ENTER TO WIN TWO TICKETS TO THE ADIRONDACK FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL JUNE 29 + 30 IN LAKE GEORGE. MUST BE 21+ TO ENTER. GIVEAWAY CLOSES SUNDAY, JUNE 2, 11:59 PM. WINNER WILL BE NOTIFIED MONDAY, JUNE 3!
***CLICK HERE TO ENTER!***
Photographs provided by Adirondack Wine & Food Festival
Bagels, apples, cheesecake. Pastrami on rye, seltzer, Manhattans. Pizza!
So many delicious foods and drinks that New York's unique blend of terroir and chutzpah (arguably) make better than anywhere else.
But wine? Even for born-and-bred New York fanatics, wine made here was historically a tough sell. That's changing though. The "Big Three" wine regions — the Finger Lakes, Long Island and the Hudson Valley — are garnering international attention for their wines. And this summer, curious consumers can flock to one place — the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival — to taste them all.
LOVE OF EMPIRE WINE
Recent accolades for New York wines include a Gold for Lakewood Vineyards and Thirsty Owl Wine Company at the 2019 Berlin International Wine Competition for their Rieslings, and four of the eight top awards in the blind judging at this year's Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. (Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards won Best Ice Wine, 21 Brix Winery won Best Sparkling Wine, Baldwin Vineyards won Best Fruit Wine, and Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery won Best Chardonnay).
Critics are taking notice too. A Nathan K. 2016 Pinot Noir from the Finger Lakes garnered 92 points from Wine Enthusiast, as did Osprey's Dominion 2013 Estate Bottled Cabernet Franc from Long Island. The Macari 2015 Pinot Meunier from Long Island, Shalestone's 2016 Cabernet Franc from the Finger Lakes, Billsboro 2016 Sawmill Creek Vineyards' Pinot Noir from the Finger Lakes, Millbrook 2015 Proprietor’s Special Reserve Cabernet Franc from the Hudson Valley, Whitecliff Vineyard's 2016 Estate Bottled Cabernet Franc from the Hudson Valley, and several others, all snagged 91 or 90 points.
The problem is, New York is a big (54,556 square miles, to be precise) place. And even if you commit to visiting one of the "Big Three" regions, the vineyards are spread far and wide, making a day-trip an exercise in gas-guzzling frustration. Plus...there are hundreds of fantastic farm wineries sprinkled all over the state making fantastic wines in Niagara, Lake Erie, Champlain Valley, and beyond.
TASTE THE BEST
Thankfully, on June 29 and 30, the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival will bring in all of New York's best wineries — plus other craft beverages, artisanal foods and arts & crafts — to the Charles R. Wood Festival Commons in Lake George, so you can taste the best of the Empire state in one place.
"This is an incredibly exciting time for wine in New York," Morgan Meachem, one of the Festival's organizers, explains. "While the first vineyards were planted in New Paltz in the 17th century, it wasn’t until very recently that New York-made wines began garnering international attention. And the recognition they’re getting is helping our Festival, which is in its fifth year, grow enormously."
The two-day celebration is in its fifth year and will be bigger than ever. We tapped Morgan for intel on what the 7,000+ expected attendees — some of whom travel from across the country for the event every year — should look for and expect.
WHEN & WHERE
Saturday, June 29, 11 am-6 pm; Sunday, June 30th, 11 am-5 pm. At the Charles R. Wood Festival Commons, 17 West Book Road in Lake George.
The event is rain or shine.
"We have tents set up, and umbrellas and ponchos on hand just in case," Morgan says. "We're hoping it will be sunny, but we'll do everything we can to make it comfortable no matter what."
WHAT YOU’LL FIND
"We are putting the spotlight on the best of New York," Morgan explains. "All of our beverage, food, and arts vendors are from the area."
More than 120 vendors, including New York winemakers, craft beverage producers, artisan food makers, food trucks, and artists will be on hand. The full list is here, but highlights include Warwick Valley Winery, Three Brothers Winery, Thousand Islands Winery, Saratoga Winery, Nine Pin Ciderworks, Helderberg Meadworks, Black Dirt Distillery, Harvest Spirits, Adirondack Chocolates, Nettle Meadow Cheese Farm, the Chuck Wagon, and Le Creuset. The set-up will be "Farmer's Market" style, Morgan explains, so attendees can wander, taste, and snack at their leisure.
In addition to the sprawling market, there will be a culinary tent with cooking and bartending demos, taste tests, and grilled and smoked meats available.
Each attendee receives a commemorative wine glass to use for tastings, and drop-off and pick-up services are provided so no one has to lug around a wheel of cheese and a case of wine all day.
BRING THE KIDS!
The Adirondack Wine & Food Festival has plenty (nonalcoholic!) options for the little ones to taste and sip. Volunteers from Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Southern Adirondacks will be on hand passing out water bottles to keep everyone hydrated.
"Plus, we’ll have a Kids Activity Tent, a natural playground, and a new Skateboard Park that's located just outside the festival," Morgan adds.
Something that will really get parents excited: kids 15 and under are free.
General admission tickets (which include a souvenir tasting glass, a festival bag and program, samples from drinks and food vendors, and product drop-off and pick-up service) are $38. They are valid for one day only.
VIP weekend pass tickets (which include everything the GA tickets do, plus one-hour early entry, 16-bottle tote bag, a designated check-in area, a wine glass koozie/necklace holder, 1 red ADK ornament, 1 bottle of water, 1 food truck voucher, 1 local coupon book with $300 worth of savings) cost $75. A one-day VIP pass costs $55.
Designated driver and underage tickets are $15.
Children 15 and under are free.
Buy tickets here. A portion of all ticket sales will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters.
"We prioritize safety," Morgan says, "so this year, we are offering shuttle services to attendees from hotels and lots across the Capital District."
Over a decade ago, Jancis Robinson, the Queen Bee of wine criticism (who is also tasked with buying wine for the actual Queen of England, Elizabeth II) had this to say about the Finger Lakes: "Two things strike the visitor interested in wine: firstly, the exceptional quality of the Rieslings made there (sweet and, especially, dry), and, secondly, how little they seem to [be] appreciated, or even known, in the city that bear’s the state’s name."
The quality, if anything, has only climbed in the past decade, and the recognition is starting to follow.
We have our tickets for the Festival in June. Do you?