Posts Written ByTodd Trzaskos

Farewell to The Little Sweet One

Mitchell as a puppy

The last drops quivered, and resisted their fall, from the bottle’s lip towards the glass. I heard the words in my head again:   “This, too, shall pass.”  This ancient axiom has shadowed my consciousness for longer than I can recall, and in that moment, I was bathed in its radiant — if painful — veracity.  It is not every day that I feel compelled to pull a special bottle from the cellar, and for the first time, it was a choice that I wished I did not have to make. We have a very modestly sized wine cellar, constructed…

Adirondack Coast Wine, Cider & Food Festival: Making the Most of the Adirondack Coast

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Columbus Day weekend welcomed the first incarnation of the Adirondack Coast Wine, Cider & Food Festival to The Crete Civic Center in Plattsburg, NY.  A small but well designed showing by local vendors of fermented beverages, foods, and handmade crafts was met by a much larger and very enthusiastic North Country crowd of the curious. Foul weather helped to drive folks inside for the event, after a growing season that was drier and warmer than most on record. Apples suffered in some places due to late spring frosts, but for grapes that survived the nip, it was an incredibly good  ripening…

“My” Vineyard on the Adirondack Coast

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The Cornell Cooperative Extension cold-hardy cultivar trial vineyard in Willsboro, NY, on the western shore of Lake Champlain, sits in a place of true natural beauty, and is home to a number of grape varieties that have been bred for disease resistance, and tolerance of extreme cold to points well below -25F.  Willsboro is also my own home stomping ground, which is where reporting on this place becomes admittedly a bit challenging.  Objectivity is obscured by my associations with the place, which are as long and deep as the lake itself. I was dipped in Willsboro Bay for the first time…

The Grapes of North Country: La Crescent

Now that the New York Cork Report has expanded to cover New York’s North Country wine region, it makes sense to take a look at the important and most-planted grapes. Over the next few months, we’ll look at some of the more promising grapes, starting with La Crescent. La Crescent is an inter-specific hybrid bred by Peter Hemstad and James Luby at the Minnesota Horticultural Research Center, and is one of four very promising varieties patented and released by that project in the last 15 years.  The new vine has been available since 2002, but the story of its development…

Cornell Asks the Industry to Name That Grape

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Usually the way the game goes, someone gives us a hint, say Barolo, and we have to guess the name of the grape (Nebbiolo) to win the prize or score some points.  Yesterday, I received a couple of interesting emails from a list put out by Cornell Enology Extension Associate Chris Gerling that were more than mere fun and games. Chris is a sharp guy and quite a joker, yet someone who I take very seriously in matters of cold-hardy viticulture and wine geek info.  In this case, he passed on word about a bit of sport where we know what…

North Country Viticulture Education

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Two educational events of interest to North Country viticulturists and winemakers, are being held this week, and come shortly after a series of dormant pruning workshops held in the Lake Champlain Region. A day-long vineyard and winery planning workshop will be held on Wednesday May 4 in Herkimer County. On Tuesday May 8, the next installment of the Northern Grapes Project webinar series will be accessible to anyone who registers. Details for both events can be found below. Over the past couple of weekends, volunteer pruning and informal training was completed at the Cornell Baker Farm Trial Vineyard in Willsboro,…

Cornell to Fill North Country Trial Vineyard Tech Position

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Just in from the Cornell Cooperative Extension Northeast NY Commercial Fruit program, is announcement of an open position at the cold hardy hybrid wine grape trial vineyard in Willsboro, NY.  I’m well acquainted with the vineyard, having volunteered there for a few years, and I’m deeply connected to the area, due to family ties, and a lifetime of summers in the town.  Were I in a different place in my life now, or if this was 15 years ago, I would not even be sharing this information. Rather I would be doing everything I could to assume the position myself,…

An Introduction to Wine in New York’s North Country

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New York State, like most fine wine regions in the northern hemisphere, lies between the hallowed latitudes of 30 and 50 degrees, where macroclimates that are potentially conducive to the cultivation of wine grapes exist. Though local topological and meteorological factors have traditionally limited the places where fine wine is grown in New York, those boundaries are pushed and re-written by a new revolution in the vineyard. Most consumers of wine made in New York, are familiar with the Finger Lakes, Long Island and the Hudson River Valley areas. Those more in tune with the industry may also know about…