Sunday, July 21, 2024

Annual festival provides taste of the Adirondacks

For Plattsburgh State students staying in town for Columbus Day break, there is more to do than just watch Netflix all day.

The Adirondack Coast Wine, Cider and Beer Festival will kick off its fourth annual celebration Oct. 10 at the Crete Civic Center. From 2-7 p.m., attendees can enjoy adult beverages, sample food from various areas of the region and enjoy live music.

Thomas Frey has been participating every year since the tradition came to the North Country. The Frey family, owner of Elfs Farm Winery and Cider House, produces locally grown grape, fruit and apple wines in Plattsburgh. The farm is known for its tasting room,where people can enjoy local cider and wine, and for their Friday Night Wine Downs, where live music is played weekly.

“It gives (attendees) some flavors of what the community is like,” Frey said.

Frey said the first year of the festival was all about food and local harvest. However, the festival garnered more popularity once beer, wine and cider were a part of the event.

“Once we added local breweries, people were more pumped,” he said.

Frey said every person will receive a ticket for sampling food from vendors, a tote bag for their wine bottles and a commemorative glass for their drinks upon arrival.

He also said the ADK Wine Festival is similar to Brewfest, which is the annual summer event featuring breweries, wineries, cider and live music at the Plattsburgh City Beach.

Frey said the venue is indoors instead of outdoors, so people can be warm and comfortable while eating and drinking.

“College students don’t get a chance to attend Brewfest since most students are home during summer break,” Frey said.

“It’s a mini version of Brewfest,” he said.

PSUC senior Diana Gaona said she loves local farmers markets.

“You get to know the locals if you’re into buying local products that have been produced organically,” she said.

Gaona said the festival presents a good opportunity to see what other vendors are offered in the region. She said she attends the farmers market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but the ADK Wine Festival provides a better way to explore vendors from Lake Champlain, Burlington and even Canada. Gaona lives off-campus and said she would go to the festival to buy different products.

“If I had the option, I’d go to Rulf’s Orchard as often as possible,” she said.

Rulf’s Orchard will be attending the festival along with various restaurants and breweries such as D&D Meats, Adirondack Winery and the Blue Line Brewery.

Blue Line Brewery affiliate Mark Gillis said he’s hoping they can bring their Pumpkin Ale, Red Rye and Oatmeal Amber. Their Red Rye, which Gillis said is a favorite at the brewery, is a blend of three different styles of beer: Irish Red, Rye and English IPA.

D&D Meats will be in attendance for the fourth time, featuring some of their products such as kielbasa and other assorted cheese and meat products. D&D Meats is a family-owned smokehouse located in West Chazy that has been a part of the North Country for over 30 years.

“It gives people something to do on a cold fall day,” said Sharon Dutil, co-owner of D&D Meats.

In addition to the breweries and local restaurants, there will also live music throughout the festival.

Thomas O’ Hare, a professor from the University of Montreal, will be playing a wide range of music, starting mellow with the piano and working up to classic and original rock music. His set list will include Beethoven’s Fur Elise, Fats Waller, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and his own original music.

O’Hare said he enjoyed Elfs Farm as a loyal customer but then started attending the Friday Night Wine Downs. Once he saw live music was played at the event, he started performing on Friday nights as well. From there, he was introduced to the ADK Wine Festival.

He is a continuing education teacher and also teaches for the language center of arts and sciences at the college. He’s been teaching for almost 20 years and plays the drums and guitar and writes his own original music.

“I’m one of those guys who plays every day,” O’Hare said.

“Into the Water” is a song he said to look out for while playing on the piano because it adds to the laidback ambiance of the festival. He also said people can check out his music on his YouTube channel and website,

General admission tickets are $35. Frey said tickets sold out at 3 p.m. with over 950 guests at the door last year. This year will have a 600-person limit.

The VIP ticket are being sold for $45, including the trolley bus, which will go down route 3 with several hotel stops, beverage tasting; souvenir glass; bottle tote bag; and one food ticket.

“Many students choose not to go home (for the break) because it’s too expensive. This event will allow them to do something fun and new,” Gaona said.

For tickets and more event information, visit

Email Kavita Singh at

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