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Wine industry ‘one of New York’s greatest success stories’

New York State Senator Tom O’Mara

The dramatic revival and rise of New York State’s wine and grape industry over the past generation – joined, especially in the past decade, by the booming industry surrounding the craft breweries, cider houses and distilleries – constitute one of the great cultural and economic successes of our state. stories.

Nowhere has that been truer than here in the Finger Lakes region.

In late June, for example, the New York Wine and Grape Foundation noted in its annual report: “State investment in the wine and grape industry provides strong economic returns in the form of tax revenue, jobs and rural economic development. This public-private partnership is driving the growth of the grape and wine industry and making it a major economic engine in the state that generates more than $6.65 billion in direct economic impact, supports 71,950 jobs, contributes for $1.12 billion in state and local taxes and attracts over 4.71 million tourists. to wineries each year that spend $1.33 billion.

These are remarkable numbers and the most faithful testament to the commitment, excellence, hard work, innovation and quality of New York’s winemakers and grape growers.

More recently, the 36e New York Wine Classic, a nationally recognized annual competition, has announced its top winners. This year, the Governor’s Cup was awarded to two wineries, one of our own Finger Lakes wineries, Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards for its Solera Sherry, and the other a Long Island winery, wolf Estate Vineyard, for its late Diosa 2020 harvest.

Additionally, Weis Vineyards in the Finger Lakes received the “Winery of the Year” award, which is given to the winery with the best overall performance based on level and number of awards relative to entries.

Several wineries in the Finger Lakes region have won the “Best in Category” award, including:

Keuka Lake Vineyards (Best Red Wine, 2020 Leon Millot); Weis Vineyards (Best White Wine, Winzer Select Riesling A 2020 and Best Rose Wine, Dry Rosé 2021); Dr. Konstantin Frank (Best Sparkling Wine, Blanc de Blanc 2017); and Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards (Best Dessert Wine, Solera Sherry).

Leigh Hazlitt-Triner, Co-CEO of Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards, said, “We are honored to receive the coveted Governor’s Cup. This award is a testament to our talented and hardworking winemaking and vineyard teams; we couldn’t be prouder.

Peter and Ashlee Weis, owners of Weis Vineyards, said, “Wow! We are very honored to receive this recognition of our hard work. As a relatively new field, only 5 years old, this is an unexpected honor. It means a lot to our continued growth and success. We put our heart and soul into our business, and we are overwhelmed with gratitude for this award. We would like to thank our entire Weis team, as we wouldn’t be here without them. Zum Wohl!”

Congratulations to all of you and thank you for your incredible contributions to our region and to the quality, strength and pride of so many of our communities!

That’s the reason Travel + Leisure The magazine recently named the Finger Lakes the “Most Beautiful Place” in New York State, calling the area this way: “Glacial force has shaped this beautiful upstate landscape, leaving behind 11 long, skinny finger-like lakes in its wake. The area is heaven in the summer, when visitors can choose from waterfall hiking (Watkins Glen and She-Qua-Ga Falls are popular stops), endless lake activities, and more wineries, vineyards, and more brews than you can shake. ”

Read and learn more about Finger Lakes Wine Country — the region’s wine trails, nearly 150 wineries, and more than 9,000 acres of vineyards — at: https://newyorkwines.org/wineries/finger-lakes-wineries/.

The same goes for the exciting future of the craft beverage industry. Currently, there are more licensed breweries in New York City than at any other time in the state’s history. The New York State Brewers Association (NYSBA, newyorkcraftbeer.com) currently ranks second in the nation in number of breweries with over 300 active members.

I have welcomed many opportunities to help develop, sponsor and strongly support bipartisan efforts to solidify our world-class wine and craft beverage industries, as well as agriculture, small businesses and tourism in the regions of Southern Tier and Finger Lakes, and statewide.

Most importantly, the New York government must continue to take common sense measures and regulatory reforms that recognize the continued need to support these dynamic industries and help them continue to grow, create more jobs, and stimulate regional growth thanks to the unlimited economic opportunities they offer. .

One thing is certain: we can never risk taxing them, regulating them or forcing them out of business.

These industries are economic engines throughout this region and New York State at large, providing good, sustainable livelihoods for thousands of New Yorkers and serving as stable foundations for so many local communities.

New York State Senator Tom O’Mara represents the 58th District, which includes Yates, Steuben, Schuyler and Chemung counties and part of Tompkins County.

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