It's always interesting to sample the wares of a new winery. That will be possible on Saturday at the inaugural Altamont Fall Fest, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Village Community Room at 115 Main Street in the Albany County community.
(The possibility of inclement weather precipitated a move from Orsini Park, the original venue.)
Adult visitors who missed the wines' July debut will be able to try the dry apple wine and ice cider produced by Meadowdale Winery -- the state's newest winery, located at 32 Fryer Lane on the Black Creek Farm, as its entry into the state's burgeoning farm winery segment. They also will find food samplings from a variety of artisans, plus crafts vendors and live music.
Meadowdale's wine and cider products debuted in July at the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy Summer Festival and nearby Indian Ladder Farms' 100th anniversary. In the works is a "birch wine," made from a 1736 recipe using birch tree sap.
The current wine is a light bodied, golden product made from local apples, and sells for $12 a bottle. The ice cider, described as "Montreal style," also is made from apples -- plenty of 'em. It takes four times more apples to make a barrel of it than it does to make a barrel of standard hard cider. It's bottled at 14% alcohol by volume, and sells for $15.
The winery and the farm have been a relatively under-the-radar effort, so far. It's an ecological-friendly operation -- solar powered; all products grown only with fertilizers and pest controls approved for organic farming; and, recognized by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York for its sustainable practices.
The farm is the site of a Dutch barn from the original Fryer family homestead of the 1700s. According to the farm website history, "Over time, the Fryer Farm transitioned from a diverse self- sustaining farm to a fruit orchard and was eventually dedicated to milk production. In the early 1990's, after centuries in one ownership, the remaining lands of the Fryer Farm were subdivided and sold. After decades of lying fallow, a small portion of the original Fryer estate is now being revived as a member supported farm producing maple syrup and wholesome fresh fruits and vegetables now called Black Creek Farm."