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Southern Finger Lakes Women, a Chapter of New York State Women, Inc. (formerly the Watkins Glen Business and Professional Women-BPW/USA), is
a local chapter of "Women Helping Women."
Its Vision: To be the leading advocate for working women.
Its Mission: Building Powerful Women, Professionally, Personally, Politically through advocacy, education, and information.
SFLW meets the third Monday of the month.
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The chapter's website is www.sflw.org

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Wine & Tourism
Page

Brought to you by
the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce

Lt. Gov. tours Finger Lakes, names Governor's Cup winners

Chateau Lafayette Reneau captures top award

Special to The Odessa File

HECTOR, Aug. 13 -- A tour of Finger Lakes wineries and distilleries led Wednesday by Lieutenant Goernor Robert J. Duffy highlighted Governor Andrew Cuomo's annual Governor’s Cup program, culminating in the presentation of the 2014 Governor's Cup to Hector's Chateau Lafayette Reneau during a dinner at the Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen.

The Finger Lakes Wine and Craft Beverage Tour, organized to promote New York State’s beverage industry and boost tourism to the State’s growing number of wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries in Upstate New York, included stops at Finger Lakes Distilling, Damiani Wine Cellars and Chateau Lafayette Reneau, and provided State and local leaders, wine industry professionals, restaurateurs and tourism officials a first-hand look at how New York spirits and wines are produced.

“New York is home to some of the world’s finest wines, beers, spirits and ciders, an industry that supports thousands of jobs in all corners of this state and is an important partner to our agricultural and tourism sectors,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement released to media. “I’m proud of this state’s efforts to promote and support New York’s beverage industry, which has only grown stronger, creating new jobs and stimulating the economy. Also, I congratulate today’s Governor’s Cup winner and the other awardees for their victories in this increasingly competitive contest.”

“The wine and craft beverages produced in New York State are some of the best in the world, and this industry has seen unparalleled growth over the past several years with Governor Cuomo’s support,” Lieutenant Governor Duffy said. “Beverage producers are creating jobs, stimulating the economy and expanding tourism as New York’s wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries continue to become world-renowned destinations. I applaud all of today’s winners, who have created outstanding wines and craft beverages, all of which the Finger Lakes should be incredibly proud of.”

At the Governor’s Cup Competition awards ceremony, which followed the Tour, Duffy presented the 2014 Governor’s Cup to Chateau Lafayette Reneau for its 2013 Semi-Dry Riesling.

The Cup is a large silver chalice, recognizing the “Best of Show” or top prize from 863 entries in the annual New York Wine & Food Classic wine competition, organized by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. In addition, Macari Vineyards & Winery from Long Island won the “Winery of the Year” award.

Jim Trezise, President of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, said, “The New York Wine & Food Classic is known as 'The Oscars' of New York wine, and the Governor's Cup Wine Tour just enhances the prestige. Governor Cuomo has transformed the business climate for our industry, and this is just one example. We join him and Lieutenant Governor Duffy in congratulating the winners.”

This year's competition included 835 wines, 20 hard ciders and eight spirits from across the State. The awards were based on blind tastings by 22 expert judges -- four from California, 10 from New York, seven from other states and one from France. Judges included prominent wine writers, restaurateurs, retailers and wine educators. Judging panels determined the initial awards, with top-scoring wines evaluated by all 22 judges for the Best of Category and Governor's Cup awards.

New York is now home to more than 600 wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries. The State ranks third in the nation in wine and grape production, second in apple production, has the second most distilleries and is home to three of the 20 top-producing breweries in the United States.

New York’s beer, wine, spirits and cider industry continues to have a tremendous impact on the State’s economy. Between manufacturing, agriculture, distribution and retail, in 2012 the industry had a combined economic impact of more than $27 billion and employs more than 85,000 people. (National Beer Wholesalers Association; New York Wine & Grape Foundation) According to a recent study commissioned by the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, the full economic impact of New York grapes, grape juice and wine in 2012 was $4.8 billion for New York State.

Since 2011, the number of farm wineries has risen by nearly 50%, from 195 to 291 today. In addition, the number of farm wineries opening branch offices, authorized by legislation signed by Cuomo in 2011, has increased by 97%, from 29 to 57, and the number of wineries has also increased, from 52 in 2011 to 76 today, for a total 46% growth.

The Governor also announced the following winners from the 2014 New York Wine & Food Classic competition:

--Specialty Wine Champion (wines made from fruits other than grapes or honey)
King Ferry Winery 2013 Apple Mystique

--Best Limited Production Wine (wines produced with fewer than 100 cases)
Sheldrake Point Winery 2013 Late Harvest Riesling

--Best Spirit
Hidden Marsh Distillery Judd’s Wreckin Ball Corn Whiskey

--Best Cider
Kaneb Orchards 2014 St. Lawrence Cider

The "Best of Category" awards, all eligible for the Governor's Cup, went to:

--Best Sparkling Wine
Sparkling Pointe Vineyards & Winery 2005 Brut Seduction, Methode Champenoise

--Best White Wine
Chateau Lafayette Reneau 2013 Semi-Dry Riesling, Estate Bottled

--Best Rose Wine
Anthony Road Wine Company 2013 Rosé of Cabernet Franc

--Best Red Wine
Macari Vineyards & Winery 2010 Cabernet Franc

--Best Dessert Wine
Idol Ridge Winery 2014 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine

The "Best of Class" awards, which are given to Double Gold or Gold medal wines in classes of at least seven wines, went to:

--Best Oaked Chardonnay
Coffee Pot Cellars 2013 Chardonnay

--Best Unoaked Chardonnay
Martha Clara Vineyards 2012 Chardonnay

--Best Overall Chardonnay
Martha Clara Vineyards 2012 Chardonnay

--Best Gewürztraminer
Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars 2013 Gewürztraminer, Estate Bottled

--Best Dry Riesling
Wagner Vineyards 2012 Riesling Dry, Caywood East Vineyards Estate Grown

--Best Medium Dry Riesling
Chateau Lafayette Reneau 2013 Semi-Dry Riesling, Estate Bottled

--Best Medium Sweet Riesling
Barnstormer Winery 2013 Semi-Dry Riesling

--Best Sweet Riesling
Wagner Vineyards 2012 Riesling Select, Estate Grown & Bottled

--Best Overall Riesling
Chateau Lafayette Reneau 2013 Semi-Dry Riesling, Estate Bottled

