“The eastern Lake Erie region is filled with thousands of acres of grape vineyards, great scenic vistas with the
blue waters of Lake Erie in the background, wonderful natural resources, and so much more that it deserves a guidebook to introduce and orient visitors”, says Andy Dufresne. And that is just what he produced, a book titled “Traversing America’s Grape Country – A Personal Guide to the Eastern Lake Erie Grape Belt.”
The book is 112 pages, with over 200 color photos, maps and art work to illustrate the narrative. Dufresne draws upon his 33-year background as an agricultural educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension to explain aspects of grape farming and the grape industry to the visitor. He includes information about the natural resources – where to gain public access to Lake Erie, enjoy the outdoors on hiking trails, chase the creek headwaters, and note the footprints of glaciers from the Ice Age.
The book is broken into 18 chapters, including ones on local agriculture and the Amish Country, appreciation of country church architecture and old cemeteries, and geology of the region.
Dufresne highlights a dozen of his favorite vineyard vista photo locations. And he presents a 68 mile Grape Escarpment Scenic Drive Route that twists and turns from Sunset Bay, Hanover, NY to Shades Beach, Harborcreek, PA. Much of the route is on less traveled roads in the Allegheny Plateau Escarpment hills south of Route 20, offering a close-up view of grape farms and long views of grape vineyards. The route will be promoted jointly with the Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt Heritage Area.
Dufresne is confident that people who have lived here all their lives will also discover some gems of unvisited locations worthy of a visit. And the information makes it a reference book to the local grape industry.
“This is not a book to sit on a coffee table” Dufresne says. “It is a guide book to take with you when you are driving around or traversing the grape belt region. We are America’s grape country. We grow native American grapes, mainly Concords and Niagaras, as well as red, white and blue European hybrid varieties. ”
The book measures 8 ½” X 11″ and is printed in color, with a soft cover. It was printed by Falconer Printing and Design, Falconer, NY.
Dufresne hopes to have copies for sale in the area’s wineries and gift shops and notes that it is available at McClurg Museum, Jack’s Barcelona Drive-In, Arrowhead, Johnson Estate and Merritt Estate Wineries. The book’s list price is $34.95 and can be ordered (+$5 for tax & shipping) directly from him: Andrew Dufresne, 3965 S. Harold Avenue, Bemus Point, NY 14712, email firstname.lastname@example.org. It can also be ordered on-line, using PayPal at www.GrapeBeltViewer.com. A downloadable digital edition is expected to be available in the future.