Making it Easier to Enjoy New York State Wine

ALBANY, N.Y., Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ — With the largest wine industry on the East Coast, New York State is making it easier to enjoy its more than 200 wineries — whether purchasing a bottle or visiting a vineyard.

Over the past 30 years, New York State’s wine industry has expanded from 19 wineries to 219. In total wine production, it ranks second — behind California — growing 65 percent since 1985. With wineries located across the state, more than 3 million people visited New York’s vineyards in 2003.

Earlier this month, a new law took effect, allowing New York State wine to be shipped directly to home states that provide reciprocal shipping privileges. In addition, events, guides and a new visitor center are among the initiatives designed for those visiting to New York State’s wine regions:

Celebrate the Grapes at Red, White and Blues Festival

This annual blues bash celebrates the local harvest of red and white grapes in the Allegheny region. Slated for September 9-11, live music and wine tasting continue all weekend at locations throughout the village. There are currently 12 wineries along the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail, which encompass the largest Concord grape growing region in the world. Visit: http://www.festivalsfredonia.com/.

Hudson River Valley Winery Map

Home of the oldest winery in the United States (Brotherhood Winery), the Hudson Valley has been producing wine since colonial times. Recently, Clinton Vineyards and Winery won a gold medal and Best of Class at the Wines of the World competition for their cassis. It is one of the region’s 23 wineries featured on the first-ever Hudson River Valley Winery Map. The guide also includes food and wine events, restaurants that serve local wine and major tourism sites. For a copy, call 1-800-232-4782.

Launch of Thousand Islands Wine Trail

Additional legislation was passed this year, creating a Thousand Islands Wine Trail. As the state’s 13th wine trail, the designation provides highway signage, featuring the symbol of a grape cluster, to guide visitors to wineries in the region, located near the St. Lawrence River and Alexandria Bay. Behling’s Spookhill Farms and Thousand Islands Winery are currently in operation, along with a commercial grapevine nursery. Otter Creek Winery is slated to open next Spring. Visit: http://www.comefarmwithus.com/.

New York State Winery and Wine of the Year

A Long Island and Finger Lakes winery are the top winners at The New York Wine and Food Classic, held earlier this month. Osperey’s Dominion, located in Peconic, Long Island, was awarded winery of the year for winning seven medals at the competition. The 2004 Fiori Delle Stelle, a Finger Lakes ice wine from Casa Larga Winery in Fairport, was selected New York State’s No. 1 wine, chosen from a record 670 entries submitted by the state’s more than 200 wineries. Launched two decades ago, the event is sponsored by the New York Wine and Grape Foundation. Visit: http://www.nywine.com/.

New York Wine and Culinary Center Slated to Open in 2006

Slated to open next summer in Canandaigua, the 15,000 square-foot facility in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes region will include a tasting room with a rotating selection of New York State wines. A wine and tapas bar, a theatre-style demonstration kitchen, and training kitchen for hand-on cooking classes will also be available to visitors.

Visit: http://www.state.ny.us/governor/press/year05/aug10_4_05.htm

ABOUT I LOVE NEW YORK

I LOVE NEW YORK is a campaign administered by Empire State Development’s Division of Tourism. First launched in 1977, I LOVE NEW YORK remains one of the most successful international tourism campaigns ever created and continues to promote the beauty and attractions of New York State’s eleven geographic regions: Adirondacks, Capital – Saratoga, Catskills, Central-Leatherstocking, Chautauqua-Allegheny, Finger Lakes, Greater Niagara, Hudson Valley, Long Island, New York City and Thousand Islands- Seaway.

With 168 state parks, 35 state historic sites, major metropolitan centers and quaint small towns, New York State offers exciting year-round travel possibilities for visitors of all ages. To learn more, or for details on upcoming events and lodging, dial (800) CALL-NYS or visit the I LOVE NEW YORK Web site at http://www.iloveny.com/.

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