--Best Sauvignon Blanc
Hosmer Winery 2013 Sauvignon Blanc

--Best Pinot Grigio
Swedish Hill Winery 2013 Pinot Grigio

--Best Grüner Veltliner
Three Brothers Wineries & Estates 2013 Grüner Veltliner, Estate Reserve

--Best Vinifera White
Seneca Hayes Wine Cellars 2012 Riesling-Gewürztraminer

--Best Other White Vinifera Varietal
Millbrook Vineyards & Winery 2013 Tocai Friulano, Proprietor’s Special Reserve

--Best Cayuga
Lucas Vineyards 2013 Cayuga White

--Best Traminette
Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2013 Traminette

--Best Vidal
Swedish Hill Winery 2013 Vidal Blanc

--Best Vignoles
Anthony Road Wine Company 2013 Vignoles

--Best Cold Climate White Varietal
Tug Hill Vineyards 2013 LaCrescent, Estate Grown

--Best Hybrid White
Lucas Vineyards 2013 Harbor Moon

--Best Niagara
Lucas Vineyards Miss Behavin

--Best Vinifera Rose
Anthony Road Wine Company 2013 Rosé of Cabernet Franc

--Best Catawba
Woodbury Vineyards Foxy Blush Renard

--Best Native Blush
21 Brix Winery Thirsty Elephant

--Best Cabernet Sauvignon
Brotherhood, America’s Oldest Winery 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon

--Best Merlot
Osprey’s Dominion Vineyard 2010 Reserve Merlot

--Best Pinot Noir
Ventosa Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir

--Best Cabernet Franc
Macari Vineyards & Winery 2010 Cabernet Franc

--Best Lemberger
Inspire Moore Winery & Vineyard 2012 Change

--Best Syrah
Billsboro Winery 2012 Syrah

--Best Other Red Vinifera Varietal
Fulkerson Winery 2013 William Vigne Dry Zwiegelt

--Best Vinifera Red
Harbes Vineyard 2012 Red Blend

--Best Vinifera/Hybrid Red
Buttonwood Grove Winery Redbud

--Best Other Red French-American Varietal
Johnson Estate Winery 2012 Chambourcin, Estate Grown

--Best Cold Climate Red Varietal
Thousand Islands Winery 2012 Frontenac

--Best Hybrid Red
Lakewood Vineyards 2013 Long Stem Red

--Best Concord
21 Brix Winery Ella’s Red

--Best Fruit
King Ferry Winery 2013 Apple Mystique

--Best Cider
Kaneb Orchards 2014 St. Lawrence Cider

--Best Spirit
Hidden Marsh Distillery Judd's Wreckin Ball Corn Whiskey

--Best Ice Wine
Idol Ridge Winery 2014 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine

--Best Vinifera Sparkling White
Sparkling Pointe Vineyards & Winery 2005 Brut Seduction, Methode Champenoise

Photo in text: Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy (File photo)

Wine competition judges lined up at the tasting room bar at Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards.

Hazlitt's hosts wine competition judges

Winery wins two gold medals, one double-gold at international event

HECTOR, April 1 -- Most of the 75 judges from 16 countries who decided which wineries won medal honors at the 14th Annual Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Rochester over the weekend arrived in two private buses late Monday morning at the Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards building in Hector.

They were on a six-winery tour -- "a sort of blow-off-steam day," said longtime competition representative Peter Parts -- after two tough days of judging 3,756 entries in the event at the Plaza Hotel in Rochester. The group was being housed at the Plaza, too -- taking up "the entire second floor," Parts noted.

Monday's stops were at six wineries that excelled in the competition, earning "at least a gold and often double gold" in the judging, he said.

In Hazlitt's case, the award haul included two gold medals -- for 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2012 Riesling -- and double gold for 2012 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine.

The tour started in Rochester, with a first stop at Wagner Vineyards, which won three gold medals -- for 2012 Caywood East Dry Riesling, 2012 Riesling Select, and 2012 Riesling Ice.

Then came the Hazlitt stop, where the judges descended upon the tasting room and spent more than a half hour there before moving across the parking lot to a covered and heated pavilion for lunch. Other stops were to be at Chateau Lafayette Reneau, Fulkerson Winery, Glenora Wine Cellars, and Fox Run Vineyards.

Those last four wineries won in the weekend competition as follows:

Chateau LaFayette Reneau -- Two double-gold medals, for Seyval-Chardonnay and Merlot, and gold for 2012 Dry Riesling.

Fulkerson Winery -- Three gold medals, for 2013 Juicy Sweet Moscato, Red Zeppelin, and 2013 Diamond.

Glenora Wine Cellars -- Double gold for 2012 Riesling Select Harvest Dalrymple Vineyards Riesling.

Fox Run Vineyards -- Double gold for 2011 Riesling, and gold for 2010 Lemberger / Cabernet Franc.

Other area wineries with weekend success included Anthony Road Winery (two double golds and two golds), Hector Wine Company (one double gold), Sheldrake Point Winery (two double golds and one gold), Dr. Konstantin Frank (one gold), Heron Hill Winery (one gold), Knapp Winery (one gold), Lakewood Vineyards (two golds), Prejean Winery (one gold), and Swedish Hill Winery (one double gold and three golds)

The touring group of judges was due back in Rochester Monday night. Of the four remaining stops, Parts said they would "probably get shorter and shorter" as the day progressed, the wine intake increased, and night approached.

At the heart of the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition is the Camp Good Days and Special Times, located near Branchport on Keuka Lake . According to a camp spokesman, the competition was first devised as a fund-raiser for the camp, and still is. Good Days and Special Times provides a summer camping experience for children, adults and families "whose lives have been touched by cancer and other life challenges," according to its website.

"It's why we're all here," the spokesman said, although the growth of the Finger Lakes competition into an international event of size and substance has something to do with its continuity. As Peter Parts said, it is "the largest wine competition in the United States, outside California." And with its representation of judges from 16 countries and 11 states, and wine entries "from 20 countries and all 50 states," winning a double gold or gold medal is tantamount to "standing shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the world," he added.

The festive atmosphere of the day is well-earned, said Parts, since a judging competition is a pressure-laden grind in an atmosphere of concentration and quiet -- and one devoid of external odors.

"Some of these people," he said, motioning to the group of judges at the tasting room bar, "have a bloodhound sense of smell" important to determining the relative quality of wines. They can easily be distracted by the smell of cigarette smoke on clothes or the odor of aftershave lotion, both of which are banned from the judging room. So the 200 volunteers who help at the event each year have to be what he called "smell neutral."

