The Concord Grape
The Concord Grape Belt is located along the southeastern shores of Lake Erie in western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania, and is the largest and oldest Concord grape growing region in the world. The Concord grape is native to North America, and was first selected and propagated from wild seedlings by Ephraim Bull in Concord, Massachusetts in 1849. It was brought to western New York in the 1870's where climate, geography, and soils proved to be very suitable to its production.
The Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association
Established in 2004, the Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of grape growers, juice processors and wineries, related grape industry businesses and regional organizations. Our mission is to encourage and support the grape and wine industries within the region, and to enhance the region’s quality of life. In May, 2013, the Grape Discovery Center was opened by the Heritage Association as a showcase for local grape-related products, and as a venue for sharing the rich history and culture of the region.
Early Projects of the Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association
- 2006 - Designation as a New York State Heritage Area
- March 2006 - Production of Savor the Flavor: Romancing America's Grape promotional DVD
- August 2007 - Completion of an economic impact study of the grape industry in the Lake Erie region
- March 2008 - Development of America's Grape Country brand
- December 2010 - Completion of Heritage Area Management Plan
- February 2010 - Construction began on the Grape Discovery Center
- May 2013 - Initial opening of the Grape Discovery Center Gift Shop and Tasting Bar
- September 2013 - Opening of the Star Family Exhibit Room and Steve Baran Memorial Patio