Albany, N.Y.-- The New York State Legislature has given final legislative approval to legislation sponsored bySenator George H. Winner, Jr. (R-C, Elmira)to authorize the licensing and operation of the Finger Lakes Wine Center in Ithaca.
"The wine industry is a mainstay of the culture and economy of the Finger Lakes. Anything we can do to further promote it and help it grow is a good investment for the future success of our region. I'm pleased to have the opportunity to help support the Finger Lakes Wine Center, which is a fantastic vision of so many community and business leaders in and around the Ithaca community," said Winner.
The legislation (S.6268/A.9198)now goes to Governor Eliot Spitzer to be signed into law.
The Finger Lakes Wine Center will be a tourist-oriented wine center dedicated to celebrating winemaking and the wines of the Finger Lakes and New York State, as well as promoting regional tourism and economic growth by educating the public about agriculture and the food and wine industry. It will serve as a resource for regional wine tour information, provide educational opportunities that include wine tastings and classes, offer the opportunity for visitors to purchase wine, engage the visitors with interactive exhibits, and host a variety of public functions including wedding receptions and business meetings. The Center also plans to hold classes in cooperation with participating wineries, local wine experts, members of the Cornell University community from the Cornell Hotel School and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the New York Wine and Culinary Center.
The effort is fully supported by the Ithaca Downtown Partnership, the Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Ithaca, winery owners, and local professionals.
Earlier this year Winner, whose legislative district includes the city and town of Ithaca, secured $100,000 in the 2007-08 New York State budget to support the Center's completion.