The 2nd Annual Adirondack Wine & Food Festival will be “bigger and better than ever” says Adirondack Winery owner Sasha Pardy. This afternoon, at a press event held at the Adirondack Winery’s Tasting Room on Canada Street in Lake George Village, Pardy announced that the Festival has been awarded a $63,000 grant from New York State’s “Taste New York” program. With this funding, organizers plan to expand its marketing to downstate New York and New England. The festival comes to the Charles R. Wood Festival Commons June 25 and 26.
Last year’s festival drew a crowd of 2,500, a remarkable number considering the second day of the festival was met with rainy skies. Pardy says they expect 5,000 will attend this year’s event, which will have over 50 vendors including wineries, breweries distilleries and cideries. More than a dozen Artisanal food producers will attend, offering cheese, maple products, crackers, chips, deserts and more. Food trucks and prepared food vendors will be on site as well. “In just one year,” said Village Mayor Robert Blais, “this has become a premier event” and it is the type of event Village leaders hoped for when they planned the Festival Commons.
Last year’s event had 40 vendors and it became evident on the first day that more were needed to accommodate the throngs lined up to taste the foods and wines. Admission to the festival includes a souvenir wine glass and tasting privileges at all vendor booths. The Festival is a Department of Agriculture Designated Farmers Market, meaning craft beverage and food vendors are allowed to sell their products to attendees.
The “Taste of New York” grant is part of a $3 million craft beverage marketing grant program developed by Governor Cuomo to increase awareness and sales of New York State produced wine, beer, spirits and hard cider. Mike Yevoli, Regional Director of the Capital Region Empire State Development Agency, says the Governor sees craft beverage production as a growth industry. Yevoli notes that New York’s wineries, craft breweries, distilleries and cideries support the state’s farms and orchards as well as their own businesses.
Once again, the SUNY Adirondack Foundation is the designated beneficiary of the Festival. A portion of ticket sales will go to the Foundation. Students in the SUNY Adirondack Culinary Arts Program will be at the festival demonstrating their skills by preparing gourmet food, which will be paired with selected craft beverages. SUNY Adirondack Foundation Assistant Director Jill Vogel says the Wine Festival and SUNY Adirondack are a perfect fit given the strength of the community college’s culinary arts program. “I really believe the Adirondack Wine and Food Festival will be the next great destination event,” says Vogel.
Festival organizers estimate the Festival will create a demand for 1,250 room nights in the region. The Village and Town of Lake George and the Warren County Occupancy Tax Committee awarded the festival $15,000 in occupancy tax funds. Advanced tasting tickets are available for $25. A designated driver/underage ticket is available for $15. Tasting tickets will be $35 at the gate. Tickets may be purchased here. For more information, visit the Adirondack Wine and Food Festival website.