“Normally, you’d have to go to the Finger Lakes to see something like this or do something like this,” Young said.
Attracting and pleasing nearby residents is a major business strategy for Vesco Ridge Vineyards co-owner Dan Vesco. He said his company has only recently seen a spike in repeat local customers and has been working to adapt its products based on local suggestions in order to grow its regional reputation.
“We’ve been in business four years and some people go, ‘Oh, there’s a winery in West Chazy?’” Vesco said.
For John Wynnik of Dannemora, events such as the festival and the local wine-trail tours work to expose the market of smaller, homegrown breweries and wineries that he said are otherwise hidden among the larger national retailers.
“Once you do the trail, you know you can just stop, get it from somebody in your community, support a local business rather than going to a liquor store and grabbing something from the Finger Lakes or California,” Wynnik said.
Although he agrees with the need for recognition from locals, festival organizer and Elfs Orchard founder Tom Frey said he encourages distant visitors explore the growing Adirondack Coast cuisine region.
“If you’re a foodie, a winie, and you want to know something new, you should come here, check it out, because in 10 years we’re going to be blowing up,” Frey said.