With the large number of entries to judge, and the importance of each medal to competing wineries -- which use success at such ventures as marketing tools -- the touring group "earned this day," Parts said.

The Hazlitt visit -- a tasting, informational and lunch session -- was hosted by winery owners Leigh Hazlitt-Triner and Doug Hazlitt, and was led by Hazlitt Winemaker Michael Reidy.

“This day was a wonderful opportunity to continue to spread the message of the excellent wines grown and produced by Hazlitt Vineyards and in the Finger Lakes region.” said Hazlitt-Triner. “This room is filled with trained masters of wine, sommeliers and influential people in the world’s wine industry. They can be outstanding ambassadors for our winery and the region.”

Photos in text:

Top: Hazlitt Winery co-owners Doug Hazlitt (left) and Leigh Hazlitt-Triner, and Hazlitt Winemaker Michael Reidy. (Photo provided).

Second: Finger Lakes Wine competition representative Peter Parts announces to the gathering at Hazlitt's that the winery had won two gold medals and a double gold over the weekend.

Third: Peter Parts shows Doug Hazlitt a list of the Rochester competition medal winners, displayed on his laptop computer screen.

Distillery plans Whiskey 101 classes

Special to The Odessa File

BURDETT, Jan. 13 -- Finger Lakes Distilling will be offering Whiskey 101 classes this winter, a series of three seminars designed to give an overview of the history and production methods behind the classic, aged spirit.

Participants will interact with the distillery staff as they explore the origins of whiskey in Ireland and Scotland to the development of American-style whiskeys and the current craft movement taking hold in the industry. Attendees will also get to see first-hand how whiskey is made from the mashing process, to fermentation, distillation and barrel aging. There will also be an opportunity for participants to bottle their very own whiskey at the conclusion of the series.

Dates and topics for the seminars are as follows:

Session 1: The History of Whiskey -- Thursday, February 13
Session 2: The Making of Whiskey -- Thursday, March 20
Session 3: Barrel Aging & More -- Thursday, April 10

Each session will be held from 6:00-7:30 p.m. and will include a soup or chili created with McKenzie whiskey, and sandwiches also inspired by Finger Lakes Distilling’s long list of spirits. Attendees will receive a course outline of the evening’s lesson and a Whiskey 101 diploma at the conclusion of the seminars.

Individual sessions cost $20 per person. Cost for all three sessions is $50 per person. Reservations must be made by calling (607) 546-5510 between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. or by visiting the Finger Lakes Distilling website at www.fingerlakesdistilling.com/shop. Space is very limited.

Finger Lakes Distilling is the region’s first stand-alone distillery. Located in the heart of wine country, it produces a wide range of distilled spirits – vodka, gin, whiskeys, brandies and liqueurs – from locally grown fruit and grains.

The distillery’s products are now sold in over 400 retailers throughout New York State, as well as at the distillery’s tasting room, overlooking Seneca Lake. Finger Lakes Distilling has been mentioned in several national publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Food & Wine.

Finger Lakes Distilling’s McKenzie Rye Whiskey was recently voted Best New York State Spirit at the Food & Wine Classic.

More information about the distillery can be found at www.fingerlakesdistilling.com.

Wine & Spirit fundraiser set for Jan. 25

Special to The Odessa File

BURDETT, Jan. 10 -- A local non-profit organization, Spirit of Schuyler, will host the annual Wine & Spirit event on Saturday, January 25 from 4-8 p.m. at J.R. Dill Winery, State Route 414 in Burdett.

The event features free wine tastings and a free wine glass, along with live music, raffles, and food.

Advance sale tickets may be purchased online at www.spiritofschuyler.org for $10 each or $15 per couple; tickets are $10 each at the door. Tickets holders will be entered in a drawing to win a free mixed case of J.R. Dill wine.

All ticket-sale proceeds, in addition to one third of all wine sales during the event, will benefit Spirit of Schuyler.

Spirit of Schuyler is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life and expanding meaningful opportunities for Schuyler County residents in times of need. The organization says it focuses on providing emergency financial assistance to residents "who fight for their financial independence, support themselves and their families, and are self-sustaining until unforeseen circumstances occur." For more information, visit www.spiritofschuyler.org.

Glenora Pasta Night series under way

DUNDEE, Jan. 10 -- Veraisons Restaurant at Glenora Wine Cellars is hosting its 8th Annual Celebrity Guest Chef Pasta Nights this year. The first night was January 9th. Others follow each Thursday through April 24.

The Pasta Night dinners, running from 5-8:30 p.m. Thursdays, offer pasta of the diner's choice created by Veraisons staff and Guest Chefs at a cost of $17.95 plus gratuity. The meal includes fresh garden salad, a bread basket, and unlimited trips to the Pasta Station.

A portion of the proceeds each evening will be donated to the charity of the Guest Chef’s choice. At the conclusion of the celebrity Guest Chef series, Glenora Wine Cellars matches the donation to the charity that brings in the most patrons. Over the past seven years, Glenora has donated more than $10,000 to local charities.

This year the Guest Chefs come from the following organizations:

January 9th – American Cancer Society
January 16th – Spirit of Schuyler
January 23rd – Keuka Arts Festival
January 30th – Geneva Community Projects
February 6th – Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce
February 13th – Monty Stamp Education Foundation
February 20th – Still Available
February 27th – Watkins Glen Art Club
March 6th – Live Like Liz
March 13th – Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty
March 20th – Schuyler County SPCA
March 27th – Children’s Miracle Network
April 3rd – Schuyler Health Foundation
April 10th – Cobblestone Springs
April 17th– Girl Scouts of America
April 24th – Friends of the Outlet

Veraisons Restaurant is located in the Glenora Wine Cellars complex at 5435 State Route 14, Dundee. For more information, visit www.glenora.com or call 800-243-5513.

Knapp has 2nd Ice Wine harvest of year

Special to The Odessa File

ROMULUS, Dec. 4, 2013 -- Knapp Winery completed its second Ice Wine harvest of the year; an occurrence that doesn’t happen often. Knapp harvested Vidal Blanc on January 2nd, 2013 and again on Saturday, November 30th.

After watching the weather forecast for several days to find a window of 12 to 18 hours where the temperature is 17° Fahrenheit or lower, Knapp workers found Saturday to be the day to harvest as temperatures would be in the low teens on Friday evening into Saturday morning.

The Knapp vineyard crew, along with volunteers, set out into the Block 4 Vidal vineyard early Saturday morning with a temperature of 14° Fahrenheit. By 7:45 a.m., the first press load was being processed.

