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The Press Deck- 5/1/19~The TTB is Stepping Up Enforcement~Let’s All Say It Just Once: There’s Nothing Wrong With Liking Sweet Wine~Finger Lakes Growers Seek Sustainable Wine Plan~New York Hemp Industrial Park Update~

Field Notes~

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The NYWGF Team and I maintained a rigorous pace of action throughout April. We used the month to start our new fiscal year by preparing a clear plan of action to most effectively deploy our budget resources. Advisory panels were formed to provide input on NY Drinks NY Phase 9, and the 2019-2020Export Program (starting July 1). Also, our Board’s Research Committee convened to plan our research project commitments. Amidst all this strategic planning work, we prepared to relocate our Foundation office from Canandaigua to Penn Yan, and I literally traveled to every corner of the state from Riverhead to Fredonia and from Ithaca to Clayton. We are committed to generating value for the grape and wine industry and being an effective partner for every grape growing and wine producing region. 
As part of our office move, we are excited to share we’ve added a new Administrative Assistant position to our team to help us provide greater service to our industry. I am pleased to announce that Amy Ellsworth joined our team last week. She has an extensive background in the craft beverage industry working in sales and communications. When you stop by our new office please be sure to introduce yourself to her.  
In mid-April, I traveled to Washington D.C. to attendWineAmerica’s National Wine Policy Conference. I was joined by Scott Osborn (Fox Run Vineyards and WineAmerica Board Member) and Steve Bate (Long Island Wine Council). The conference provided the opportunity to meet with our colleagues across the country, and we shared with each other our regional victories and struggles. Scott, Steve, and I also spent time visiting with our New York Congressional Delegation to advocate for the permanent extension of The Craft Beverage Reform and Tax Modernization Act and to bring attention to the ADA website compliance lawsuits. I commend the work that Jim, Tara, and Michael have done at WineAmerica to advocate for our industry, and I encourage all New York wineries to seriously consider membership to support the critical work being done on a national level. 
Last week, I participated on a consumer engagement panel at the NY State Tourism Industry Association’s annual conferencein Buffalo. I presented on the wine consumer profiles that we developed through our New York Wine Tourism Marketing Toolkit, which we launched this past March. I had the privilege to serve on a panel with tourism colleagues who focus on fostering inclusion and diversity in tourism marketing and hospitality practices. I think that our industry would benefit from engaging further in this conversation, so stay tuned for future webinars to be hosted by my colleagues from the panel. 
I’m signing off until May 16 as Maura and I are traveling to France to see Paris, Provence, and Bordeaux. Pay attention to my Instagram account (@ledonfiller,) as I will be posting photos of our trip and visits to French wine country.
Sam Filler, Executive Director
New York Wine & Grape Foundation