As of Thursday, New York State has an 18th official wine trail. The newcomer is the The St. Lawrence Wine Trail, created when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation creating the entity.
The fledgling four-venue trail covers more than 80 miles, traveling along Black Lake, through Morristown, Ogdensburg, Canton, Potsdam, Stockholm and Brasher Falls. It links three existing wineries -- Bella-Brooke Vineyard in Hammond; River Myst Winery in Ogdensburg, and High Peaks Winery in Winthrop, -- as well as the St. Lawrence Brewing Company, a microbrewery in Canton.
Specifically, it follows portions of County Route 6, State Route 37, County Routes 27 and 10, State Route 68, U.S. Route 11, and State Route 11-C, all within St. Lawrence County.
Senator Patty Richie, chairman of the New York State Senate Agricultural Committee, and Asssemblyman Addie Russell sponsored the legislation in the State Legislature's two houses. It will result in the installation of grape-clusters signage along seven highways in St. Lawrence County where the St. Lawrence Seaway divides the United States and Canada. This is expected to provide a significant boost to wine trail tourism overall, which annually accounts for more than 5 million tourists and an estimated $400 million in spending on local good and services statewide.
“In recent years a significant number of new wineries have popped up across New York state—and that includes a number of new establishments that are right here in our backyard,” Ritchie said in a statement Thursday. “The creation of the St. Lawrence Wine Trail is a chance for the North Country to capitalize on the fast-growing wine industry. By putting these local businesses on the map, we can boost tourism, create jobs, encourage more people to shop local as well as strengthen current wineries and encourage more new businesses to open.”
Larry Hollister, a co-owner of one of the new trail's members, the Bella-Brooke Vineyard, said, "As a winery owner in St. Lawrence County, located on Black Lake, I believe this legislation will provide a great boost to the tourism industry in our area. This measure also allows us to show the significance and viability of the wine and grape industry for areas in New York State that no long have farming as the only source of agricultural industry."
For a look at all 18 of New York State's beverage trails and links to their member facilities, click here for my New York State Beverage Trails archive.