Warwick - It was well worth the climb. On June 10, Town of Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton, Garrett Durland, president of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Michael Johndrow, its executive director, had an opportunity to ascend the steep hillside of Warwick’s Clearview Vineyard. Guided by owners Frank and Karen Graessle and their son Scott, the visitors, who would participated in the winery’s grand opening later that morning, were treated to a magnificent view of the surrounding area from the top of the winery’s picturesque vineyard. The Graessles had a dream of creating a vineyard when they moved to Warwick in 2004. Frank Graessle had retired from his sales position with IBM and more recently, as a high school teacher at BOCES Rockland when they found the right home and 10-acre property just off Routes 94/17A between the villages of Warwick and Florida. They cleared the hillside and later, with the help of family and friends, planted 900 vines. Clearview Vineyard produced its first wine in 2008. “It was only 10 bottles of Cayuga White,” said Frank Graessle, “but it was good enough to win gold in the Hudson Valley Wine and Grape Association competition in the amateur division.” This year Clearview Vineyard expects to bottle about 2000 bottles of dry wine from its organically grown grapes and 600 bottles of red wine from grapes grown in New York’s Finger Lake region. “Because this is a small operation,” said Graessle, “we can spend time with our customers, showing them around the winery and taking them on a tour of the vineyard.” Customers are encouraged to bring lunch and a bottle of the vineyard’s wine to the top of the hillside where they can enjoy the view while relaxing in a wooden swing for two.
Essential information Clearview Vineyard is located at 5 Clearview Lane just off Routes 94/17A between the villages of Warwick and Florida. Wine tasting and sales are available on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-4 p.m. The wines from Clearview Vineyard can also be tasted and purchased at the Florida Framer’s Market every Tuesday. For additional information call 651-2838 or visit www.clearviewvineyard.com.