Overall, 1.746 tons of Vidal Blanc grapes were picked, yielding 108 gallons of juice (91 cases) which will become the 2013 Block Four Sunset Vidal Ice Wine.

According to Wikipedia, "Ice Wine is a type of dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The sugars and other dissolved solids do not freeze, but the water does ... resulting in a smaller amount of more concentrated, very sweet wine."

“This is our fifth Ice Wine harvest, and the pressing of the frozen grapes went more smoothly than any previous Ice Wine harvest,” said Steve DiFrancesco, Winemaker of Knapp Winery. “We pressed two loads by 2:00 p.m. that afternoon. If we had had one more press load, I think the grapes would have thawed by then, because the afternoon had warmed to the mid-20s, and a third press load would not have been appropriate for Ice Wine.”

Located on Cayuga Lake, Knapp is a boutique winery with 60 acres of some of the oldest vineyards in the Finger Lakes region, producing grapes for a variety of wines since 1984. The property includes the Knapp Vineyard Restaurant nestled among gardens and vineyards.

Photo in text: Vidal grapes on the Knapp Winery vines. (Photo provided)

Chamber elects officers, directors at annual meeting

Special to The Odessa File

HECTOR, Nov. 21, 2013 -- Members of the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce elected officers and directors and heard reports on the financial health of the organization Wednesday at the Chamber's 2013 Annual Meeting at Red Newt Cellars in Hector.

Chamber President/CEO Rebekah LaMoreaux welcomed the members while Board of
Directors Chairman Carl Blowers reflected on the successes of 2013.

Financials– 4-Year Comparison:

2010 Net Loss $15,443
2011 Net Profit $84,143
2012 Net Profit $34,132
2013 Net Profit $79,882 YTD

2010 vs. 2013: Growth of $95,325; Average 3 Year Profit $59,761

The members voted to approve the 2014 budget of $679,675 – a 6% increase over 2013. In an
overview report by the Chamber Staff, highlights showed a three-year progress of:

-- Financial Growth
-- Relocation of Visitor Center and Chamber Offices
-- 15-Year Tourism Promotion Agency County Designation
-- 2012-2014 Strategic Plan
-- Healthy and Growing Membership
-- Growing National and International Awareness of Schuyler County
-- Enhanced Membership Benefits

National attention was gained in 2013 through the following productions:
Frommers, Edible Finger Lakes, CBS - NY, Mstravelingpants.travel, Huffington Post, Offmetro.com, USA TODAY, Thrillist, Budget Travel, Foxnews.com, Yahoo Travel , Virginia Railway Express , AAA Horizons Magazine, AAAHorizons.com , Metro NY, Boston, Phila., Pathfinders, Natural Awakenings, NBC News.com, Tripadvisor.com, OffBeatTravel.com, AM New York, 2Wired2Tired, Sassysuburbanite.com, AMNY.com, NewYorkFamily.com, Solotravelerblog.com, Norfolk Southern, Executivetravelmagazine.com, NYTimes.com, Salon.com, Burlingtonfreepress.com, Syracuse.com, Quilt Sampler Magazine, AAA Western Central, VegWorld Magazine, The Sunday Star Ledger, Dallasnews.com, The Dallas Morning News, Cardinalcourieronline.com, ILNY – The Beat.

Besides Watkins Glen being voted the #2 Coolest Small Town in America by Budget Travel, the report noted that the top five countries of Visitor Center Walk-ins were Canada, Germany, Israel, Australia, and UK. The top five states of Visitor Center Walk-ins were Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Maryland.

The New 2014 Slate of Officers and Directors:

Officers:
Chairperson of the Board, Dawn Burlew, Corning Enterprises
First Vice Chairperson, Carolyn Guyer, Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel
Second Vice Chairperson, Andrew Manzer, Schuyler Hospital
Treasurer, Jeffrey Dill, JR Dill Winery
Secretary, Peter Honsberger, Great Escape & Everything Ice Cream
Immediate Past Chairperson, Carl H. Blowers, Hawk’s View Consulting

New Directors Elected:
Justin Boyette, The Hector Wine Company
Jeffrey Dill, JR Dill Winery
Christopher Karam, Fagan Engineers
Stephanie Specchio, The Gorgeous View Motel
Paul Thomas, Seneca Lake Wine Trail

Returning Directors Elected:

Richard (Rick) Carroll, Chemung Canal Trust Company
Andrew (Andy) Manzer, Schuyler Hospital
Lindsay Wickham, New York Farm Bureau

Ex-Officio:

Dennis Fagan, Schuyler County Legislature
Kelsey Jones, SCOPED

Returning Directors:
Carl H. Blowers, Hawk’s View Consulting
Dawn Burlew, Corning Enterprises
James Frame, Odessa-Montour Central School District
Father Michael Hartney, Episcopal Churches of Schuyler County
Peter Honsberger, Great Escape & Everything Ice Cream
Matthew Hughson, Schuyler County
Michael Printup, Watkins Glen International
Carolyn Guyer, Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel

An enthusiastic thank you was given by LaMoreaux to outgoing Directors, including Anthony Fraboni (current treasurer), Vicki Schamel (past chair), Brett Brubaker, and Tom Merrill.

For more information on the annual report, visit www.watkinsglenchamber.com or
contact Drew Guild at drew@watkinsglenchamber.com or call (607) 535-4300.

Photos in text:

Top: Chamber Staff. Standing left to right: Victoria Young, Membership Services Manager; Katherine Strawser, Visitor Center & Events Manager; Rebekah LaMoreaux, President/CEO; Meredith Beardsley, Visitor Center & Resource Coordinator. Seated from left: Drew Guild, Tourism & Marketing Manager; Doug Quade, Contract Bookkeeper.

Middle: Carl Blowers, Immediate Past Chairperson

Bottom: Carl Blowers thanking Peter Honsberger, Secretary, for his hard work. (Photos provided)

Racing Research Center honored
by Society of Automotive Historians

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, Nov. 7, 2013 -- The Society of Automotive Historians has presented the International Motor Racing Research Center with its James J. Bradley Distinguished Service Award.

The award honors the work of libraries and archives whose mission is to preserve motor vehicle resource materials.

"We are so pleased to be honored with the SAH Bradley Award," Center President J.C. Argetsinger said. "This award, from our peers of archivists and historians, is a gratifying affirmation of the work we're doing at the Center."

The award was presented at the SAH annual meeting and awards banquet Oct. 11 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Michael Argetsinger, a member of the Center’s Governing Council, accepted the award.

The award was established in memory of James J. Bradley, noted curator of the National Automotive History Collection at the Detroit Public Library. The award was first presented in 1982.

The Society of Automotive Historians was founded in 1969 to encourage research, preservation, recording, compilation and publication of the historical facts concerning the development of the automobile and related items, from inception to the present throughout the world. It has a worldwide membership of 1,000 and has active chapters in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

To learn more about the SAH, visit its website at www.autohistory.org.

The Racing Research Center is an archival library dedicated to the preservation of the history of motorsports, of all series and all venues, through its collections of books, periodicals, films, photographs, fine art and other materials.

For more information about the Center’s work and its programs, visit www.racingarchives.org or call (607) 535-9044. The Center also is on Facebook at International Motor Racing Research Center.

Photo in text: Automobile industry insider and author/historian Karl Ludvigsen speaks at the International Motor Racing Research Center on April 13, 2013. Free monthly talks are offered by the Center as part of its mission to preserve the history of motorsports. (Photo provided by the IMRRC)

The boat is maneuvered toward the lift. (Photo by Don Romeo)

True Love out of the lake; inspection due

WATKINS GLEN, Oct. 22, 2013 -- The schooner True Love was hauled out of Seneca Lake at the Village Marina on Saturday for a scheduled U.S. Coast Guard inspection.

According to Josh Navone -- who with his wife Lisa owns the tour boat -- the 46,000-pound vessel was moved to dry land with the help of "many people and businesses in the community. We are extremely grateful for all the time and effort that everyone sacrificed to make this happen. This community is very fortunate to have such talented people at the ready to assist with technically challenging projects like this."

After the inspection, he said, work will continue on land over the winter to prepare the True Love for relaunching in the spring.

"There were a handful of individuals who were critical in the success of this operation," Navone added. "Our gratitude is immeasurable." He thanked the following:

Schooner True Love Captain Larry Hacker
Seneca Sailing Adventures
Captain Bill's
Seneca Harbor Station
Stewart P. Wilson
Leo Rinwalske Towing
Gaylord Construction
Forker Excavation
Silverline Construction
Doane Builders, Inc.
Schamel Brothers, Inc.
Village Marina
Watkins Glen Supply
Southern Finger Lakes Equipment Rental
Corning Bike Works
Community Glass, Inc.
Boothbay Harbor Ship Yard
Robert Hansen Cabinet Maker
Plus many individuals who "were invaluable."

Photo in text: The boat is ready to be lifted from the water. (Photo by Don Romeo)

The boat is clear of the water, ready to be pulled up the rails. (Photo by Don Romeo)

Pierce, Welliver purchase Hector winery

Special to The Odessa File

HECTOR, Oct. 16, 2013 -- Gene Pierce and Scott Welliver, owners of Glenora Wine Cellars (Dundee) and Knapp Winery & Vineyard Restaurant (Romulus), have recently completed the purchase of Chateau LaFayette Reneau in Hector from Richard and Betty Reno.

“When Scott and I learned that Dick and Betty were considering the sale of Chateau LaFayette Reneau," said Pierce, "we saw it as a great opportunity for us, having watched the growth of the winery over the past 28 years. Its prime location on the southeastern shore of Seneca Lake, and the excellent reputation of its wines, vineyards and staff all added to the decision to purchase the winery. Knowing the Renos and their dedication to the winery and commitment to the industry were major factors as well.”

Pierce and Welliver say they plan to maintain the three wineries as separate entities, continuing with each having its own distinct and unique identities. Visitors at Chateau LaFayette Reneau can expect the same great wines and the same standard of excellence in customer service, said Pierce.

Pierce and Welliver plan to expand the Chateau LaFayette Reneau vineyard acreage, as well as the distribution of its wines. “The increased awareness of the Finger Lakes Region and its wines provide an ideal environment for the growth of Chateau LaFayette Reneau,” said Pierce.

Chateau LaFayette Reneau was established in 1985. During the past 28 years its wines have received national and international recognition for superior quality in such events as The Jerry Mead New World International Wine Competition, Riesling DuMonde, and the Governor’s Cup.

Photo in text: From left: Governor Andrew Cuomo, Scott Welliver and Gene Pierce during the governor's visit to Glenora on Aug. 13.

Glenora is utilizing an egg-shaped tank

Special to The Odessa File

DUNDEE, Oct. 2, 2013 -- Glenora Wine Cellars recently purchased a concrete egg-shaped tank from Burgundy, France to use in its wine production. It will be used instead of the standard stainless steel tank or oak barrel.

The egg shape was designed by Michel Chapoutier from the Rhone Valley of France. The egg shape, similar to the clay amphora wine jugs from the Roman Empire, eliminates dead corners and ensures a continuous flow of the fermenting wine.

Glenora is the first winery in the Finger Lakes to use the concrete egg.

Gene Pierce, co-owner of Glenora Wine Cellars, became intrigued by the concrete eggs when he first saw them on a trip to the Rhone Valley last spring.

“I am very excited to have the unique opportunity to work with the concrete egg,” said Steve DiFrancesco, Glenora winemaker. “We are christening the egg with Pinot Blanc, which is grown by Scott Welliver, co-owner of Glenora Wine Cellars. Our plan is to leave the wine in contact with the yeast lees until February.”

A benefit to using the egg, says Glenora in a press release, "is that there is a tiny amount of oxygen exchange, which will allow extended yeast contact without the danger of reduced, naturally occurring sulfur aromas. The size and insulating properties of the concrete design will eliminate the need for artificial temperature control during fermentation. The egg will allow similar richness and body in the wine as barrel fermentation without adding oak flavors or tannins."

The egg holds 184 gallons, or about 77 cases.

This limited release Pinot Blanc will be available for tasting and sales in early summer of 2014.

Glenora Wine Cellars has been producing award-winning, high-quality wines for over 35 years. In 1977 it was the first winery to open on Seneca Lake. Today a 30-room inn (Inn at Glenora) and a gourmet restaurant (Veraisons) join the winery on a 40-acre estate.

Photo in text: Glenora Wine Cellars co-owner Gene Pierce, left, and winemaker Steve DiFrancesco with the new tank. (Photo provided)

League meeting topic: Project Seneca

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, Sept. 20, 2013 -- The League of Women Voters of Schuyler County is hosting a presentation on Project Seneca, Watkins Glen’s ambitious lakefront development project, on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

The luncheon presentation will be from noon to 1 p.m. at the Montour Moose Lodge, Route 14, south of Montour Falls. The cost of the luncheon is $12.

The meeting is open to the public.

