It’s hard to believe it’s mid-July and the Finger Lakes Wine Festival has come and gone for another year!
Glass Paradox has been a vendor at this event off and on for about 12 years now. For most of those years, we were outside, in our own e-z up tent across from the festival office. Last year, we made the decision to move our artware inside and acquired a booth in building B. For those who have never been, B is the largest building on the festival grounds and is a combination of wineries and artisans with everything from pickled veggies to hand-painted glassware.
This is the largest event on the Glass Paradox calendar every year. I begin planning months in advance: what designs, what styles of glass, additional items, signage, lodging, etc. Everything needs to be in order before we make the 10+ hour drive from central Maine to Watkins Glen, New York.
It truly is more of a working vacation for David and I. We stay at a wonderful little B&B called Echos of the Glen where the innkeepers Barb and Tom Merrill have become friends we see every year. David’s cousins make the trip from Pennsylvania to help with the show and the 4 of us take in the sunsets over Seneca and enjoy the local restaurants.
Our favorite is Jerlandos where we eat every year! We also enjoy dining at Mura Bellas, the Crooked Rooster, and the Village Marina Bar and Grill. The countryside is beautiful, filled with picturesque views, vineyards and lakes. A vacation destination to be sure, the wine festival gives us a reason to visit each year.
The main sponsor of the event is Yancey Fancy’s cheese and every year we sample their cheeses and curds, enjoy them in the evenings with wine, and bring home a few wedges to extend the flavors of the festival.
Of course, the wines are delicious too! There are over 90 wineries, distilleries, and breweries at the event from all over New York and I do have my favorites. Each year, I try to sample a few new vineyards as well as making a point to bring home a bottle or two from my favorite vineyards, many of whom do not ship to Maine. This year, I discovered a couple at Weis Vineyard and Six Mile Creek as well as revisiting my favorites - Thirsty Owl and Atwater Estates. I also enjoyed the wines from Castel Grische and made a stop at their vineyard on the way out of town. Their booth was all the way in Tent D and I couldn’t get away from the booth long enough to visit them at the show.
This year there was quite a buzz at the Glass Paradox booth and sales were even better than last year! Since I can’t possibly bring all 17 of Glass Paradox’s designs in the 16 styles of glassware available at the studio and online, I chose to offer Brite, Birch, Fan, StainGlass, Sailboats at Sunset, and Beachcomber as our main designs. I also added Wine Bottle Lights, shot glasses, and Mason Jar Candle Mugs in an assortment of designs. There were no grab bags this year which were missed by several of our regular customers….I’m thinking they will make a return in 2018!
Glass Paradox has already reserved the same location for the 2018 Finger Lakes Wine Festival and we have reserved our room at Echos of the Glen. We look forward to seeing everyone again and meeting more new friends.