PLATTSBURGH — Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sonoma County. If Colin Read has his way, the Adirondack Coast could soon be added to that list.
Read is co-owner of The Champlain Wine Company, one of the vendors at the second-annual Adirondack Coast Wine, Cider and Food Festival held at the Crete Memorial Civic Center on Saturday.
The festival featured 20 local businesses ranging from brewers and vineyards to bakeries and arts and crafts artisans. More than 900 visitors attended the event to sample and purchase the products on display.
Along with the cuisine booths, the event featured live music and the Race to Taste cooking competition between culinary students from local universities. Schenectady County Community College took first place in that competition.
For Read, the festival was a day of celebration after the approval Friday of the Adirondack Coast Wine Trail by New York state officials. In 2010, Read approached the office of Sen. Betty Little with a proposal to push for the establishment of an official wine trail for the Adirondack region. Gaining support from Assemblywoman Janet Duprey, the idea saw repeated rejection by the New York Legislature.
“It’s been a long three years of lobbying and letter writing, so it’s very satisfying to finally see it completed,” Read said.
Read said the next step is gaining approval to declare the Adirondack Coast an American Viticultural Area. That designation would provide further recognition of the unique wines that the region and its cold climate grapes produce.
Yet despite the growing state and national attention, there was a sense from both vendors and visitors at the event that many residents of the Adirondack Coast are still discovering the network of wineries and vineyards in their neighborhoods.
For Morrisonville resident Jon Young, discovering the Adirondack wine scene allowed him to enjoy a culinary experience that would have otherwise involved some expensive traveling.