A total of $62,924 is being awarded to Tug Hill Vineyards in Lewis County to increase wine production at the facility.
The federal funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program and will be used to purchase essential equipment needed to efficiently increase wine production at Tug Hill Vineyards.
“New York’s world-class vineyards produce some of the finest grapes, grown by hard-working farm families,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee who wrote to USDA in support of Tug Hill’s project.
“Increasing the diversity of agricultural production and adding value to the crops grown in Lewis County are key components of economic development. The economic impacts associated with Tug Hill Vineyards’ growth and success impacts all of Lewis County,” said Larry Dolhof, president of the Lewis County Development Corp. “The Vineyard is directly responsible for an increase in local employment, retail sales of wine and berries, and tourism related to the wine industry and the vineyards special events capacity.”
“We are so pleased to receive this funding to support the expansion of Tug Hill Vineyards,” said Sue Maring, owner of Tug Hill Vineyards. “We look forward to procuring state of the art equipment necessary for increased wine production.”
Tug Hill Vineyards was established in 2007 and consists of 20 acres of grapevines on a 40-acre estate. Tug Hill Vineyards produces red and golden raspberries as well as blueberries in addition to grapes. They also produce a variety of wines both dry and sweet.
USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grants are available to towns, State agencies, tribes and non-profits. They are used to support development of rural small businesses, distance learning networks and adult job training education programs. The RBEG program’s grants finance and facilitate development of small and emerging rural businesses to grow the economy.