Rick Weakland, manager of Project Seneca, will discuss the various components of the proposed economic development project, which includes relocating the village’s wastewater treatment facility away from the shore of Seneca Lake.

Reservations are requested by emailing SchuylerLWV@gmail.com or calling (607) 594-4984.

Distillery plans weekly tour of facility

Special to The Odessa File

BURDETT, Aug. 23, 2013 -- Finger Lakes Distilling will begin offering a weekly tour on Saturday mornings at 11 a.m. this Saturday, August 24. The tour will last approximately one hour and will consist of a brief introductory video, a walking tour of the distillery, a sampling of three spirits, and a complimentary Finger Lakes Distilling glass.

“People are fascinated by the distilling process,” said company President Brian McKenzie. “We’ve tried to set our tasting room up in a way that people can see much of the equipment, but our guests seem to want more. We’ve designed the tour to be very comprehensive, so that people leave with a full understanding of how our spirits are crafted.”

The focus of the tour will be on the production of McKenzie Whiskeys – grain handling, processing, fermenting, distilling, and barrel aging – though other spirits will be covered, as well. The tour will run every Saturday through November 30, and costs $15 for individuals or $25 per couple. Reservations must be made by calling (607) 546-5510 between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. or by visiting the Finger Lakes Distilling website at www.fingerlakesdistilling.com/shop.

Finger Lakes Distilling is the region’s first stand-alone distillery. Located in the heart of wine country, the distillery produces a wide range of distilled spirits – vodka, gin, whiskeys, brandies, and liqueurs – from locally grown fruit and grains. The distillery’s products are now sold by over 400 retailers throughout New York State, as well as at the distillery’s tasting room, overlooking Seneca Lake.

Finger Lakes Distilling’s McKenzie Rye Whiskey was recently voted Best New York State Spirit at the Food & Wine Classic.

More information about the distillery can be found at www.fingerlakesdistilling.com.

Hazlitt, Atwater vineyards honored

Roadside signs cite conservation commitment

HECTOR, July 26, 2013 -- Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, owned by Doug Hazlitt and Leigh Hazlitt Triner, and Atwater Estate Vineyards, owned by Ted Marks, were each presented with an Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) "Farmers Partnering to Protect Our Environment" roadside sign Thursday recognizing their exemplary conservation of natural resources and commitment to environmental protection.

The Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District presented the sign awards during the Schuyler County Farm Bureau summer picnic attended by over 200 people and held at Atwater Vineyards.

Elaine Dalrymple, Conservation District Field Manager, thanked the farmers for their stewardship efforts that exemplify the value of family farms to the environment, the local economy and the community. She said that for farmers, the rural landscape “is not just a place, it’s who we are.”

Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, located in the Town of Hector, has been an active farm in Schuyler County for over 160 years, with 140 acres of vineyards presently in production along both Seneca and Canandaigua Lakes.

Dalrymple said that Hazlitt 1852 is known for its efforts to prevent erosion and enhance soil organic matter through the use of permanent sod, cover crops, mulch, and compost in vineyard row middles and through the protection of headlands.

"The AEM program helped us install many of the best management practices that we use and we will continue to participate since the program promotes the environmental protection goals that keep our farm viable,” said Doug Hazlitt. In accepting their award, both Leigh and Doug said that John Santos, their vineyard manager, has spearheaded the environmental protection efforts in their vineyards and deserves most of the credit. Hazlitt and Triner also operate one of the largest wineries in New York State.

Atwater Estate Vineyards is also located in the Town of Hector and has been in the family since 1999. It has 50 acres in grape production growing 16 different varieties. It also uses permanent sod and mulch in its row middles to prevent erosion and keeps headland areas vegetated.

In accepting the award for Atwater, Marks thanked the Farm Bureau and other farmers for their support. “I did not know anything about farming when I started 14 years ago, and without the help of my neighbors, I would not have made it,” he said, adding: “Seneca Lake is our lifeblood. Most vineyard operators know this and do all they can to protect the lake. Farms are the major land use in our county and protecting water quality ensures that they remain a vital part of life here.”

Katie Marks, Ted’s daughter, operates the successful winery on the farm and Chaz Coney is the vineyard manager. Also recognized were Bob Tamborelli and Mike Betts, who help manage the vineyards.

The Schuyler County Farm Bureau and the Schuyler County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board are co-sponsors of the awards with the Conservation District. AEM is a statewide program with over 10,000 farms voluntarily participating. To learn more about the AEM program in Schuyler County, visit www.schuylerswcd.com or call the Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District at 535-0878.

Photo in text: Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards and Atwater Estate Vineyards owners and managers with their AEM sign awards. From left: Bob Tamborelli, vineyard crew, Atwater Vineyards; Mike Betts, vineyard crew, Atwater; Doug Hazlitt and Leigh Hazlitt Triner, owners of Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards; John Santos, vineyard manager, Hazlitt 1852; Ted Marks, owner of Atwater Estate Vineyards; Chaz Coney, vineyard manager, Atwater; and Katie Marks, winery manager, Atwater. (Photo provided)

Notarfonzo promoted in State Park Region

Special to The Odessa File

BURDETT, June 13, 2013 -- Kathie Notarfonzo of Burdett was recently promoted to Assistant Regional Director of the Finger Lakes State Park Region.

The Finger Lakes Region oversees 21 active facilities (12 with swimming, 11 with camping, and 12 with marina/boat launches), six gorges, and many miles of trails.

Notarfonzo -- a 1985 graduate of Watkins Glen High School -- started her career in 1986 as a secretary at Finger Lakes Regional Headquarters in Trumansburg and has moved through various positions throughout her career, including Health and Safety Officer and facility manager of the Ithaca area parks. She is a graduate of RIT with an OSHA certification.

Notarfonzo also manages Exercise Enterprise, a Watkins Glen health and fitness center. She is married with three sons.

Photo in text: Kathie Notarfonzo (Photo provided)

Debra Whiting Foundation dinner set

Special to The Odessa File

HECTOR, May 28, 2013 -- Red Newt Cellars Winery & Bistro is slated to host a dinner at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 1 to support the Debra Whiting Foundation and to celebrate Debra's vision and commitment to the wine, food, farms, families and community of the Finger Lakes.

Debra Whiting (pictured at right) was, Red Newt points out, "a visionary chef in the Finger Lakes wine growing region. Her passion was not just the food as it appeared on the plate, but the food as it grew on local farms." During the 12 years that she led the culinary team at Red Newt Bistro, she was a leader in the development of farm to table relationships that blossomed with the burgeoning wine industry of the Finger Lakes.

