Press-Republican

Columns

April 22, 2013

Local Beer & Wine

When you are planning your local menu, don’t overlook the liquids.

The North Country has some local beverages of the fermented variety to offer: wine, beer, hard cider, vodka and gin are all being produced. For the kids at the locavore table, stick with sweet cider, or perhaps you could juice some freshly picked fruits and vegetables. But the adults may want to experiment (responsibly, please!) with some of the region’s “stronger” drinks.

The Champlain Valley has the right microclimate to support certain wine grapes. The Cornell Willsboro Research Farm is in its eighth year of running cold-season wine-grape variety trials to help determine which types would work best for our region’s producers. They have been cultivating and tracking varieties from across the United States, and they pass the trial results on to our regional vineyards and wineries.

Some of our Adirondack producers are growing their own grapes and producing wine from those fruits, while others are purchasing grapes from outside the region to make their wines.

Consumers may expect the flavor of their favorite California or French wine, but here’s where you can embrace the “terroir” or local flavor that comes from grapes grown in the Champlain Valley.

In the rain shadow of the Adirondacks, there tends to be good sunshine and few violent storms. Less rain and good aeration from the lake breezes means healthier vines with fewer disease problems. Everything about our region, including the soils, combines to give wine its particular unique flavor. Most wineries use blends of different grapes for flavors that enhance and support each other.

Personally, I’d like to belong to a community-supported agriculture group for wine. The community-supported agriculture model can apply to wine, beer or any agricultural product. A full payment to the vintner at the beginning of the season would result in weekly or monthly shares for the consumer, which translates to a new wine variety at each distribution. A few years back, we had a wine community-supported agriculture group just starting up in Wadhams when a flood carried the poor fermenting carboys down the Boquet River. But take heart, I’m told there’s a new local brewery that might be offering beer shares in the near future.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg World in palm of our hands

    A newsroom workshop made writer Susan Tobias realize how far technology has come since she started working at the Press-Republican.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mulholland_Jonathan.jpg Running tips to get you in top form

    Different limb lengths, tighter muscles, stiffer joints, prior injuries all play role in determining your running style, Jonathan Mulholland writes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • clute_cropped.jpg When children are put at risk

    Adults who deal drugs, commit domestic violence and other crimes with kids present are guilty of yet another crime, writes columnist Penny Clute.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walace_Jolene 7-12_cropped.jpg Let these tips on planting trees take root

    You may think that digging a hole and plopping the tree in will suffice, and it will if you only want the tree to live a short time, columnist Jolene Wallace writes.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • amy_ivy.jpg Is it time to plant? Not yet

    All we can do is wait and see how things get through, columnist Amy Ivy writes.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time