|New production facility at Lakewood Vineyards. (photo provided)|
WATKINS GLEN -- For the second time in two months, Upstate New Yorkers will be asked to raise a glass to a set of large new fermentation tanks making a publicized journey to a manufacturer of alcoholic beverages. But, this trek is a little different from the celebrated trip along the Erie Canal taken in May by a set of huge tanks bound for the Genesee Brewery in Rochester.Go here for the full story.
This time, the tanks are headed to Lakewood Vineyards, a winery on Route 14 on the west side of Seneca Lake just north of Watkins Glen. They will make the journey by truck down Route 14, instead of on the barges that carried the Genny beer tanks on the canal. The Lakewood trip is a little more than 30 miles, compared to the 225-mile canal route from Waterford in Saratoga County to Rochester.
To Chris Stamp, president and winemaker at Lakewood, the most important difference is this: His new tanks were built at Vance Metal Fabricators in Geneva, at the northern end of Seneca Lake. The Genesee beer tanks, on the other hand, were made in China, and had to travel around the world to New York City and then up the Hudson River before embarking on the canal.
"We try, as much as we can, to support and be part of the local economy," said Stamp, whose family opened the winery on what had been a grape farm in 1988. Lakewood is in the midst of an expansion project that began several years ago, and this year it produced a record 90,000 gallons of wine, Stamp said. The three new 2,500-gallon fermentation tanks made a at Vance will join about 30 others, and may help Lakewood top 100,000 gallons of wine in the coming year, assuming a good harvest.
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd On Drinks
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook