Albany, N.Y., May 6—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) on Monday joined their legislative colleagues to welcome the New York Wine Industry Association’s (NYWIA) 6th Annual “Sip and Sample” to the Capitol.
The statewide tasting event has continued to grow over the past several years into one of the Legislature’s top efforts to promote New York State-made wine, cheese, and other food products.
This year’s 6th Annual NYWIA “Sip and Sample” featured wineries, cheese producers, restaurateurs, and food manufacturers from the Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Long dIsland, and the Hudson Valley. In addition to O'Mara and Palmesano the event, held in The Well of the Legislative Office Building on Monday evening, was sponsored by Senator Jen Metzger (SD-42) and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell), the respective chairs of the Senate and Assembly Agriculture Committees, and Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D-Ithaca).
In a joint statement, O’Mara and Palmesano said, “We’re proud to join our legislative colleagues to help promote the quality of New York State winemakers, cheese producers and other food manufacturers. It’s one of our state’s great cultural and economic success stories. These industries are economic engines for a great number of communities throughout New York State and provide good, sustainable livelihoods for thousands of New Yorkers. We’re glad to have this opportunity to help promote these locally produced wines, cheeses and other products, and we’re grateful to the New York Wine Industry Association for their outstanding support of this showcase event in Albany.”
Metzger said, “Sip and Sample is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the bounty of products grown and made in our state. I want to thank all of the winemakers, cheese producers and artisanal food manufacturers from around the state who came to Albany to share their delicious products.”
Lupardo said, “Events like Sip and Sample are a great way to introduce our colleagues to local products from around the state. The producers that participate are also able to network and make connections that help further grow their businesses. New York is a leader in both wine and cheese production and our continued promotion of these and other local food industries will help strengthen our overall agricultural economy.”
Lifton said, “The Finger Lakes region produces award-winning wines that stand shoulder to shoulder with the best wines in the world, and our locally grown food products are second to none. This event is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the success that has put upstate New York on the map and been an economic boon for our region. I want to thank the New York Wine Industry Association for participating in this event, and congratulate all the people who have worked so hard to support this exciting and thriving industry."
The lawmakers said Monday’s “Sip and Sample” complements the state’s overall strategies to promote and support products grown and made in New York.
NYWIA President Erica Paolicelli, Co-owner of Three Brothers Wineries & Estates in Geneva, said, "Our association advocates for stability and advancement of the wine industry in New York through advocacy. The Sip and Sample event is an amazing opportunity for our members to showcase their products and to also converse with our legislators and their staff.”
Julie Suarez, Associate Dean for Governmental & Community Relations at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, said, “The Sip and Sample is a wonderful chance to celebrate the progress New York wines have made since the inception of the Farm Winery Act in 1975. Cornell CALS is pleased to partner with New York State and the wine community in providing education and research to ensure that New York wines continue to be excellent, and that our next generation of wine makers and viticulturalists have access to a world class education. I applaud our legislative leaders, Senators Metzger and O’Mara, and Assemblymembers Lupardo, Lifton and Palmesano, for recognizing the wonderful caliber of New York’s excellent vintners and local food producers.”
Sam Filler, Executive Director of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, said, “Sip and Sample celebrates the quality and diversity of wine being produced by New York’s wine regions in our state’s Capitol. The Foundation values the support from the Legislature and their commitment to our industry. This is truly an annual Albany spring tradition that kicks off the new year of winemaking and a celebration of everyone that makes this industry an asset to New York.”
The NYWIA was established in 2009 by a group of grape growers, winery owners and other industry professionals as an advocacy, and public awareness and education organization.
The following Finger Lakes wineries and cheese producers participated in this year’s “Sip and Sample”: Anthony Road Wine Company (Penn Yan); Atwater Estate Vineyards (Burdett); Billsboro Winery (Geneva); Fox Run Vineyards (Geneva); Frontenac Point Vineyard & Estate Winery (Trumansburg); Fulkerson Winery (Dundee); Lakewood Vineyards (Watkins Glen); Miles Wine Cellars (Himrod); Muranda Cheese Company (Waterloo); New Vines Bed & Breakfast (Penn Yan); Sunset View Creamery (Odessa); and Three Brothers Wineries & Estates (Geneva).
The following producers, restaurants and retailers from the Capital Region, Central New York, Hudson Valley and Long Island also participated: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (Troy, Rensselaer County); Brotherhood Winery (Washingtonville, Orange County); Hudson-Chatham Winery (Ghent, Columbia County); Meadowdale Farm Winery (Altamont, Albany County); Sannino Vineyard (Peconic, Suffolk County); and Treleaven Wines (King Ferry, Cayuga County).
Also in attendance were representatives from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University; Cornell Cooperative Extension; Finger Lakes Community College (with samples of wine from their viticulture program); Long Island Wine Council; and the New York Wine & Grape Foundation.
Finger Lakes pianist Barbara Craig performed as the event’s Special Guest.
The Wine & Grape Foundation estimates the state’s grape, grape juice and wine industries annually generate upwards of $13 billion in overall economic benefits to New York State.