Vineyards in Watkins Glen Benefit From Another Tourist Heavy Summer

Local News

Similar to the many summers before, wineries in the Watkins Glen area have drawn in tourists from all across the state. This summer however, has been rather unique.

With the recent addition of Indycar and NASCAR racing at Watkins Glen International, there has been a massive influx of tourists in the last few months. 

“We’ve seen that other people tend to elongate their weekends,” said Partner of Lakewood Vineyards, Teresa Knapp. “They’ll come for the races, but they’ll come an extra day early or stay a day later to tour the wineries and visit the area.”

In addition to the increased tourism from the nearby speedway, local vineyards have had to fight through a relatively dry summer. Despite the abundance of sunshine and lack of significant rainfall, business is still booming for vineyards in the finger lakes region. In fact, a dryer climate caters to a smaller and more flavorful grape.

“The vineyards are not as effected by the water or drought situation as other field crops in general,” said Knapp. “The root structures go down further so we can tap into what’s already there.”

“It can be kind of a blessing and a curse,” said the Retail Manager at Glenora, Stacy Gray. “Because you’re going to have the smaller grapes where they have more contact with the skin, so they’ll be more fruity, possibly sweeter, but you get less yield. So the wine is likely to be better but we might just not have as much.”

The increased flavor of these smaller grapes are sure to make for an interesting Fall. September marks Riesling month, where you can expect many competing vineyards to wheel out their best and sweetest products.

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