Browsing CategoryNorth Country

Ice Cider: Learning to Love the Cold

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Slyboro Cider House lies in Washington County, right on the border of Vermont, and about an hour and a half drive straight north of Albany. Working the land of Hick’s Orchard (New York’s oldest “U-Pick” orchard, operating for more than 100 years), owner Dan Wilson and his team began tinkering with hard cider around 2001. Soon after those first early attempts, they met with the Cornell enology department and began getting serious; by better understanding fermentation, they were able to begin discerning the individual characteristics of the apple varieties on their farm. Not long after, during a fateful, summer trip to Quebec,…

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…

New York Wine, Beer, and Spirits Summit: Focus on Marketing, Not Fracking or WIGS

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When two dozen invited wine industry professionals take their seats at the head table at the New York Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit later this month, they’ll have specific goals in mind. So will Governor Andrew Cuomo, and that includes his desire to make sure the summit is not bogged down by two recurring debates: wine in grocery stores, and hydrofracking. Several sources confirm that the summit will be geared toward other issues, leaving the volatile hot buttons for another day. Indeed, Governor Cuomo has repeatedly stated his opposition to wine in grocery stores, and his administration continues to review…

A Real Winery’s Tasting Room is Not a Bar… And Other Advice to Get the Most From a Visit to Wine Country

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This isn’t the first time I’ve written about this topic. 99% of you know everything I’m about to write. And agree. And act this way. But I still feel compelled to write about it. Why? Maybe it’s because pumpkin-picking season is upon us on Long Island and wine country roads are clogged with local agritourists. Maybe it’s all of the bar-masquerading-as-a-tasting-room stuff I’ve been reading. Or maybe it’s that I’m becoming more and more like my father every day in that I simply expect people to act the right way in every situation — including visiting wine country. Most of the time,…

“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…

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…

New York Cork Report Adds Trzaskos, Expands Coverage into Northern New York

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By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor The goal here on the NYCR is to cover every corner of the New York wine, beer and spirits world. While we don’t have someone on the ground in every region — most notably the Hudson River Region and Lake Erie wine country — I think we do a pretty good job accomplishing our goal. I’ll be honest about it too — I hadn’t even considered Northern New York as a true wine region. Not yet, anyway. But after speaking with our new Northern New York Correspondent, Todd Trzaskos, a few times, I’ve gotten an…