Article Contributed by
Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association
Area residents are well aware of the expansive agricultural district in Chautauqua and surrounding counties. A long-standing, local business recently learned of a need at the Grape Discovery Center in Westfield and rallied to the cause.
“With only one paid employee at the Center, the upkeep of the grounds is dependent upon our board members and volunteers. We all thank Sam and Tom LaPorte for this wonderful donation that will enable these individuals to have a mower on site versus trailering personal equipment to the Center to perform routine mowing,” said Phil Baideme, President of the Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association Board of Directors.
LaPorte Farm Equipment is a family owned and operated business begun in 1965 by Joseph LaPorte, father to Sam and Tom. The company sells farm equipment, lawn and garden equipment and provides repair service as well. “We have many customers in the dairy, beef and cash crop areas of farming, but the main focus is on grapes in the immediate area” said Sam.
When asked why they were responding to a need at the Discovery Center, Sam noted, “Our Company has many opportunities to make donations to various organizations. The Grape Discovery Center is a true gem in our community that brings tourism to Westfield and tells an important story of the history of agriculture in our area. We believe in the Center’s mission that focuses on the very important grape industry, including the growers and processors, along with the many products that are produced from the grapes.”
Established in 2004, the Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association, along with the Grape Discovery Center, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission of encouraging and supporting the grape and wine industries within the region. The Center is located at 8305 Main Street in Westfield, NY. It houses a gift shop, tasting room, patio and the Stanley Star Exhibit Room that tells the rich history of the Concord grape and the grape industry in this region. The tasting room provides visitors an opportunity to taste wines from many local wineries with the ability to purchase a favorite bottle of wine in the gift shop. The Steve Baran Memorial Patio overlooks a vineyard and provides up close viewing of grape vines. The tasting room is available for small gatherings of up to 40 people. For information on renting this beautiful venue, contact Manager Christina McKane at 326-2003. Join us every week for Wine With Us Wednesdays, 5:000-8:00 p.m., and to learn about upcoming events and current hours of operation, visit www.grapediscoverycenter.com. Like us on Facebook.