PLATTSBURGH - The Champlain Valley Winter Wine Festival will soon be here and it's an event its organizers are getting very excited about.
Katie Beth Garenani, director of the development for the Champlain Valley Transportation Museum, and Bruce Carlin, media producer and partner with Media Central, have been working for several weeks to put together the inaugural event, which will feature wine tastings, dinners and silent auctions.
The idea for the festival, said Garenani, came about when the transportation museum board was looking for a way to promote the museum and raise funding for its programs and the development of a building for its Kid's Station.
"We were brainstorming about an idea that would bring the community together and we wanted to have an event that would bring the museum's existence to the attention of people who might not already know about it," said Garenani.
Though Garenani said there's no direct correlation between transportation and winemaking, it made sense for the museum to hitch its wagon to what has become an increasingly popular industry locally.
"Some people really enjoy wine so we thought what a great community event," said Garenani. "We don't have anything like this in the area, especially during the winter. People love wine tastings."
Carlin said he's been extremely pleased with the number of local businesses and individuals who have gotten on board with the idea, making donations toward the festival or helping in other ways.
"We've gotten great support from people giving items for the silent auction as well as the restaurants in the area that will be holding the dinners," he said. "We've especially had a lot of support from a variety of businesses."
The main draw to the three-day festival - which will be held in downtown Plattsburgh Feb. 26-28 - will be wine tastings and silent auctions offered Saturday, Feb. 27, at City Hall. The tasting will feature selections from Elfs Farm Winery in Plattsburgh, Amazing Grace Vineyard and Winery in Chazy, and Stone House Vineyard in Mooers.
Carlin said City Hall was a desired location for the wine tasting because of its history of having many upscale events in the past.
"We hope to bring some of that magic back to City Hall," he said.
Cheesemakers Clover Mead Farm of Keeseville and Asgaard Farm and Dairy of AuSable Forks as well as LakeShore Candy of Plattsburgh will also be part of the event offering samples.
"We tried to get different tastes from throughout the community to have at this event," said Garenani. We're very lucky to have these people on board."
Other events will augment the festival, including extravagant dinners at Anthony's Restaurant and Bistro Friday night and Irises Caf and Wine Bar Saturday night, as well as a Sunday brunch at The Smoked Pepper. Entertainment will also be offered at Olive Ridley's and Geoffrey's Pub & Restaurant Friday and Saturday night, respectively.
"We started [the festival] with a lot of events so hopefully come out and support it," said Carlin. "It's for a good cause."
The complete schedule of the Champlain Valley Winter Wine Festival, including a listing of items that will be available during the silent auctions, is available on-line at www.cvwinefestival.com. The cost of each event is also available through the Web site, with reservations able to be made on-line.
For more information or to make a contribution toward the event, contact Garenani at 324-6666 or Carlin at 562-9708, ext. 1.