RIVERHEAD, New York, October 11, 2004 (ENS):
Governor George Pataki traveled to the far eastern end
of Long Island last week to announce that he has signed
into law a formal designation of the Hamptons and North
Fork Wine Trails as the Long Island Wine Region.
The new law will promote the growing Long Island wine
and related agri-tourism industry by combining the separate
wine trails into one region that includes more than
30 wineries in eastern Suffolk County.
"New York's wine industry is one of the finest
and fastest-growing in the nation," Governor Pataki
said. "Long Island wineries produce some of the
best wine in the world and the natural beauty of the
region serves as a wonderful backdrop that attracts
tourists from across New York and around the globe.
I'm proud to sign this legislation into law because
it will help us better promote Long Island and the world-class
wineries the region has to offer."
The governor was joined by state and local officials
and representatives of the Long Island wine industry
at the bill signing ceremony at Cornell University's
Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center
Assemblywoman Patricia Acampora, who represents the
district, was pleased with the new designation. She
said it will help preserve open space for the East End
of Long Island.
"This has been in the works for quite some time
to ensure that the Long Island Wine region is recognized
by designating the North Fork Wine Trail and the Hampton
Wine Trail as the Long Island Wine Region," she
said. "The wineries are a vital part of our local
economy and continue to provide open landscapes to help
keep the East End green."
The new Long Island Wine Region includes 60 vineyards
with more than 3,000 planted acres, which produces more
than 500,000 cases of wine annually.
According to the Long Island Wine Council, the region's
wine industry produces almost $65 million in gross annual
sales, generates $3.5 million in annual sales tax revenues
and employs approximately 4,000 people. Almost a half
million people visit wineries on Long Island every year.
The number of visitors to New York wineries has increased
50 percent since 1997. New York wineries host around
three million visitors annually at the state's four
main wine producing regions: the Finger Lakes, the Hudson
Valley, the Lake Erie region, and Long Island.
New York has nearly 200 wineries and ranks third overall
in grape and wine production behind California and Washington.
Recognition for New York wines is just taking off.
A 2002 Riesling from Heron Hill Winery in the Finger
Lakes was voted Best of Show White Wine at the San Francisco
International Wine Competition, which included over
3,800 wines from around the world. New York wineries
received a total of 155 medals, including eight double
golds, and 19 golds, at the Florida State Fair International
Wine Competition in February.
State Agriculture Commissioner Nathan Rudgers said,
"Recognition for New York wines is growing all
the time, and Long Island wines are a big part of this
growth. With such a large population so close to eastern
Suffolk County - the state's leading agricultural county
in terms of value - it is important for us to showcase
the wonderful products grown on Long Island to its many
visitors. The new Long Island Wine Region will help
include the region's great wines with the many tourism
opportunities on the East End."
More information on the Long Island Wine Region and
the wine trails, including a map, is available on the
Long Island Wine Council's website: www.liwines.com.
The New York Wine and Grape Foundation is at: www.nywine.com