DeLuke's Garden Center & Northern Flow Vineyards
This year, DeLuke’s Garden Center celebrates its twentieth year in business. It continues be the local go-to destination for all things garden-related, whether it be plants, supplies, or landscaping and design services. DeLuke’s offers a wide variety of annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, vegetables, and herbs as well as gardening supplies, tools, soil, and mulch. This year DeLuke’s relocated its nursery section and significantly increased annual production capacity with the addition of a new 3,000 square foot greenhouse.
“We grow and nurture our plants in greenhouses on-site,” says owner Phil DeLuke. “We closely monitor our seedlings, making sure each one gets the appropriate care and attention it needs to flourish.” In addition to offering quality plants, DeLuke says exceptional customer service is at the heart of his business philosophy. “We are known for our knowledgeable and friendly staff who take the time to talk to customers and make sure they are getting all the information and assistance they need to grow and maintain a thriving garden. We make every effort to ensure our customers have an enjoyable experience each time they visit the garden center.”
This season, the garden center will have an exciting new attraction. After four years of cultivating grapes, DeLuke will launch Northern Flow Vineyards in May, complete with a tasting room and patio connected to the garden center. According to DeLuke, the new venture is a natural extension of decades of horticultural experience. “In 2013, we planted over a thousand cold, hardy hybrid grape vines with the intention of cultivating grapes for local wine producers,” says DeLuke. “Given my passion for wine, I quickly realized that it would be more exciting to actually produce the wine as well.” In the fall of 2013 he enrolled in the winery management program at JCC and by the fall of 2015, he had harvested his first crop of grapes. “Each year, we have significantly expanded our vineyards,” says DeLuke. “By the end of 2016 we hope to have over 4,000 vines on six acres of land representing ten different grape varieties.”
This spring, Northern Flow Vineyards will offer its very first vintages to the public. “I am looking forward to sharing the fruits of our labor. I hope that the experience of sipping wine in a beautifully landscaped setting will bring enjoyment to many folks.”
The opportunity to produce wine in this region is a relatively recent development, explains DeLuke. “It wasn’t even possible to reliably grow wine grapes here in the North Country until the University of Minnesota developed grape hybrids several years ago that could withstand extreme winters. We are looking forward to introducing our customers to these new and wonderfully distinctive wines such as Marquette, Frontenac, and LaCrescent.” DeLuke says he is proud to be among a growing number of craft beverage producers in the region working together for the betterment of the community. “It’s an exciting time for the Thousand Islands and for Clayton in particular, and I’m glad to be contributing to the socioeconomic growth of the region.”