PLATTSBURGH — Two new initiatives could draw attention to local vineyards and promote the future of winemaking in the North Country.
The official designation of the Adirondack Coast Wine Trail by the State Legislature and the establishment of an American Viticultural Area (AVA) on the federal level would each have important effects, said local vintner Colin Read.
“We’re hoping to get (the trail) through this year.”
Read is the owner of the Champlain Wine Company, with his wife, Natalie Peck; he is also the chair of Finance and Economics at SUNY Plattsburgh. He sees the Finger Lakes’ wine country as a model for the North Country.
State Sen. Betty Little (D-Queensbury) and Assemblywoman Janet Duprey (R-Plattsburgh) support to legislation, he said.
Official passage of the bill would lead to signage and advertising.
Another local vintner, Dan Vesco of Vesco Ridge Vineyards in the Town of Chazy of Ingraham, also expressed excitement about the possibility of official Wine Trail designation.
“We’re all anxious to get the thing going so we can entice more people to come to the area.”
He also noted that the Wine Trail would “give credibility to the vineyards here.”
Last summer, some chartered buses from Albany brought tourists to visit the local vineyards, Vesco recalled.
He appreciates the help of the North Country Chamber of Commerce in getting the word out and believes the Wine Trail would be a further boon.
“We’ve invested in the future.”
Confident that winemaking has a bright future in the North Country, Vesco and his wife, Nancy, have expanded their tasting room. And their wine-processing area, which they first established in the basement of their home then moved to their garage, now has its own building set on a hill beside the vineyard.
Time has also helped the Vescos.