New York state's newest official wine region is right here in the North Country. The Adirondack Coast is home to more than half a dozen wineries and that number is growing. They're all being showcased this weekend.
Forget Napa, the Adirondack Coast is becoming its own wine country.
This is Dan Vesco's fifth season growing grapes in West Chazy, New York. Vesco Ridge Vineyards sold 5,200 bottles of wine last year.
“I like the complexity of it,” explained Vesco. “I just like the different tastes that are available in the different varietals. I love making it because it's just a creative process and the end result is pretty cool."
Sean Frey thinks it's cool too. His family runs Elfs Farm in Plattsburgh down Route 9 from Dan Vesco's vineyard. They have 5,000 vines.
But 3 years ago, a fire wiped them all out.
“Completely burned down,” said Sean Frey. “Took us about 2.5 years to rebuild and get back open. The original building: that was a tasting room."
As he rebuilds, he's noticed a trend in Clinton County.
“It's fantastic,” said Frey. “It's growing rapidly, we have new members in our association. Just the wineries that we have right now, the wineries and the hard cideries, is already boosting tourism."
Right now, there are 7 wineries in the Adirondack Coast area but rumor has it, more are trying to get in on the action.
We have people asking about land, asking about what grapes grow well in this area,” said Vesco.
To promote the growing industry, Sean Frey and Dan Vesco are both taking part in this weekend's Adirondack Coast Summer Wine Tour. A $15 passport will get you tastings at all the wineries on the wine trail.
“You really put a lot of yourself into it and see the enjoyment that other people get out of it, it's definitely worth it,” said Frey.
The wine tour is both Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6pm.
And designated drivers participate in a free raffle!
The wine industry isn't only growing in New York. There are 21 winery members in the state's Grape & Wine Council.
Representatives say interest in the Green Mountain state is also going up.