DAN HEATH Press-Republican
PLATTSBURGH — The Adirondack Coast Wine Trail has been approved by the State Legislature.
The trail extends from Mooers to Morrisonville, with stops at six wineries and one cider maker.
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Philip Favreau, owner of Stonehouse Vineyard in Mooers, said that while it took several attempts to get approval for the trail, the outcome makes it worth the wait.
“We’re very happy to see this has happened,” he said.
The recognition will allow the vineyards to request signage from the State Department of Transportation along local highways.
The signs are paid for by the vineyards.
Favreau said that will help more wine enthusiasts see where local vintners are located.
“We have many times sold to people that didn’t realize we were here,” he said.
Colin Read, co-owner of Champlain Wine Company in Plattsburgh and North Star Vineyard in Mooers, also noted that it took three legislative sessions to get the bills passed.
The first year, neither chamber approved the legislation. Last year, the Senate OK’d it, but the Assembly did not.
He said the Finger Lakes is a prime example of the benefits of wine-trail recognition and branding.
The locals decided on the Adirondack Coast Wine Trail name to take advantage of the recognition of the Adirondack Coast brand created by the North Country Chamber of Commerce.
“It gives our wineries a lot more visibility,” Read said.
The other members of the trail are Vesco Ridge Vineyard in the Chazy hamlet of Ingraham, Amazing Grace Vineyard and Winery in Chazy, Hid-In-Pines Vineyard in Morrisonville, Elf’s Farm Winery and Cider Mill in Plattsburgh and Everett Orchard Cidery in Peru.
Wine trails support an already booming wine and grape industry in the state that draws nearly 5 million visitors a year, according to the New York State Wine and Grape Foundation.
“The cross promotion and branding of a wine trail as a destination is critical to give our state’s smaller farm and commercial wineries the chance to work together to capture new customers,” the foundation said in a release. “Also, the additional visitors provide a spin-off boost to the rural economies as well.”
Read said the New York Farm Bureau, North Country Chamber of Commerce, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office, State Sen. Betty Little and Assemblywoman Janet Duprey provided a lot of support for the measure.
New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton said they have seen award-winning vineyards and farm-based wineries become a strong and important part of the agricultural community in New York.
“We are pleased the Legislature acknowledges this with their support. The legislation is not only a win for both new and existing wineries but also other farms and small businesses who will undoubtedly capitalize on the increased tourism to their communities,” he said in a press release.
“Gov. Cuomo has shown solid leadership on this effort to direct the New York Department of Transportation to work with the wine trails to establish appropriate routes.”
Little, who sponsored the Senate version of the bill, said when you have something great, you want the world to know about it, and that’s the point of the Adirondack Coast Wine Trail.
“It’s a way to promote our wonderful local wineries,” she said. “With so many tourists passing through our region, it makes sense to create an engaging and easy way to showcase the vineyards and the locally produced wines that will please the palate and give visitors a very good reason to return to the North Country.”
Duprey said she is pleased to have sponsored the legislation in the Assembly.
“This is the first international wine trail that will connect with Canadian trails and serve as a great tourist attraction,” she said.
“The Chamber of Commerce, Farm Bureau and local wineries were active partners in this process to formalize the trail and bring attention to the growing wine industry in our region.”
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