' Coyote Moon Vineyards - Coyote Moon Sets the Standard and Blazes a New Trail with Clayton Terroir
Coyote Moon Sets the Standard and Blazes a New Trail with Clayton Terroir
 Everything about Coyote Moon Vineyards is unique and instills a sense of pride in all those visit or are involved with the winery and vineyards. From customer to wine club member to staff member to family member; everyone wants to be a part of something special and the Randazzos offer that opportunity openly.

Coyote Moon Vineyards has embarked on a magical, groundbreaking journey. The Randazzo family, owners of Coyote Moon, has embraced the terroir and handcrafted something unlike anything else. Terroir is completely distinctive, it cannot be duplicated or replicated or created. Terroir is the flavors of the soil, the scent on the air, the cool of the water, the length of the day, and strength of the sun. It is completely unique and the Randazzo family has fallen in love with their terroir, their piece of heaven on earth, and you can taste it.

The Randazzo’s vineyard is filled with 18 acres of Northern Climate grapes. These grapes are special; they make it possible for the North Country to have vineyards. The Northern Climate grapes were born out of a University of Minnesota grape growing project and are made to survive the harshest conditions. Temperatures of negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit, long hot days, frigid Alberta Clippers do not faze them, in fact the harsher the conditions the more they thrive. Coyote Moon combines the Northern Climate grapes with its terroir and the result is thrilling. Time after time the wine crafted from these grapes brings back to Clayton awards and notoriety for Coyote Moon Vineyards and the Thousand Island Region. A whole new wine region is blossoming out of the Randazzos’ combination of Northern Climate grapes and Coyote Moon’s terroir.

Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, Marquette, La Crescent, Brianna, and Frontenac Blanc are the Northern Climate grapes nourished at Coyote Moon. The Randazzos have been on the forefront of the Northern Climate grapes since they first planted the vineyard. The Randazzos were among the first to bottle Brianna, as they were advised it would make a terrible wine. Fortunately, the family follows its instincts, since releasing Brianna, the wine has won several unanimous Best of Class Gold medals in national and international competitions and was named by the American Wine Society ‘Top 21 Wines to Watch in the World.’

Another instinct the family followed was to plant Frontenac Blanc over three years ago. Frontenac Blanc is a grape that naturally mutated and the Randazzos were the first to plant, and then harvest, it. As far as the Randazzo family knows, Coyote Moon Vineyards is the first and only vineyard to bottle Frontenac Blanc in the entire world. It is an amazing boon for the Thousand Islands Wine Region to have a “first” in an industry that is thousands of years old. Quite often “old vines” will be rediscovered in a lost vineyard and that discovery is always exciting and welcomed. The fact that Coyote Moon Vineyards has exclusively bottled Frontenac Blanc, a wine from a brand new grape, is monumental and beyond thrilling.

Coyote Moon Vineyards is a forerunner of the Northern Climate grapes with its participation in the Northern Grapes Project. The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crops Research Initiative Grant funded the Northern Grapes Project in 2011. Because of Coyote Moon’s involvement with the project, throughout the year 30 scientists and 11 universities routinely comb the vineyards to perfect trellising, pest control management, fruit selection, and much more. Coyote Moon disseminates this information throughout the region and encourages new vineyards and wineries. The Randazzos know they are a part of something special and completely unprecedented. In 100 years, when there are hundreds of wineries and vineyards in the Thousand Islands Region, Coyote Moon will be remembered as an ambassador and as a part of a truly special legacy.

Already recognition for the Coyote Moon’s terroir and the resulting award-winning wines has been mind blowing and humbling for the Randazzos. Never in their wildest dreams did the Randazzos fathom such achievement for Coyote Moon and the Thousand Islands Region. Not only has Coyote Moon earned over 500 medals and awards over the last three years in international and national competitions, they are being featured for their food and wine pairings.

