Grape Discovery Center is Wine Lover's Haven: Community Gems
Right off Route 20 in Westfield, New York, is a wine lover's haven - the Grape Discovery Center.
It features bottles from a variety of regional wineries, red to white and other specialty selections, plus grape-related gifts.
"We get people from all over the world," said Phil Baideme. "They stop in; it's really neat."
Baideme helped create the Grape Discovery Center 10 years ago. It's part of the Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association.
"The need was really founded about 10 years before that," said Baideme.
It's all because of what this Lake Erie Wine Country region offers.
"Of course, the history, the technology behind the grape-growing industry," said Baideme. "We have a museum that goes through all these things."
The former Westfield High School teacher and his agriculture students came up with the idea of the history lesson. The walking museum in the back of the building showcases a local imprint.
"There's a lot of history in this area with Welch's and the other co-ops, so we wanted to represent that," said Baideme.
This wine country is home to 20 wineries from Harborcreek, Pennsylvania, to Silver Creek, New York.
"Because the Grape Discovery Center is located in the Empire State, all wines sold there are from wineries on the New York side," said Baideme. That includes wines you can taste at the center, too."
It gives people the chance to enjoy the blends of what is in the Empire State along the Lake Erie Wine Trail in one place.
There's also a limited food menu and options for kids or non-drinkers.
"We offer grape juice slushies for the kids and whoever doesn't want to drink wine," said Baideme.