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Mixing with a good time

PLATTSBURGH - The Champlain Valley Winter Wine Festival will soon be here and it's an event its organizers are getting very excited about.

Katie Beth Garenani, director of the development for the Champlain Valley Transportation Museum, and Bruce Carlin, media producer and partner with Media Central, have been working for several weeks to put together the inaugural event, which will feature wine tastings, dinners and silent auctions.

The idea for the festival, said Garenani, came about when the transportation museum board was looking for a way to promote the museum and raise funding for its programs and the development of a building for its Kid's Station.

"We were brainstorming about an idea that would bring the community together and we wanted to have an event that would bring the museum's existence to the attention of people who might not already know about it," said Garenani.

Though Garenani said there's no direct correlation between transportation and winemaking, it made sense for the museum to hitch its wagon to what has become an increasingly popular industry locally.

"Some people really enjoy wine so we thought what a great community event," said Garenani. "We don't have anything like this in the area, especially during the winter. People love wine tastings."

Carlin said he's been extremely pleased with the number of local businesses and individuals who have gotten on board with the idea, making donations toward the festival or helping in other ways.

"We've gotten great support from people giving items for the silent auction as well as the restaurants in the area that will be holding the dinners," he said. "We've especially had a lot of support from a variety of businesses."

The main draw to the three-day festival - which will be held in downtown Plattsburgh Feb. 26-28 - will be wine tastings and silent auctions offered Saturday, Feb. 27, at City Hall. The tasting will feature selections from Elfs Farm Winery in Plattsburgh, Amazing Grace Vineyard and Winery in Chazy, and Stone House Vineyard in Mooers.

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