook

We recently made the trek to Wohlschlegel’s Maple Farm nestled atop the rolling hills of Naples, N.Y. We couldn’t get enough of this view! Garry and his wife, Bobbi, set up shop here in October 2009, but the story behind this picturesque view goes way back. When Garry was a young boy he remembers snowmobiling to this very point and dreaming about a future here. Many years later, Garry still dreamed about this view, and in 1999 the Wohlschlegels bought the property. Picture perfect!

Garry and Bruce, the "Popeye of Popeyes in his day"
Garry and Bruce, the “Popeye of Popeyes in his day”

Garry Wohlschlegel has been working with his father Bruce on maple syrup for 30 years. “That’s what maple is all about,” he says. “It’s a family thing.” After many years working at Kodak, Garry started full-time maple production in 2009, and Bruce is still working with him on the same father-son project they began so many years ago. It’s just a lot bigger now!

Garry and Bobbi are regulars at farmers markets in and around Rochester, including the South Wedge Farmers’ Market and Brighton Farmers’ Market. Bobbi works between Kodak and the farmers’ markets, where there’s always a line for their delicious maple syrup and other tasty maple treats.

The Wohlschlegels have 4,100 maple trees tapped over 40 acres. More than 19 miles of line (!) weave an intricate network that transports sap between the trees. It takes five people just two days to tap all those trees! The sap flows downhill 150 feet to the pump house, where it is pumped back up to the sugarhouse.

In short, once the sap reaches the sugarhouse, it fills a 400 gallon storage tank and undergoes reverse osmosis to concentrate the sap and remove 80% of the water. The sap is then sent through an evaporator, resulting in the finished product: pure maple goodness!

Maple syrup production is entirely unpredictable. When the sap starts flowing in mid-February, the work begins. “Once it starts, you can’t, and certainly don’t want to stop it,” says Garry. “Sometimes there’s so much maple coming in that we work from 9 p.m. to 3 in the morning!” At peak times, the Wohlschlegels produce up to 36 gallons of pure maple syrup per hour.

So just how many gallons of sap does it take to produce one gallon of syrup? 50! We couldn’t believe it either! But it’s a labor of love for Garry, Bobbi, and Bruce. “We work hard to produce a good product for people to enjoy up in the city or wherever across the state,” he says. “We take a lot of pride in pushing out good quality product.”

Look for Wohlschlegel’s products on our shelves this spring!

GIVEAWAY ALERT! Who doesn’t love maple syrup?! Leave a comment on the blog for your chance to win a gift bag with Wohlschlegel’s delicious maple syrup, soft molded maple candy, and maple garlic pepper rub. Tell us what you’d put this delicious maple syrup on! We’ll choose one lucky winner at random. Giveaway closes Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 5pm.

Our maple syrup giveaway has now closed, and we’ve notified our lucky winner!
Big thanks to all for your tasty comments!

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  • ONLY real maple syrup for my family and me! In addition to the usual—pancakes, french toast, waffles, and breakfast sausage—I like it over plain Greek yogurt. Actually, I like to mix the yogurt and warmed syrup in a puddle on my plate and dunk each forkful of hot goodness into it on the way to my mouth!

  • Maple garlic pepper rub? Oh my, that sounds DeLISH!!! I have some granulated maple syrup that I’ve used for many recipes and as toppings to waffles, etc. Maple syrup makes a great natural sugar substitute too. So versatile from savory to sweet, and everywhere in between. Thank you for your commitment to all natural food!

  • So lucky to live in one of the country’s largest maple producing states! Buy the stuff wherever I can…. Finger Lakes, ADKS, and my favorite Mason Farms in Warsaw NY! Looking forward to trying Wohlsclegel’s!! I’d pretty much eat it on everything but my favorite is on cornmeal mush with blueberry sauce!

  • my family and i have been maple syrup for ages, and living in syracuse makes it easier to be so close to the wonderful source of the “mapletree squeezins” thanks so much for the message of the special insight into the production in naples, ny. sgd.
    p.s. i had thought that it took 40 gallons of juice to make a gallon of syrup. i am in error.

  • My favorite is on oatmeal. But sometimes if I need a quick sweet treat., I eat a teaspoon of real maple syrup. And this is the best. I usually pick it up at the South wedge farmers market!

  • Love maple syrup on roast chicken, veggies, and of course pancakes. I also use it in a stove-top cast iron apple crisp that is de-lish! I also l love living in a state that cares about real maple syrup and not that corn syrup garbage.

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