Wine and Cheese Tasting Event at Cross Island Farms

Local News

Cross Island Farms,Wellesley Island,  is holding a wine and cheese tasting to benefit the Northern New York Community Foundation on Friday, June 24 from 4 to 7 p.m.  It will take place outdoors rain or shine (with tents in case of inclement weather) in the Farms’ recently planted “Edible Forest Garden” .  Bechaz Riverdale Cheese of Clayton and The Cape Winery of Cape Vincent will be offering samples and sales of their cheeses and wines accompanied by Jim and Melanie Rafferty of the band “Second Chance.” A representative from NNYCF will be on hand to meet and greet attendees.  Informal tours of the garden will be led by Dani Baker, its designer and co-owner of the Farm.  This event is open to the public for a minimum donation per person at the gate of $10.  All proceeds will go to the NNYCF.

Cross Island Farms’ Edible Forest Garden is the newest addition to Wellesley Island’s highly diversified certified organic farm.  It is a beautifully landscaped perennial planting of fruits, nuts, berries, herbs and other edibles comprising a multi-purpose outdoor venue.                        

Bechaz Riverdale Cheese is a locally owned cheese creamery in Clayton, NY owned and operated by Jeffrey and Melinda Bechaz. It is located on their fourth generation dairy farm. Their Holstein/Jersey dairy herd is pasture grazed/grass-fed. There are no artificial growth hormones used on the farm. Cheese is made fresh every Thursday!

The Cape Winery is a locally owned winery and vineyard located in Cape Vincent, NY owned and operated by David and Sandra Fralick on the historic Deerlick Farm.  The limestone soil imparts a unique taste to the cold hardy grapes known as the ‘taste of the Cape’.  The Cape Winery has produced many award winning wines including red, white, and rose’ wines varying in taste from dry to sweet.  

The band “Second  Chance” plays the hits known and loved from the sixties up to the present day. Vocalist Melanie Rafferty is President of Cortel Improvement, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in executive training.  Jim  Rafferty, keyboard and vocals, is a retired  Army 2-Star  Major General.  Based in Carthage, “Second Chance”  has played at a wide variety of local venues and events. 

The Northern New York Community Foundation supports communities in Lewis, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties through college scholarships and grants to charitable non-profit organizations.  Last year it awarded 564 scholarships for a total of $850,000 to college-bound high school students and nontraditional students in the tri-county area.   Grants totaling more than $435,000 were given to 55 not-for-profits including the Watertown Urban Mission, the Thousand Islands Arts Center, River Hospital, Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, Volunteer Transportation Center, WPBS-TV, Thousand Islands Land  Trust, local food pantries across all three counties and more.                    

The Community Foundation manages and administers more than 400 charitable funds. Donors interested in aligning their community passions and interests at any level can create a philanthropic legacy through the Northern New York Community Foundation.  All levels of giving make a difference! For more information about the Foundation, please call (315)782-7110 or visit where donations prior to this wine and cheese event can be made on-line (under special instructions, please note “Cross Island Farms”).

For more information about the event, contact the NNYCF (see above) or Cross Island Farms at 315-482-3663 or organic@crossislandfarms.

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