Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Thousand Islands-Seaway Wine Trail Opens!

The Thousand Islands-Seaway Wine Trail will have its grand opening on Thursday, May 24, officially inaugurating New York ’s newest wine trail in an area most people never before associated with grapes and wine. Thanks largely to the leadership of Steve Conaway of Thousand Islands Winery in Alexandria Bay , with legislative support from Senator James Wright and Assemblyman Darrell Aubertine in getting wine trail legislation, the trail is now a reality.

Yellow Barn Winery in Watertown and Otter Creek Winery in Philadephia ( New York , that is, where Philadelphia Cream Cheese is made) are the other current wineries, with more in the offing, along with Seaway Cold Hardy Grape Nursery. To their credit, these “north country” wineries are focusing on unique grape varieties, known as “ Minnesota varieties” for where they were created, that can withstand extremely cold temperatures and still produce reliable crops of good grapes that make fine wines.

Near the fabulous Thousand Islands vacationland in the St. Lawrence Seaway , these wineries should see plenty of tourists in the next several months. North Country is also a great area for many other premium agricultural products like McCadam Cheese (voted America ’s Best Cheese in a recent national competition held in Wisconsin !) and Mercer’s Dairy ice cream with its unique line of luscious wine ice creams.