Major Growth in NY Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries

Published 02/17 2014 08:40AM

Updated 02/17 2014 08:43AM

A closer look this morning at the wineries, distilleries, breweries and cideries that are contributing to the New York economy - now, more than ever.

We took a look at one of the newest in the North Country.

There may not be many grapes on the vines, but things are in full swing at the Vesco Ridge Vineyards.

"I’ve got 1,500 to 1,600 gallons going on right now.” Third generation wine maker Dan Vesco and his wife Nancy bottle their love of wine.

"It went from a basement hobby to having a liquor license on our living room wall," Vesco said.

Their vineyard in West Chazy is just one of many new places to sip syrah in the North Country.

"Everyone has their own niche, so they're complimenting each other," Vesco said.

All across New York the number of wineries, distilleries, breweries and cideries is up 72 percent since 2011. Governor Andrew Cuomo says that's economic growth like no other state in the country. Helping spur this growth is recent legislation to help existing businesses expand into new markets.

"Governor has done a great job of getting people to buy local," Vesco said.

The Vesco Ridge Vineyard expands its product beyond the bottle. The signature “Farm Truck Red” also comes in a jelly. "We put wine in everything, even our customers." Dan said, with a laugh!

While the novelty items are fresh and new -- the wine is traditional. "This is going to be about 13 to 14 percent when it's finished," Vesco added.

Vesco Ridge Vineyards started making about 800 bottles a year. "Favorite part, letting people taste my wine and getting reaction from them, biggest thrill,” he said. Now it's more than 4,000 bottles a year. They're right on Stratton Hill Road in West Chazy.

"We’re building a deck for tasting; there will be music on Saturdays," Vesco said.

The personalized bottles are already in ten stores in Clinton County and they're working to be added to restaurant wine lists. "It’s been a real adventure, very well received," Dan said.

"The tasting room is open Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays but they're open year round by appointment."

The Vesco's are looking ahead to August - when a North Country wine tour starts up, where you can go around and try all of the new spots!


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