“This year we are continuing to focus our efforts on defining the cuisine of our region,” said Brud Holland, Red Newt Bistro Executive Chef. “We do this by collaborating with our Finger Lakes farmers, other winemakers, and chefs that share our same passion.”

On June 1st, Holland is joining forces with Veraisons Restaurant at Glenora Wine Cellars Executive Chef Orlando Rodriquez to not only prepare the wine and food for the dinner, but also to pay tribute to Whiting, who died from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident on the New York Thruway on June 30, 2011.

“Working private events and other dinners with Debra in the past was great; anytime we were cooking together we always had a fun time,” says Rodriguez. “To be one of the first guest chefs to put on this fundraising dinner in her name is such an honor.”

In the same of spirit of collaboration, Holland echoes “for me, it is exciting to work with other chefs like Orlando; sharing ideas, techniques, and experiences – it's what keeps us inspired.”

The evening will feature an announcement of the first agriculture grant to a local Finger Lakes farm, introduction of 2013 culinary scholarship applicants, and a silent auction. The cost to attend is a $100 donation to the Foundation.

Tickets may be purchased at debrawhitingdinner.eventbrite.com.

Photo in text: Debra Whiting

Montage: new Executive Chef, new menu

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, April 27, 2013 -- The Montage Italian Grill located at the Glen Motor Inn in Watkins Glen has a new Executive Chef, Michael Gaudio, who has created a new menu utilizing locally and sustainably sourced ingredients, providing what a press release calls "a true farm-to-table experience."

This menu, says the release, "reflects a change from the creative Italian dishes of the past, while still maintaining a subtle Mediterranean flare."

The Montage Italian Grill will be opening for the season Friday, May 10. Window-table reservations may be made by calling 607-535-2706.

Chef Michael, the press release says, is an award-winning culinary professional with 12 years in the industry. Originally from Geneva, New York, he now resides with his family in Himrod. He most recently was Executive Chef at the Hotel Clarence in Seneca Falls.

"Many may know him from his cooking videos on www.Finger Lakes 1.com," says the release, adding:

"Some of our favorite menu items are a local farmers’ plate featuring local cheeses, fruits, and vegetables, a poached pear flatbread, seared day boat scallops, local all-natural brick-fired chicken, Shirks ham panini, and our original grilled meatball burger."

The Glen Motor Inn and Montage Italian Grill have been owned and operated by the Franzese family for four generations. Granddaughter Nancy has managed the Montage Italian Grill since 1990.

“I’m thrilled to provide a fresh new dining experience in such an attractive location as the Montage Italian Grill," said Chef Michael. "Working with so many local farmers, butchers, wineries, and other producers has been inspiring, to say the least."

Atwater plans Tasting Room in Watkins

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, April 11, 2013 -- Atwater Estate Vineyards, a 13-year-old winery located in Burdett, plans to open a tasting room on Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen.

“Watkins is quickly becoming an exciting tourist location and has great plans for its future that warrant new and innovative stores,” said Ted Marks, owner of Atwater

The Tasting Room by Atwater, as the new business will be called, will be at 204 North Franklin Street, across from the new Nickels Bar B Que and next door to the Glen Mountain Market and Bakery.

“Being within one block of the Harbor Hotel and the waterfront, the location is going to offer the tourists and residents an opportunity to taste local wines in the late afternoon and evenings,” said Marks.

The Tasting Room by Atwater will be open from 12 noon until 8 p.m. most evenings, especially during the tourist season.

“Our intention is not to run a ‘bar’ but to provide residents and visitors tastings of local wines offered by the smaller boutique style wineries located within the Finger Lakes Region," said Marks. "We will also be featuring and tasting Apple Ciders made in the area, especially those from Bellwether Cidery located on Cayuga Lake.”

Marks said that in addition, The Tasting Room by Atwater will carry artisan cheeses made by local creameries.

“It is important that local wineries, cideries, cheese makers, and distilleries all work together to promote our local farms and their products," he said. "The new and exciting attitude by Governor Cuomo toward farm products grown within New York State has made all this possible for us to market these items together.”

The Atwater winery is located at 5055 Route 414, Burdett . It currently employs 10 workers on an 80-acre farm and produces 16 different wines from its vineyards. The winery was recently awarded several gold medals for Rieslings, and consistently receives high ratings for red wines .

Assuming all licenses are approved by New York State and local agencies, The Tasting Room by Atwater hopes to open before Memorial Day weekend. Three full-time and four part-time positions will be created for the new venture.

Photo in text: The storefront of the planned tasting room. (Photo provided)

Andrew Smith joins WGI staff

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, Feb. 5, 2013 -- Andrew Smith has been hired as Watkins Glen International Director of Marketing and Promotions effective immediately. He will manage the marketing and public relations team at The Glen.

Smith joins WGI from Talladega Superspeedway, where he was most recently the senior manager of public and community relations.

“Andrew Smith brings a wealth of experience from our sister tracks, Talladega Superspeedway and Richmond International Raceway,” said Michael Printup, WGI president. “He will be a tremendous asset to our team and I am excited to have Andrew on board for the 2013 season.”

Smith was a member of the Talladega staff for five and half years, serving as the public relations manager prior to his promotion in 2010. He previously served as a corporate sales executive at Richmond International Raceway.

Grant will help fund digitization of
Racing Center's Grand Prix materials

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, Oct. 31, 2012 -- The International Motor Racing Research Center at Watkins Glen has received a grant to fund the digitization of United States Grand Prix materials.

The $7,000 grant from the South Central Regional Library Council in Ithaca will support the Center’s commitment to making materials in its collections more easily available to the public.

Center President J.C. Argetsinger said the materials of which digital copies will be made include 20 years of race programs, some 200 photographs and some 200 pages of race results. Some of the materials are not now available to the public from any other source.

The United States Grand Prix had a home at Watkins Glen for 20 years, from 1961 through 1980. The first Formula One Grand Prix race was run at the Glen on Oct. 8, 1961.

“This matching grant will give the Center’s digitization effort a big boost,” Argetsinger said. “The staff is especially excited that results of our efforts to preserve the history of motorsports will be easily available from another source. We appreciate that this grant will help to widen our audience.”

Once digitized, the Grand Prix materials will be accessible through the Center’s website at www.racingarchives.org and through New York Heritage at www.nyheritage.org, a research portal for students, educators, historians, genealogists, and anyone else interested in learning more about the people, places and institutions of New York.

