As Sullivan County is experiencing a resurgence of tourism development, the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association...
“Growth” has multiple meanings for Jennifer Clark and Andrew Scott.
The co-proprietors of Eminence Road Farm Winery in Long Eddy first understood it in the context of grapes – specifically, the varieties that have given renown to the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.
Then came an understanding of personal growth – how leaving the hubbub of New York City was not a step backwards but a leap of faith into a better quality of life.
And now, just a few years after opening the winery on a forgotten slope of the Catskills, they’ve experienced an even rarer, satisfying form – the growth of their company.
“Our first vintage was 2008,” Jennifer remembers of a mere 200 cases. “We now have over 900 cases of our 2013 vintage.
“The response has been fantastic!”
Customers from New York City to the Callicoon Farmers’ Market to as far afield as Singapore have fallen in love with the couple’s naturally-produced wines, which are fermented without added yeast and bottled by hand.
The originating grapes are not organic (yet), but the Finger Lakes producers grow them sustainably, without the use of pesticides or herbicides.
A small amount of sulfites are added to the wines for stability; they’re otherwise unfined and unfiltered.
“What we do is fundamentally different from 99 percent of the other wineries out there,” Jennifer relates.
The growing trend towards “natural” wines and the fact that New Yorkers like to buy local have boosted Eminence Road Farm Winery’s sales – and Jennifer and Andrew’s busyness.
But they’re not looking to move closer to the metro market.
“We love it here,” Jennifer says, surveying the rolling fields and forests that straddle the Sullivan/Delaware county border. “The winery was started as a way we could give up our day jobs and stay here. And we’re right in between where the grapes are grown and where the wine is sold!”
For a better understanding, stop by for a bottle at the farmers’ markets in Callicoon and Barryville, the Corner in Eldred, Narrowsburg Fine Wines, Callicoon Wine Merchant, Barryville Bottle, Henning’s Local in Eldred, Matthew’s on Main in Callicoon, Chestnut Cafe in Long Eddy, or Hello Bistro in Livingston Manor.
Originally published in Sullivan County Business Edge: Fall 2014.