Photo by Pattie Garrett
I love wine. I would drink it all day long if common sense didn’t advise otherwise.
So I want the glass (or two) of wine I enjoy with dinner to be as good as possible. If it’s local, even better.
For these reasons, my first taste of Northern Cross Vineyard’s Lacrosse wine was love at first sip.
“It’s got a very distinctive taste,” said Kathleen Weber, as she poured a sample at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market. “Be prepared for that.”
Weber explained that the flavor of the wine was all about the grape that created it and the conditions under which that grape was grown, harvested, and fermented. Weber and her husband Andrew grow the grapes they use to make their wines themselves, and crush and ferment them naturally. No artificial colors, flavorings, or additives are used.
I tasted the wine and smiled. It was like a food grown locally: fresh, flavorful, hearty.
The Webers began selling wine at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market in 2014, a few years after starting their vineyard on two acres of what used to be grain fields in Easton. They currently offer three white wines – Lacrosse, Prairie Star, and LaCrescent – and two reds – Marquette and Battenkill Red. While the latter red is a blend of three grapes, all of the other wines are named simply after the grape from which they were made. “We try to keep wine simple,” says Kathleen Weber.
All of the grapes were bred to withstand harsh winters.
This cold hardiness, says Andrew Weber, makes them suitable to creating wines distinct to our region. The Webers have petitioned the federal government to designate an area mapped as the Upper Hudson as an American Viticultural Area. This designation – akin to Central New York’s Finger Lakes region – enables wine growers in a specific area their wines’ growing areas more specifically to customers.
I have sipped Lacrosse with many holiday meals: roast turkeys and ducks at Thanksgiving, beef briskets over the December holidays and New Year, hams and pork ribs around Easter. For other ideas on pairings, visit Northern Cross’s tasting room on weekends, or stop by their farmers’ market booth.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays at the Lincoln Baths Building in the Saratoga Spa State Park. You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.