The Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association added three new members to the Board of Director at its 2nd Annual Meeting held at Mercyhurst College in North East, PA. William Daly, Director of Chautauqua County Planning and Economic Development, Robert Mazza Vineyards in North East and Mazza Chautauqua Cellars of Mayville and Deb Phillips of Trolleyline Vineyards in North East, Pennsylvania. Re-elected with terms expiring at the end of 2007 were Helen Baran, Andrew Dufresne and Rick Dunst. Elected for terms expiring at the end of 2008 were Tom Davenport, Tom Fuhrman, David Monberger, Robert Patterson, Sr. and Dave Skellie. And for 3 year terms expiring in 2009 were Robert Green, Kurt Lindstrom, Susan Moore, Maclain Nichols, and Mary Ellen Wensel.
Guest speaker for the annual meeting was Robert Green, Culinary Instructor at Mercyhurst Culinary & Wine Institute and a consulting winemaker. “Beyond the Vine – was the topic of his address and he highlighted the unique soil, weather, management and other factors that contribute to a unique quality of grapes and wines in the Lake Erie region.
Annual report success featured a number of achievements for the new organization which is involved in economic development through promotion of agriculture and tourism. The Association received recognition and award from the Erie County Historical Society for the DVD produced “Savor the Flavor: Romancing America’s Grape”. The DVD is now playing in various Welcome Centers in Pennsylvania and New York. The Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt was designated New York’s first Agricultural Heritage Area with hopes to collaborate with Pennsylvania to extend that recognition “from Silver Creek, NY to Harborcreek, PA.” A number of other projects are currently underway involving study of the grape industry’s economic impact, exploration of visitor center possibilities, culinary developments, and increased signage for tourist.
The Board of Directors has named Andrew Dufresne as the Association’s Acting Executive Director for 2007.