PLATTSBURGH — Two local producers were recently honored for their high-quality alcohol products.

Champlain Wine Company, located at 30 City Hall Place, Plattsburgh, won gold and silver medals at the 2016 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.

And Elfs Farm Winery & Ciderhouse earned Best In Show at the 2016 Big E Cider & Perry Competition.


Champlain Wine Company, with a vineyard in Mooers, was honored at the Finger Lakes International, held in Rochester.

The winery's Full Sail White, a blend of cold-hardy grapes, won the gold medal in the white, non-vinifera category.

Its Cabernet Franc won a silver medal in its category.

The business, owned by Colin Read and Natalie Peck, has a retail outlet and tasting room located at 30 City Hall Place, Plattsburgh.

Peck, winemaker and vineyard manager, said this is only the second time they have entered their wines in competition.

"So, I was very pleased when we did so well," she said in a news release.

"This is actually the first production of the Full Sail White from our vineyard, and I'm very happy with how this particular wine turned out.

"It is a blend of our Lacrescent, Prairie Star and St. Pepin grapes, which creates a fruity, slightly sweet and refreshing wine that is a good example of how we can make excellent wines from the cold-hardy grapes in our region."

The Finger Lakes International Wine Competition drew more than 3,800 wine entries from 900-plus wineries in all 50 states and 26 countries.

Wines were evaluated by 73 top international judges, representing masters of wine, master sommeliers, educators, enologists, winemakers, writers, retailers and industry consultants.

Award-winning wines were featured at public events following the competition and at a gala dinner benefiting Camp Good Days and Special Times, a non-profit organization that provides camping and other experiences for adults and children facing challenging times.


Elfs Farm Winery & Ciderhouse, located in Plattsburgh, took top honors at the Big E Cider & Perry Competition in Springfield, Mass., with its ADK Hard Cider Double Tap Maple Cider.

Additionally, ADK Hard Cider’s Double Tap Maple was awarded a gold medal and declared Best Cider in New York State.

The contest included hard ciders produced throughout New England and New York.

Double Tap Maple is produced from 100 percent Champlain Valley apples, with the addition of maple syrup produced in Beekmantown by Uncle Jack's Sugar Shack, owned by Norm Davis.

Elfs Farm was licensed in 2007 and began producing hard ciders under the ADK Hard Cider label and wines under the Elfs Farm label.

Its other ciders include Mac, Strawberry, Rhubarb, Two Heros Bourbon Barrel and several other rotating ciders.

The family-owned business was started by Tom Frey, with his four children getting involved over several years.

Two brothers, Sean and Brian, and their sister, Erin, currently work alongside Tom.

Sean Frey said winning Best of Show was "fantastic," noting that Big E Cider & Perry Competition is one of the biggest cider competitions in New England.

"This basically means the Adirondack Coast produces the best cider in New England."

Big E hosts a fall fair that draws about 1.6 million people.

"They want us down there for 18 days in September to promote and show off our cider," Sean said.

He described Double Tap Maple as having a "silky smooth, honey-crisp taste with a nice hint of maple."

Elfs Farm Winery and Ciderhouse is open every day but Monday for tastings and sales at 7411 State Route 9, Plattsburgh.

Email Lois Clermont:

Twitter: @EditorLois

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Editor Lois Clermont is a Plattsburgh native who has worked at the Press-Republican since 1976 as a reporter, news editor and now editor-in-chief. She has won a number of awards for reporting and editorial writing.

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