Ogdensburg’s own North Country compatriot Chef Christian S. Ives is part of the Coyote Moon family. Son-in-law to owners Mary and Phil Randazzo and married to Kristina Randazzo Ives, Chef Ives has played a welcomed and integral role at Coyote Moon. Chef Ives culinary journey began humbly with his first “pickle pie” creation in a Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES) class. He then spent years honing his culinary skills under the likes of Wolfgang Puck for two years, Emeril Lagasse for six years, and Master Sommelier Larry O’Brian. Chef Ives has brought his palate and skill to Coyote Moon in wine profiling, wine creation, and food and wine pairing. He regularly displays his culinary flair at Coyote Moon’s events and recently was the featured chef at the New York Wine and Culinary Center in Canandaigua, New York.

Chef Christian Ives, Kristina Randazzo Ives, and Coyote Moon’s award-winning Northern Climate wines spent the April 20th weekend dazzling taste buds and eradicating preconceived notions about New York wines at the New York Wine and Culinary Center. Guests, including Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy and his wife Barbara, Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets Darrel Aubertine, Senior Director of Industry Development; Agri-Business Pat Hooker, and Clayton’s Town Supervisor Justin Taylor, traveled from all four corners of the state to show their support for the culinary center and Coyote Moon Vineyards. Chef Ives and Kristina Randazzo Ives introduced guests to new culinary methods in the Hands-On Kitchen and how to pair wines in their own homes. For those lucky enough to be in attendance for the dinner pairing, Chef Ives created a culinary masterpiece featuring five delectable courses each perfectly paired with Coyote Moon’s award winning Northern Climate wines.

Kristina Randazzo Ives, who is largely involved in the winemaking process, wine profiling, and is known for having a distinguished palate, explained each course and the reason behind the selections making the event that much more special. The first course was a Chilled Salmon Watercress Salad paired with the crisp, clean and vibrant Frontenac Gris. The next to follow was the Pan Crispy New York State Rainbow Trout paired with the bright, citrus and smooth La Crescent. The third course was a Grilled Currant Glazed Maple Leaf Farm Duck Breast paired with the smooth, complex, and lovely Marquette. Then came the Millbrook Farms Venison Roulade paired with the robust, fruit-forward, and full-bodied Frontenac. Finishing the pairings was a Pineapple and Mascarpone Crème Brulee Tart perfectly paired with Brianna. It was delicious and decadent, eliciting howls, cheers, and applause from all and drawing Chef Ives from the kitchen to accept a raucous round of applause.

Coyote Moon is known for going the extra mile and making sure everything meets its award-winning standards. Everything the Randazzo family does is with 100% effort because they believe anything done is worth doing well and if they can do something extra to make someone feel special, they do it. That sentiment was on full display at the culinary center as Phil Randazzo, owner of Coyote Moon, took a moment to thank all of those in attendance for their support, speak about the Thousand Islands Region as a wine region, and to offer guests a first taste of bliss. Phil Randazzo uncorked the Frontenac Blanc and the guests became a part of history. As mentioned, it is the first time that Frontenac Blanc wine has been crafted, much less tasted by the public. It was a flagship moment for Coyote Moon and the Thousand Islands Region and Frontenac Blanc did not disappoint. The white plum, Rainier cherries, nectarine notes caressed palates and embraced all those in attendance, making them fans for life and of course welcomed them to the Coyote Moon family.

If you haven’t had the chance to taste history and be a part of something special, stop by Coyote Moon Vineyards for “Excitement, Romance & Award-Winning WineTM” today. Taste why Coyote Moon® Vineyards is one of the most award-winning wineries in New York. Coyote Moon® offers daily tastings at its vineyard located on East Line Road in Clayton, New York. Coyote Moon® also offers tastings at its Wine & Craft Beer Lounge located at 524 Riverside Drive in Clayton, New York. For more information and hours check out the website at www.coyotemoonvineyards.com or call 315-686-5600.
Post By:   Valerie