Niagara Gazette

Communities

September 22, 2013

Niagara Wine Trail on track with railroad museum partnership

Niagara Gazette — What the Napa Valley is to California, the Niagara Wine Trail could soon be to New York.

With 18 wineries, including a cidery, the trail stretches from Niagara to Monroe County, with Orleans County — putting the Medina Railroad Museum right near its center.

This fall, the Niagara Wine Trail is working collaboratively with the Medina Railroad Museum, and will continue to work with it for more events in 2014, Gustafson said. Both groups are excited about the partnership.

Brianna Byrne, a media representative for a number of museum rail excursions, said one publication has labeled the trail as “one of the most exciting places to be in the next 20 years.”

“This whole area seems like an untapped resource,” Byrne said. “The trail itself is expanding. It used to just be in Niagara, but now it’s in Orleans and there are plans to expand into Monroe.”

Byrne said the potential is there for people to make a whole weekend out of a trail visit.

“Lots of people go to Niagara Falls for a day, but with the Trail they can make plans for the whole weekend,” Byrne noted. “Down the road we could do a longer train excursion that connects us with the Falls.”

Shane Gustafson, who is the interim chair of marketing on the Niagara Wine Trail, said state legislation has passed to extend the trail out to Route 390 near Rochester. The expansion, which she said “just need’s a signature by the governor for approval,” will make the trail roughly 90 miles long, and likely will include a number of new and unique wineries.

“This is a good region for growing grapes,” she said. “The temperature profiles, the climate of the region, and the land value are all good.”

The nearest densely populated wine region is the Finger Lakes, but Gustafson said the Niagara Wine Trail is “younger” and is closer to both Buffalo and Rochester, and has the ability to draw visitors from across the Canadian border.

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