Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

February 6, 2013

Winery to open on Pine Street

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The Flight of Five Winery and local food emporium will be launched at Old City Hall this spring.

Experienced wine maker Jackie Connelly, a former owner of Niagara Landing Wine Cellars, and her husband Michael are opening the full-scale “urban” winery on the upper floor of 2 Pine St., literally a stone’s throw from the famous canal locks of the same name, Mrs. Connelly told the US&J on Wednesday.

The Flight of Five Winery is termed an urban winery simply because “it’s not out in a pastoral setting ... and there are no vineyards attached,” Connelly said. Grapes and juice will be purchased from other wineries, which is standard practice in the industry, she added.

Inside the iconic Old City Hall, Connelly intends to set up her wine making operation — tanks, a laboratory, et cetera — so that it’s all visible to customers from a tasting area.

She’s having a tasting bar custom-made to look like a canal lock. This is where tasting flights of wine will be offered, in fives.

Only New York State wines will be served at the Flight of Five Winery, Connelly said.

Packaged local foods, such as cheese and chocolate, will be sold in the winery and/or served with wine tastings. Julie Blackman, a sixth-generation operator of Blackman Homestead Farm in Cambria, is advising the selection and supplying some of the foods. She is a co-operator of the Farmers & Artisans local food market in Williamsville.

Connelly envisions her winery as a “regional endeavor” that simultaneously encourages and benefits from agri-tourism and heritage tourism. With its opening, the Niagara Wine Trail will be extended into the City of Lockport, more specifically into the heart of the Lock City. The cross-promotional possibilities are thrilling, she said.

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