|Mary Jo Beach|
VERONA -- Mary Jo Beach's life plan a decade ago didn't include starting a winery. She planned to retire from her job as vice president of four area radio stations and join her husband on a cross-country motorcycle trip. That dream never happened. Beach's husband of 30 years was diagnosed with cancer and died 10 months later.Go here for the full story.
Distraught over his death and the fact that she'd spend so much time working, Beach quit her job in 2010. "I was mourning and I felt guilty that I worked so much,'' she said, "but after a while I started asking myself, 'What are you going to do now?' "
At 54, Beach decided to open what would become Oneida County's first winery (there now also is one in Utica), Villa Verona Winery. ... The winery buys its grapes and juices from the Finger Lakes and offers 13 varieties of wine. The bistro, in a separate building next to the tasting room, opened last September. ... Villa Verona now plans to open a spa on the property on August 1.
• Go here to visit Dowd On Drinks
• Go here to visit Notes On Napkins
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail