Mirbeau Inn and Spa, in conjunction with Anyela's Vineyard and the Skaneateles Chamber of Commerce, hosted the first annual New York Wine Festival Sept. 24 through 26 at the spa, 851 W. Genesee Street. The festival hosted several wineries from Long Island, Hudson Valley and the Finger Lakes.
"Up here, everyone knows about the Finger Lakes wines, and they forget that Long Island and Hudson Valley produce great wines as well," said Doug Hart, food and beverages manager at Mirbeau. "We wanted to represent New York wines here, and over time we hope more wineries participate." Hart explained that because this is currently harvest season, fewer wineries participated than expected.
Wineries from the Finger Lakes included Ravine's Winery, Dr. Frank's Vinifera Wine Cellars, Standing Stone Vineyards, Treleaven and King Ferry Winery, and Red Tail Ridge Winery. Lieb Cellars, from Long Island, and Millbrook Vineyards and Winery, from Hudson Valley, were also in attendance.
"This festival is a great was to experience different wines and show that New York State has a variety of wines to offer," said Susan Eisenhart, sales associate from Dr. Frank's on Keuka Lake in Hammondsport.
Dale Parker, special events coordinator at King Ferry Winery on Cayuga Lake, said the wine festival was a great idea because of its potential to drive tourism in Central
New York, and more specifically Skaneateles. "Plus, it's fun to try all the wines," he said.
Mirbeau was chosen for the location because of its beautiful setting, and the desire to dispel preconceived notions of the establishment.
"We want people to know that we are open to the community and here for them," said Chris Pulino, general manager of Mirbeau. The spa also has a Wine Bar and offers "vinotherapy" treatments, where oils and extracts from wine grapes are used. After a visit to the festival, Pulino hopes local residents will see that the spa is "upscale, but not uptight," and will consider its services in the future.