Local winemakers are hosting an end-of-season holiday wine tour Dec. 15.
The first-ever event will feature five wineries and one cidery in the Plattsburgh area.
Amazing Grace Vineyard and Winery in Chazy, Hid-In-Pines Vineyard in Morrisonville, Vesco Ridge Vineyards in West Chazy, and the Champlain Wine Company, Everett Orchards and Elf’s Farm, Winery and Cidermill, all in Plattsburgh, are participating in the tour.
Debbie Everett, one of the owners of Everett Orchards, said the tasting tour will offer shoppers an opportunity to buy something local this holiday season.
“A lot of people don’t know people are making wine and hard cider in the area,” Everett said. “This is to educate them about that and give them a chance to taste it, and if they like it they can buy it.”
Everett said she would like everyone to enjoy the tour and be safe, so Everett Orchards will be giving away coffee and donuts to designated drivers.
Everett Orchards is the only stop on the tour that exclusively sells hard cider, but it isn’t the only one to offer that kind of alcoholic beverage.
Elf’s Farm Winery and Cider Mill will also have hard cider tasting, in addition to their red and white wines.
Tom Frey, owner of Elf’s, has been in the winemaking business for six years, and said his hard cider is special because it’s aged in oak whiskey barrels, which helps it take on a bourbon flavor.
“This hard cider is more like how it was made 200 years ago,” Frey said.
Also on hand will be Adirondack Nouveau, a red wine released after this year’s harvest of Frey’s cold climate Marquette grapes.
Elf’s winery was destroyed by a fire on July 30, 2011, and has been slowly recovering ever since.
For Frey, the holiday wine tasting tour is like a prelude to Elf’s grand opening, which he hopes will take place in May 2013.
“We want people to know we’re here, and that they can buy locally grown products from us,” Frey said.
Richard Lamoy, owner of Hid-In-Pines Vineyard, has been making wine for 10 years, and is wrapping up his third season of selling the product.
He will offer 10 varieties of wine — five white and five red — ranging from sweet to dry.
“We make 100 percent of our wine from locally grown, cold climate grapes,” Lamoy said. “The cold climate hybrids were specifically bred to withstand the colder weather of our region.”
But the event isn’t just about the grapes, or even the individual wineries that are participating.
“We are all trying to work together to promote the region,” Lamoy said. “It gives people something to go to — it’s a destination event for people to do for a day.”
Tickets for the holiday wine tour cost $10 and can be purchased from any one of the businesses on the tour either before or during the event, which runs from noon - 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15.
Each business will hand out a special wine glass charm to commemorate the event.
Every charm will be unique to the vendor handing it out, and can be placed around the stem of a wine glass.