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"We even left the space in the building knowing it would happen one day," Osborne says.
That one day turned out to be two years ago. The wines had been selling briskly, and Osborne had a hunch that visitors might be open to something different. Stoutridge Winery & Distillery now produces more than two dozen vodkas, gins, assorted whiskies, and fruit liqueurs. It also carries an Empire Rye. The fruit-based products are among the most sought-after.
"It just makes so much sense when you look around the valley," Osborne says. "We have this abundance of nature—and the people who enjoy it. It's great."
Total revenue for US craft distillers increased more than 70 percent between 2014 and 2016 and is projected to continue growing through 2020. With the second most distilleries of any state in the nation, New York continues to lead the way with industry-friendly legislation, distilling innovation, and successful marketing.