The Racing Research Center is a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization founded in 1999 and located in Watkins Glen, also home of the Watkins Glen International race track. It is recognized as a world-class leader in the collection of materials representing the documentary heritage of amateur and professional motor racing worldwide.

The New York Heritage website provides free access to more than 160 distinct digital collections, totaling hundreds of thousands of items. The collections in New York Heritage represent a broad range of historical, scholarly, and cultural materials held in libraries, museums, and archives throughout the state. Collection items include photographs, letters, diaries, directories, maps, newspapers, books and more.

The Regional Bibliographic Data Bases and Interlibrary Resources Sharing Grant will be administered by the South Central Regional Library Council.

The Library Council is one of nine Reference and Research Library Resources Councils in New York. As a multi-type library consortium, the Council serves 69 members across 10,000 square miles in the counties of Allegany, Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates.

Glenora Wine Cellars wins Gold

Special to The Odessa File

DUNDEE, Oct. 9, 2012 -- Glenora Wine Cellars recently won Gold medals from The Beverage Testing Institute -- during the 2012 World Value Wine Challenge -- for its 2011 Riesling, 2011 Seyval Blanc, 2011 Gewürztraminer, and 2011 Pinot Noir Rosé. In addition, its 2011 Pinot Noir Rosé won “2012 Best Rosé Wine under $15.”

“We are very pleased and honored to be recognized by the BTI for our recent entries in the World Value Wine Challenge,” said Steve DiFrancesco, wine maker at Glenora Wine Cellars. “Our winemaking style respects the vineyards, with flavors that are expressive of carefully ripened grapes. These wines are a tribute to our grape growers, vineyard managers, and Mother Nature herself.”

The Beverage Testing Institute uses double blind tastings to judge the wines. The panels consist of screened and trained professionals who all have an extensive wine-related background.

Glenora Wine Cellars has been producing award-winning wines for over 33 years. In 1977 it was the first winery to open on Seneca Lake. Today the property offers a 30-room inn (Inn at Glenora) and a gourmet restaurant (Veraisons) adjoining the winery on a 40-acre estate.

Sahlen's renews sponsorship with WGI

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, July 3, 2012 -- Sahlen’s Packing Company, Inc. has announced a multi-year renewal of its partnership with Watkins Glen International as title sponsor of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen Grand-Am Road Racing Series event.

Currently the longest consecutive title sponsorship at The Glen, this season marks the 10th year of this partnership. The latest annual race was run last weekend.

“Joe Sahlen and Sahlen Packing Company are strong supporters of The Glen and sports car racing,” said Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup. “As a native of Western New York, it is great to have a regional brand prominently represented at The Glen. We look forward to continuing to work with Joe and his team to keep the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen one of the premier events of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series schedule.”

Sahlen's Packing Company, a leading producer of meat products in Western New York, is known for its hot dogs, sausages, and deli meats. It was founded in 1869 in Buffalo.

Work starting at future Visitor Center

Special to The Odessa File

WATKINS GLEN, June 28, 2012 -- Renovation work has begun at the site of the future Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.

The former home of the Seneca Lake General Store at 214 N. Franklin St. in Watkins Glen is now empty, with the first phase of the Center renovation process just beginning.

The Chamber hired Hunt Engineers of Horseheads to design the layout of the new Chamber home right after plans for the Center were announced in December. General contractor. for the job is Kermit Cutter Construction, which is headquartered in Newfield.

“It’s been a long time in the making," said Rebekah LaMoreaux, Chamber president & CEO, "but our staff, board of directors, members and community are all very excited.”

The need for a bigger and more modern facility has grown over the years. Last year, 17,813 tourists paid a visit to the current 1,700-square-foot Visitor Center – and with growing numbers, a small greeting center without a public restroom was deemed no longer sufficient.

The new location is 5,100 square feet. It will include two public restrooms, a conference room, and five offices for Chamber staff. It will also feature special displays that are representative of the region, and which will be revealed at a ribbon cutting ceremony, expected in September..

According to the 2011 Oxford Economics Company’s report, The Economic Impact of Tourism in New York, travelers have the following impact in Schuyler County:

* Travelers Spend - $30,884,000 (an increase of 13% over 2010)
* Labor Income - $11,931,000
* Local Tax Revenue - $1,716,000
* State Tax Revenue - $1,882,000

“The Oxford report confirms that Schuyler County continues to be a world-class destination, and we must strive to continue the expansion of our efforts to further improve this reputation,” said Schuyler County Administrator Tim O’Hearn. “As we embark on new initiatives such as lakefront development and the construction of a new Visitor Center, our standing will only increase. While we have made great gains, we are in the infancy stage of what our tourism economy will ultimately be.”

Added Vicki Schamel, Chairwoman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors: "Being in the heart of the Finger Lakes, Watkins Glen is poised to be a very vibrant town for tourism and the economy."

Construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of August.

Photos in text: The exterior and interior of the future Visitor Center. (Photos provided)

Hazlitt 1852 appoints DeBell as GM

Special to The Odessa File

HECTOR, June 21, 2012 -- Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards has hired Daniel DeBell as General Manager.

DeBell comes to Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards with 20 years of management experience. Through his career he spent time in key roles in business development, marketing, project management and production efficiency.

"We are thrilled to have Dan join our senior management team and bolster our management expertise," said Leigh Triner, Co-CEO of Hazlitt. "Our company's rapid growth and acquisition of Hazlitt's Red Cat Cellars in Naples, NY necessitated we increase our organizational leadership. Dan is a perfect fit for us."

"I am really excited about the growth potential of the business, the commitment of the people and the amazing products," said DeBell, adding: "I look forward to being a significant part of the future of Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards and Hazlitt Red Cat Cellars."

A native of Ithaca, DeBell earned a degree in Applied Economics, Business Management and Marketing from Cornell University. He currently lives in Trumansburg with his wife Michelle, four dogs, three cats and 32 horses.

About Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards & Hazlitt's Red Cat Cellars:

The Hazlitt family has been growing grapes on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake for over 150 years. Established in 1984, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards continues the family tradition of award-winning viticulture and wine production. In 2010, Hazlitt's Red Cat Cellars was founded when the Hazlitt family purchased the 3 million gallon-plus Widmer Wine Cellars in Naples, New York from Constellation Brands.

The family's wines include Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Cabernet Franc. Most notably, Hazlitt is famous for its Red Cat, White Cat and Cabin Fever -- some of the most popular and best-selling New York State wines available. For more information, visit: www.Hazlitt1852.com, www.redcatcellars.com or www.redcatwine.com.

 

 

 

 

© The Odessa File 2014
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
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