While I’ve been wine tasting at several wine regions around the world, I had no idea one existed only a few hours north of where I live. The Adirondack Coast Wine Trail stretches sixty-six miles near the western shores of Lake Champlain and includes six wineries and cideries.
In the last ten years, grape growing and wine production in the area has blossomed, and on our first afternoon, we were lucky enough to sample some of them. We only visited three of the wineries, but they had me craving an opportunity to go back and discover all the area has to offer.
Family owned and established in 2008, it’s clear that owners Gilles and Mary Fortin, not only have a love of wine, but also of their grandchildren, who many of the wines are named after. Here, the white wines were the winner in my eyes, and I enjoyed each one of them. But, I also had a sweet spot for the dessert wines, especially Mia’s Maple Melody, which was unlike anything I’ve ever had before. Also unique and surprising was the homemade wine ice cream, which was everything I could have dreamed of and more. It didn’t taste like wine, but it had just the right amount of sweetness to satisfying my sweet tooth; I could have had the whole pint.
The location of Amazing Grace is also beautiful and welcoming. The vineyard is often used for weddings and baby showers, and it is also involved in a summer concert series. They are even having a murder mystery dinner at the end of the month. I would have loved to have participated in some of those events, but it gives me an excuse to make my way back to the vineyard one summer.
Even though it started to downpour outside during our wine tasting, we were initially greeted with blue skies and sun, which allowed us to see the beauty of Vesco Ridge Vineyards. The large deck outside seems to be the ideal spot to enjoy a day of drinking wine, and there are activities like wine and yoga and painting with wine nights throughout the summer.
Not only was owner, Dan Vesco, fun to be around, but all the wines here were fantastic. Honestly, it is hard to pick a favorite, but I did find myself enjoying the reds this time. If I had to pick, my favorite would have to be the Poppy (Foch), which we enjoyed with a piece of chocolate. I also enjoyed the dessert wine, Sweet Melody, which had hints of raspberry. However, the biggest surprises here were the wine jellies and chocolate sauce, which I found myself having big spoonfuls of. They were so delicious, I bought myself a bottle of the chocolate sauce to take home. I’d love to stop by one warm summer night and experience it again, especially knowing how much I enjoyed their wines.
Entering ELFs felt a bit different than the other two wineries, but I just loved the typical Adirondack vibe that it gave off, and we had a blast with the The Frey family, who own and run the vineyard. Here, we tasted wine to start with, but what I was really looking forward to was the cider. Cider isn’t usually my beverage of choice, as I find it too sweet for my liking. Still, I’ve been searching for a cider that my tastebuds can appreciate, and I found it here. Even the ciders with strawberry and maple weren’t too sweet, but instead crisp and refreshing.
Unfortunately, they don’t sell outside of the Adirondack region, but it just gives me an excuse to get myself back up for a visit. We even took a few to go, so we’d have some to enjoy on the road, although looking back, I definitely wish I bought some to bring home. Another reason to go back includes Friday Night Wine Down, where you can swing by for live music, as well as cider, wine, and local beer.
Throughout the year, there are many events along the trail, including a 5k in May, holiday open houses in December, and art exhibitions throughout the year. I’d love to get back up to the area again soon and experience them all, as well as the other wineries and cideries we missed on this trip. If they are anything like the places we visited, I know I’ll be in for a treat.
A special thank you to the team at ROOST for having me on the #EatPlayLoveNY trip throughout Northern New York. As always, all opinions are my own.