ALTAMONT — Meadowdale Farm Winery is less than 10 years old and it’s already achieved more than many wineries do in centuries of business.
The quaint farm is located off of Fryer Lane, right off of Route 155. While the business is small, the wine inside is mighty and considered creme of the crop, or in wine terms, the top shelf of the products you find at your liquor store.
Meadowdale brought home eight medals in 2020; awards were earned from both the New York International Competition in Manhattan and New York Wine Classic in the Finger Lakes.
“We are very happy to announce that our Ice Cider was awarded a Gold Medal and a rating of 95 in the 2020 New York International Wine Competition in Manhattan,” said Meadowdale’s Bernard Melewski in a press release. “Those judges also named us New York Ice Cider Winery of the Year and rated our White Blossom a 90.”
White Blossom also won a bronze medal at the 2021 New York Wine Classic, where it won the highest honors of any New York apple wine.
Other awards earned in 2020 included ones for White Egret traminette, a dry, spicy white hybrid grape wine; 1736 Birch Wine; historic recipe made with white birch sap; and Corot Noir; a fruity, medium-bodied red hybrid grape wine.
Meadowdale vintner John Sheehan said he continues to be blown away by the awards the winery earns. In its first year of business, the winery submitted some of its product to a competition, which won gold. When the company missed the deadline for the 2019 competition, Sheehan said they received a note from the judges asking why their product wasn’t in the running.
“It’s really a feat we couldn’t have dreamed of,” Sheehan said. “We credit so much of it to small batches and keeping the quality as high as we can.”
While Sheehan said Meadowdale’s products sell themselves, he acknowledged the shuttering of wine tasting events during the COVID-19 pandemic really put a damper on the business. While those who try the wines and ciders are usually moved to purchase, Sheehan said the hardest part of marketing wine is getting people past the cork.
“We actually would put the bottles out and ask people to take them home,” Sheehan said.
Sheehan credits the support of the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce and customers for keeping Meadowdale’s recipes churning. The business has been moving products at the Guilderland Farmers Market and has made some changes to the tasting room, meaning they are no longer limited by weather conditions and how cold the room gets.
“Eventually, we want to keep adding to retail stores and make it a point to grow slowly, but steadily,” Sheehan said. “We’re definitely not trying to get too big too fast.”
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