Lake Erie Wine Country Stresses the Importance of Family: Community Gem
This week's Community Gem takes us to the vineyards. Lake Erie Wine Country stretches from Harborcreek, Pennsylvania to Silver Creek, New York.
It is the oldest and largest concord grape-growing region in the world. Come with me to check out what it collectively, has to offer.
A bottle of wine is a labor of love. Just ask Fred and Jennifer Johnson.
They are the owners of the oldest estate winery in New York State, Johnson Estate Winery located in Westfield, New York. The winery is apart of Lake Erie Wine Country.
"We're really focused on making the best wines possible and then causing people to come and enjoy them," said Fred.
Across the 50 mile stretch of the Lake Erie Wine Trail are 20 different wineries, each very unique and despite some on the Pennsylvania side, others in New York state, they all work together for the common goal.
Blends vary, and are ripe for visitors to taste and take home.
"People, if they like sweet or white, red or dry, they're going to find something they like here," said Pam.
Pam Burmeister runs Liberty Vineyards in Sheridan, New York. She is also the board president for Lake Erie Wine Country.
"As an organization, our trail puts on about for events each year and all the wineries participate in those four," said Pam. "But then beyond that, all of the wineries do kinda their own thing."
If you are a wine lover, it's inviting.
Arundel Wine Cellars in North East, Pennsylvania is one of a few places on the trail that offers more than just vino. Beer and hard cider are available too.
And like other member wineries so, is the importance of a family operation.
"There's a lot of hours involved in having a winery, so if you're family's involved in it you can be together and do this together," said Lauri Boettcher.
Many of the wineries showcases musical events, especially in the warm weather months.
And while weather can makes the process of wine making challenging, watching visitors enjoy the winery experience and working together with tourism partners makes the work, worth it.
"If we've we've got 10 wineries or 20 wineries working together, all of a sudden it's nowhere near as heavy of a lift and then we add in the communities and small towns and fishing and on and on and pretty soon we've got a real tourist destination," said Fred.
All with the vineyards at the core.
Hats off to all the local wine makers, farmers, and winery owners. Long hours and constant changes.
We will stay in Lake Erie Wine Country for next week's Community Gem, and take you inside the Grape Discovery Center.