ALBANY, NY, August 21 – Governor Andrew Cuomo signed The Upper Hudson Wine Trail Bill (Senate Bill S213A, Assembly Bill A8345) into law to create the first wine trail in New York’s Capital Region. The wine trail consists of an Upper Hudson East Trail and an Upper Hudson West Trail that extend for nearly 120 miles. The Trail winds through east-central New York in the counties of Albany, Schenectady. Rensselaer, Saratoga, Washington and Montgomery. The trail serves six vineyards with tasting rooms with another fourteen planted vineyards expected to open tasting rooms by 2020.
In the fall of 2014, area vineyards with tasting rooms struggled to get customers through the door. “Looking at our empty parking lots, we knew that if our fledgling wine region were to succeed, we needed to fill them.” said Trail President Andrew Weber. In an effort to drive traffic to the tasting rooms, members of the Upper Hudson Wine Trail Association began parallel efforts to develop wine trail legislation and a federally designated American Viticultural Area. In keeping with the tradition and standards set by established New York wine trails, this legislation was designed to support local vineyards and estate wineries. The pending perfected Upper Hudson AVA petition is on track for completion in 2017. These two important assets will lay the foundation for a successful wine region.
The Upper Hudson Wine Trail bill is sponsored by Assembly Member Carrie Woerner (D) and Senator Kathy Marchione (R), and co-sponsored by Assembly Members Dan Stec, Angelo Santabarbara, Patricia Fahy and Senators George Amedore and Patty Ritchie. Trail legislation received additional support from the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, New York State Farm Bureau and New York State Department of Agriculture.
The Upper Hudson Wine Trail legislation is supported by area craft beverage producers of mead, hard cider and spirits. Vineyards and craft beverage producers in support of the legislation include Altamont Vineyard and Winery, Ballston Lake Apiary, Creek Haven Vineyard, Engle’s Vineyard, Helderberg 1839 Vineyards, Helderberg Mead works, Hummingbird Hills Winery, Johnston’s Winery, Ledge Rock Hill Winery, Luckey Spirits, Macauley Creek Vineyard, Mountain View Distillery, Natural Selection Vineyard, Northern Cross Vineyard, Pelligrino Vineyard, Redstone Ridge Vineyard, Saratoga Apple, Schernau Estates and South Dominion Vineyards.
The new trail has great aspirations to impact New York’s wine culture. “Our goal for the Upper Hudson Wine Region and our members is to produce world class wines from northern hardy grapes” said Weber. For more information about the Upper Hudson Wine Trail, go to www.upperhudsonava.com.