Lake George to Host Wine and Food Festival June 27-28
Dozens of vendors from Lake Placid to the Capital District will take part in the first-ever Adirondack Wine & Food Festival scheduled for June 27-28 in Lake George.
Sponsors and participating businesses announced the event recently during a press conference at the SUNY Adirondack Culinary Arts Center in Queensbury.
Organizers expect more than 3,000 visitors to attend this year’s inaugural festival where they’ll be able to sample specialty foods, spirits and wine from businesses throughout the area. Several Lake George-based firms will take part including Adirondack Brewery, Adirondack Winery, Lake George Distilling Company and Lake George Olive Oil Company.
“Each attendee will take their taste buds on an amazing journey,” said Sasha Pardy, Adirondack Winery co-owner. She and her husband, Michael, also recently formed Adirondack Festivals LLC, a special events company that is hosting the gathering at the new Charles R. Wood Park, where the former Gaslight Village was once located.
The Wine & Food fest is one of many activities planned for the park’s new festival space this summer.
A ticket ($25 at the door, $20 pre-sale) provides access to the festival for one day and a commemorative glass that can be used to sample the many products on hand.
The Warren County Occupancy Tax Committee and the town and village of Lake George have provided $13,500 to help stage and promote the festival.
“I believe it’s going to be the next great weekend destination event for the Lake George region,” said Jill Vogel, SUNY Adirondack Foundation assistant director.
A portion of proceeds will be donated to the foundation, which gives scholarships to students. Also, SUNY Adirondack culinary students will put on cooking demonstrations and offer food tastings.
“It’s a great learning experience,” said Stacy Ledwith of Rochester.
She said she decided to attend SUNY Adirondack because of its well-established culinary program. Ledwith and other students provided a variety of hors d’oeuvres for those at Wednesday’s media event.
Carmela Mastrantoni, co-owner of Lake George Olive Oil Co., said the festival will give her business valuable exposure. “It’s a wonderful way of getting our name out there and getting different people to try our products,” she said. “The Mediterranean diet is the number one diet in America these days. Olive oil lowers cholesterol. It’s good for the heart and blood. Vinegar is good for people with diabetes.”
Many festival vendors belong to the Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail and the Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail. Such firms include Common Roots Brewing Co., of South Glens Falls, and Valley View Vineyard, located in Schaghticoke, Rensselear County.
Most, if not all, ingredients in their products are locally grown, which consumers today are looking for.
“That’s huge,” said Robin McDougall, Lake George Distilling Company owner. “We didn’t grow the grain used to make our whiskey, but I can tell you the field where it comes from.”
All of the corn she buys is from Washington County, while rye and malted barley is from Ithaca.
Pardy cited the state’s TasteNY program for boosting upstate New York’s food, beverage and wine industries. Wine Enthusiast Magazine named New York its “Wine Region of the Year” for 2014.
Also, a recent study commissioned by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation said the wine industry has a $4.8 million impact on the state’s economy, with much of it related to tourism. New York’s craft beverage industry attracts an estimated 10 million people annually to the state.
The festival will feature local products such as maple, cheese, jams and chocolate as well. “It’s benefiting everybody in the region as opposed to some large national company,” she said.
The Charles R. Wood Park Festival Space is at 17 West Brook Road in Lake George. The show will be from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.