Meeting of March 31, 2011

PHOTO BY BILL DOWD

COLLIN McCONVILLE, A DISTILLER AT HARVEST SPIRITS IN VALATIE, HELD A TASTING TALK WITH THE CLUB THIS WEEK, PROVIDING SAMPLES OF SOME OF THE COMPANY’S WARES.


Attendance (16):
Terry Brewer, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Doris Calamaras, Phil Egan, Bill Dowd, Dick Drumm, Debbie Rodriguez, Jim Mandryas, Ron Annis, Russ Edberg, Rob Mangold, Charlie Foote, Rommel Tolentino.

Guests (1): Collin McConville of Harvest Spirits.

Announcements:

• President Terry thanked Debbie Rodriguez and Pat Bailey for obtaining gift certificates from various local businesses for the “Bowling Over Polio,” and Russ Edberg and Peter and Debbie Brown for helping at the registration table. Event coordinator Murray Forth reported 46 bowlers and said that, counting donations, the club made $500 on the event.

• We received a letter of thanks from the Boy Scout troop for the club’s assistance, outlining the troop projects and accomplishments, and a request for continued Rotary assistance. The club agreed to do so.

• Rotary Run update: T-shirt advertising orders must be placed by April 14. Ads are $100 each. Mile marker signs may be sponsored as well. Members are encouraged to check with possible advertisers in your area. The marker purchase form and information on advance runner registration are on the website.

• Debbie Brown asked about a certificate or window decal for those that contribute to our Rotary events. We will check into the possibility.

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, April 7. Charlie Foote will introduce our speaker, a representative of Peaceable Kingdom Animal Rescue.

Here is the text of a story posted on several Bill Dowd blogs regarding the state’s micrco-distillers in general and Harvest Spirits in particular:

VALATIE — The micro-distillery movement in New York State is up to 15 locations, with several more in the planning and licensing stages. And, some of those already open are preparing to go well beyond their initial products.

Harvest Spirits, located at the Golden Harvest Farm in this Columbia County town, is a perfect example. The Route 9 fruit grower now produces Core Vodka, Cornelius Applejack, pear brandy and apple brandy with several more products in the works.

Collin McConville, one of the distillers, says Harvest Spirits is working on another version of the Cornelius Applejack as well as a grappa — an Italian grape-based spirit that Harvest Spirits is combining with sweet cider; himbeer geist — a German spirit using apples and black raspberries, and Rare Pear, a 100-proof, oak-aged spirit made from the distillery’s whole fruit pear brandy.

The distillery, McConville said, came about as a means of using up Golden Harvest Farm’s apple crop, and its line of spirits is based almost entirely on fruits grown on its acreage.

Harvest Spirits is a member of the fledgling New York Craft Distillers Guild, along with Castle Spirits (Monroe), Delaware Phoenix Distillery (Walton), Finger Lakes Distilling (Elmira), Hidden Marsh Distillery (Seneca Falls), Knapp Vineyards (Romulus), Lake Placid Spirits (Lake Placid), Long Island Spirits (Baiting Hollow), Spirits by Battistella (Ithaca), StillTheOne (Port Chester), Swedish Hill Winery (Romulus), Tuthilltown Spirits (Gardiner), and Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery (Warwick). Those distilleries produce a wide range of spirits, ranging from fruit brandies to vodka to rum to bourbon.

[Go here for the Events Calendar.]

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