New York Wine & GrapeNews

06

Dec

The Press Deck - 12/6/17 ~ Argentinian Wine Lessons ~ NY Craft Beverage Boom ~ Proposed LI Winery Code Changes ~ Invasive Insect Found in NY

Valerie Ross

Category: Industry

The Press Deck ~ 12/6/17
Argentinian Wine Lessons ~ NY Craft Beverage Boom ~ Proposed LI Winery Code Changes ~ Invasive Insect Found in NY 



Field Notes:
I recently returned from my honeymoon to Argentina.  Maura and I ate and drank our way across the country while indulging in Argentina's incredible natural and cultural resources. The trip provided us the opportunity to visit with my family and bond with them over delicious asados (Argentine BBQ), trek across glaciers and the iconic Mount Fitz Roy in Patagonia, and experience wine country in Mendoza's Uco Valley.  We left with lifelong memories and I gained new insights to advance the NY grape and wine industry.
Maura and Sam at Perito Moreno Glacier
Wine tourism forms an important component to the success of Mendoza's wine region.  It is common practice for a winery and/or vineyard to complement their operations with hospitality options like on-site restaurants, small group dedicated areas in the tasting room, hotels and resorts, private label wine making, and even art galleries.  The Vines of Mendoza and Susana Balboa are examples of this integrated style of wine tourism.  Uco Valley wineries also ubiquitously required reservations in advance.  It seemed that walk-ins without a reservation would not be worth attempting as every winery employs security personnel at their gates who confirm reservations.  We worked with a group called Uncorking Argentina that made our reservations and hired us driver to help avoid any potential issues with security.
Andeluna Cellars Tasting Room

The UN World Tourism Organization recognized Mendoza as a leading wine tourism region by hosting this past September its 2nd UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism.  The conference had a special focus on strengthening the relationship between sustainability and wine tourism, and highlighting the valuable role of wine tourism in the sustainable development of tourism destinations.  One of our drivers, Nino from El Viejo Manzano, participated in the conference, and he excitedly shared that it inspired him to make changes to a B&B that he is developing.  He is converting old oak fermentation tanks into small cabins for couples interested in ecotourism and enotourism.
Nino's Ecotourism wine barrel lodging

I mention this conference because I think that our wine tourism and agritourism offerings in New York state are similar to what I experienced in Mendoza.  NYWGF submitted a CFA grant earlier this year to help us evaluate how to best deploy funding to our wine trails and how we can work with them to adopt best in class practices found in leading international wine regions.  Our proposal cited UNWTO's Wine Tourism initiative as a knowledge base for informing this work.  We will find out by the end of the year if we are awarded the grant.
Example of wine tourism promotion
Currently, NYWGF provides matching funds through our Regional Wine Trail Program on annual basis to wine/culinary trails throughout the state.  The program supports advertisements, marketing, and special events executed by wine trails to attract visitors to their regions and their participating wineries.  Last fiscal year, NYWGF disbursed $219,000 to 17 wine and culinary trails who matched the NYWGF funds with $328,500 in private sector funds.  Through this support, wine trails provided direct marketing benefits for 195 New York wineries.
 
New York is distinctive from Mendoza because interest in beer, cider and distilling producers is increasing and many of these producers are opening along existing wine trails.  Some wine/culinary trails also include other beverages producers as trail members or the partner with them on marketing promotions.  The Finger Lakes Times highlighted a story last week about Ontario County Tourism and their involvement with the Rochester Craft Beverage trail.  Ontario County Tourism also provides operational support to the Canandaigua Wine Trail. The Finger Lakes Times story inaccurately portrayed NYWGF's foundation support as being directed to the Rochester Craft Beverage Trail.
 
Last fiscal year the foundation provided funding, through the Regional Wine Trail Program, to the Canandaigua Wine Trail to create a promotional guidein partnership with the Rochester Craft Beverage Trail.  As a result, eight wineries gained a marketing boost by being featured in the guide. NYWGF will remain open to supporting projects like these as the long as the primary beneficiaries are wineries. We also remain committed to finding ways to work collaboratively with the other beverage categories, supporting Governor Cuomo's goals for agritourism as articulated through his Taste NY program.

Cheers!

Sam Filler, Executive Director
New York Wine & Grape Foundation