Grape Discovery Center To Open For Memorial Day

WESTFIELD – The Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association Inc. will open its information center, retail outlet and tasting room in the Grape Discovery Center on Route 20, just west of Westfield, on Memorial Day weekend.

The Grape Discovery Center is the cornerstone project for the Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association. It is intended to draw travelers off Interstate 90 to stop and smell the grapes in season, taste local agricultural products and learn about attractions in this area that supports 30,000 acres of grapes between Silver Creek and Harborcreek, Pa. In a final phase, expected to be completed by fall, an exhibit area will teach people about the history and production process of grapes for juice, wine, jelly and new products like grape seed oil.

Starting Saturday, the Grape Discovery Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. Weekend visitors through early June will enjoy product demonstrations from Welch’s and Grower’s Co-op along with tastings provided by Brick Village Gourmet and other regional food processors. Julie Pfadt from Lake Erie Wine Country will be on hand to talk about grapes in relation to the wine industry. Mark Baldwin from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute and Andrew Dufresne from the Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association will be making presentations on the natural history and heritage of the area. These presentations are also part of New York state’s Path Through History Weekends.

The tasting room at the Grape Discovery Center will regularly feature wines from Lake Erie Wine Country, grape juice and sparkling grape juice, as well as wine and grape juice slushies. Cheese, crackers, salsas, and dipping oils will also be available along with local baked goods including grape pie, and other grape themed food items. Visitors can sit and enjoy samples at cafe tables inside or take them outside and view the surrounding vineyards on the patio designed and built by Westfield Nursery.

The Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation established in 2004. Its mission is to bring greater recognition to the oldest and largest Concord grape growing region in the world. The organization’s membership represents local agricultural, tourism, and wine and grape processing entities throughout a two state region in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania. The grape industry provides more than $340 million per year of direct economic impact to the region.

Admission to the Grape Discovery Center is free as is the available Wi-Fi. For more information and a schedule of upcoming demonstrations and workshops, visit grapediscoverycenter.com or call 326-2003.