(Pictured from left to right are RVRDA and IDA CEO Patrick Kelly, Senator Patty Ritchie, Larry Hollister of Bella Brooke Winery, St. Lawrence Valley Redevelopment Agency Chair Robert McNeil, Assemblywoman Addie Russell, Randy LaMay of River Myst Winery and St. Lawrence County Chamber Of Commerce Executive Director Brooke Rouse)
Local leaders got together Thursday to mark the official opening of the St. Lawrence Wine Trail, the state’s 18th wine trail.
State Sen. Patty Ritchie said the trail should help draw tourists to the area, create jobs and support local businesses.
Established through legislation sponsored by Ritchie, the trail spans 80 miles, starting near Black Lake’s Bella Brooke Winery in Morristown, extending to Lisbon’s River Myst Winery and then to High Peaks Winery in Winthrop.
In addition, the trail was also designed to bring visitors to St. Lawrence Brewing’s microbrewery in Canton, allowing the four companies additional opportunities to work together and market the new tourist destination.
Recently, more than 90 highway signs marking the new wine trail were placed throughout its 80 mile span. In addition, now available through the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce are brochures and a website that include a map of the trail, winery descriptions and information on other local attractions.
According to the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, in 1976 there were just 14 wineries in New York State. Today, that number has ballooned to more than 1,600 family vineyards and over 350 wineries.