Clayton’s climate combined with the constant moisture flow from the St. Lawrence River is a perfect match for growing the grains, grapes and fruits needed to create award-winning craft wine, beers and spirits.
Visitors enjoy these fruits of labor at tasting rooms, downtown lounges and many of the restaurants and hotels that host guests from all over the world.
(Scroll down for a directory of craft beverage establishments in Clayton)
Coyote Moon Vineyards, located on East Line Road in Clayton, offers free tours of the wine making area and a tasting room is open daily allowing visitors to sample before they purchase. Coyote Moon Wine & Dine, located on Riverside Drive, also offers the opportunity to sample wine, grab a bite to eat, shop, or listen to local musician.
The Thousand Islands Winery is located approximately 7 miles north of Clayton. Free wine tasting allows you to sample their wines and you can take a free tour of the wine production facility.
Northern Flow Vineyards, Clayton’s newest winery, invites visitors to its tasting room and patio located at DeLuke’s Garden Center, about two miles east of Clayton. Experience sipping wine in a beautifully landscaped setting!
Brewing along the shores of the St. Lawrence River has a long and rich history. The Wood Boat Brewery, located across from the Antique Boat Museum, is brewing a full line of ales, stouts and seasonal brews that are complimented by its wood-fired pizza.
Distillers have taken advantage of the region’s fertile ag land to grow high-quality crops needed for spirits. Vodkas…gins…bourbons…moonshines… they’re all made with a local twist unique to the 1000 Islands.
The region’s first micro-distillery, Clayton Distillery, produces premium grade distilled products from locally grown grains and fruits. Sample and purchase vodka, gin, whiskey, moonshine and liqueurs at their nautical-themed distillery and gift shop.
From ranch to river, the Saint Lawrence Spirits farm-based distillery adds local flavors to their spirits. Ingredients are hand-picked from their family ranch, Lucky Star Ranch Estate, and converted to the final product at Saint Lawrence Spirits, where they are proofed down by filtered St. Lawrence River water, providing the spirit of the River in every bottle! Visit the distillery on Route 12 in Clayton or their tasting room on Riverside Drive.
Every June, Clayton is the host to the Great New York State Food & Wine Festival. This event celebrates quality “Made in New York” food & wine products including candy and cheeses, nuts, sauces, herbs & spices, maple syrup and other maple products, apple cider, cookies and ice cream and of course, NYS wines and spirits. Participating exhibitors will come from Long Island to Buffalo and the Finger Lakes to the upper reaches of the state along the Canadian border.
Photos Courtesy: Taste 1000
Northern Flow VineyardsNorthern Flow Vineyards
DeLuke’s Garden Center & Northern Flow Vineyards
This year, DeLuke’s Garden Center celebrates its twentieth year in business. It continues be the local go-to destination for all things garden-related, whether it be plants, supplies, or landscaping and design services. DeLuke’s offers a wide variety of annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, vegetables, and herbs as well as gardening supplies, tools, soil, and mulch. This year DeLuke’s relocated its nursery section and significantly increased annual production capacity with the addition of a new 3,000 square foot greenhouse.
“We grow and nurture our plants in greenhouses on-site,” says owner Phil DeLuke. “We closely monitor our seedlings, making sure each one gets the appropriate care and attention it needs to flourish.” In addition to offering quality plants, DeLuke says exceptional customer service is at the heart of his business philosophy. “We are known for our knowledgeable and friendly staff who take the time to talk to customers and make sure they are getting all the information and assistance they need to grow and maintain a thriving garden. We make every effort to ensure our customers have an enjoyable experience each time they visit the garden center.”
This season, the garden center will have an exciting new attraction. After four years of cultivating grapes, DeLuke will launch Northern Flow Vineyards in May, complete with a tasting room and patio connected to the garden center. According to DeLuke, the new venture is a natural extension of decades of horticultural experience. “In 2013, we planted over a thousand cold, hardy hybrid grape vines with the intention of cultivating grapes for local wine producers,” says DeLuke. “Given my passion for wine, I quickly realized that it would be more exciting to actually produce the wine as well.” In the fall of 2013 he enrolled in the winery management program at JCC and by the fall of 2015, he had harvested his first crop of grapes. “Each year, we have significantly expanded our vineyards,” says DeLuke. “By the end of 2016 we hope to have over 4,000 vines on six acres of land representing ten different grape varieties.”
This spring, Northern Flow Vineyards will offer its very first vintages to the public. “I am looking forward to sharing the fruits of our labor. I hope that the experience of sipping wine in a beautifully landscaped setting will bring enjoyment to many folks.”
The opportunity to produce wine in this region is a relatively recent development, explains DeLuke. “It wasn’t even possible to reliably grow wine grapes here in the North Country until the University of Minnesota developed grape hybrids several years ago that could withstand extreme winters. We are looking forward to introducing our customers to these new and wonderfully distinctive wines such as Marquette, Frontenac, and LaCrescent.” DeLuke says he is proud to be among a growing number of craft beverage producers in the region working together for the betterment of the community. “It’s an exciting time for the Thousand Islands and for Clayton in particular, and I’m glad to be contributing to the socioeconomic growth of the region.”