February 11, 2013

Elf's Winery tough as hardy grapevines



It is their hope that the upgrades will allow Elf’s to produce cider all year long, allowing their Adirondack Cider to become a “big thing” across the country.


”And all the equipment is second-hand,” Kevin said.

Besides the savings, it also plays into their philosophy of re-purposing, which includes incorporating as much of the old place as possible.

The original production facility, which now serves as the wine-tasting room, has been outfitted with a door salvaged from the burned building. 

The front vestibule is built from planks acquired from an old barn on the Rovers Farm in Chazy. Apple crates stacked along the front wall display the new beer-making and winemaking kits they have for sale, and the current bar was fabricated from whiskey barrels that were used to ferment Elf’s hard cider.


One irreplaceable piece of history lost to the fire was the wood paneling that guests scrawled signatures and messages into with a corkscrew — about 1,000 in all — in more than six languages. Kevin said some of the signatures even had unique stories tied to them.

”A Cuban couple escaped Cuba and joined Cirque de Soleil. And while they were performing in Montreal, (they) took a day trip down here and signed the wall.”

It’s Kevin’s hope that they can track down some of those who autographed the paneling “and have them re-graffiti-ize the wall.”


As their future plans, Elf’s is awaiting finalization of a $20,000 grant awarded by the Town of Plattsburgh to help the business expand. 

The vintners hope to begin planting Marquette and Cayuga white grapes on an 11-acre parcel beginning in the spring, adding to their selection of Frontenac and Geneva Red vines, all of which thrive in the North Country’s cold climate.

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