It’s summertime again and we have recently returned from another great weekend at the Finger Lakes Wine Festival in Watkins Glen, New York. Every year, we make the trip out to the Finger Lakes region of New York from our home in central Maine. Preparing for the event takes months of planning and painting as well as hours of creative packing. This year it was a little more challenging as we downsized from a mini-van to an SUV to travel in. It was an adventure - picture "Tetris in a Tiguan"!
Our trip is a working vacation - we stay at the same little Bed and Breakfast every year, Echoes of the Glen, where the innkeepers Barb and Tom have become friends we only get to see once a year. This year their twin granddaughters were visiting as well. David’s cousins make the trip from Pennsylvania, some to help with the show and others just to say “hi” and enjoy the festivities. Every year we enjoy fine dining in town - our favorites: Jerlando’s and The Crooked Rooster. The countryside is beautiful, filled with picturesque views, vineyards and lakes. A vacation destination to be sure, the wine festival gives us an excuse to visit each year.
The main sponsor of the event is Yancey's Fancy cheese and every year we bring home cheeses we can’t find locally. Of course the wines are delicious too! There are over 80 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 champagnes from the Pleasant Valley Wine Company as well as revisiting my favorites: Thirsty Owl, Castel Grische and Weis Vineyards. With the downsizing of travel space, I had to be very selective in my wine purchases!
This year sales were good, with an increase over last year. Since I can’t possibly bring all 17 of Glass Paradox’s designs in each of the 16 styles of glassware available at the studio and online, I chose to offer Beachcomber, Birch, Brite, Cathedral, Fan, and Sunset as our main designs. We also debuted Spyglass at the festival and sold every piece we had!
This year, in addition to wine bottle lights, we also had wine glass Christmas ornaments - something new I found and simply could not resist. Fortunately, our customers felt the same and we have only a handful left. And yes, grab bags returned!
Glass Paradox has already reserved the same location for the 2019 Finger Lakes Wine Festival. We look forward to seeing everyone again and meeting more new customers!