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Standing Stone's 20th anniversary celebration a two-day bash

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This year marks the 20th anniversary of Standing Stone Vineyards. To celebrate the occasion, the Seneca Lake operation today announced it will hold a sunset party compete with wine, food and live music on Saturday, August 23. The following day, there will be more festivities.

"We can't believe it's been 20 years," said Marti Macinski, who, with her husband Tom, purchased the historic Gold Seal vineyards in 1991. "They really have flown by. We are just so excited to celebrate our history with all of our friends and customers who, over the years, have not only become part of our extended family, but part of our story."

The Macinskis' initial vision was to make Rieslings and Gewürztraminers. However, over the years they have broadened their outlook. Just this year, Standing Stone released the first U.S. labeled Saperavi, after working with the federal Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade to get the native Russian grape onto the agency's list of approved grape names. Their first crush, in 1993, yielded 800 cases and sold out in 12 weeks. They now produce about 8,000 cases annually.

The Saturday, August 23, event will run from 6 to 9 p.m. and is open to the public at no charge. A pulled pork barbecue dinner will be available for purchase, provided by the winery's neighboring Kirton's Farm Market. Standing Stone' wines will be available for purchase by the bottle or glass, along with beer from Naked Dove Brewing Company of Canandaigua and Wagner Valley Brewery of Lodi.

While general admission is free and does not require reservations, the winery has put together a special package for interested guests. Included are two dinners, a bottle of wine, and reserved tent seating for the music for $40 per couple, plus tax.

For the Sunday, August 24, guests will have access from 2 to 5 p.m. to one mini vertical tasting of either Petit Verdot or Cabernet Sauvignon, or a barrel tasting and one library wine tasting. Some of the library wines include the Standing Stone's first Gewürztraminer, vintage 1993, their 1994 Cabernet Franc which was the first red wine to win the Governor's Cup in the New York Wine & Food Classic competition, and the first Finger Lakes single vineyard wine -- the 1999 Glen Eldridge Merlot. Additional tastings can be chosen for an extra fee. Cost is $20 per person.

Reservations for either the Saturday or Sunday event or both, or the reserved package, may be made by calling 607-582-6051 or e-mailing ssvny@standingstonewines.com. Standing Stone is located at 9934 New York Route 414 in Hector, Schuyler County.

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