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Old 19-09-2005, 07:52 PM
 
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Default NY wine industry booming, AP reports

So what are the best New York wines?


Wine-and-grape business feeds $3.3 billion into N.Y. economy
By BEN DOBBIN
AP Business Writer

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - With 31,000 acres of vineyards and 212
wineries, the burgeoning wine-and-grape industry sends more than $3.3
billion rippling through New York's economy, a Napa Valley-based
research firm said Monday.
"The direct income from grape, grape juice and wine sales is just the
beginning of the total economic impact the industry has on many sectors
of the economy," said Barbara Insel, managing director of MKF
Research in St. Helena, Calif. "There is a huge multiplier effect."

The preliminary, state-sponsored analysis, expected to be finalized in
October, found that wineries, grape producers and related industries,
from makers of bottles, glasses and labels to trucking, real estate and
liquor stores, accounted for at least 23,250 jobs and a payroll of $786
million in 2004.
The total economic impact came to $3.34 billion, Insel said, noting
that "this figure should be viewed as conservative" because of the
difficulty of gathering data on property taxes and on "allied
industries." In addition, New York had an unusually small grape
harvest last year.
"The quality and the seriousness of this industry just keeps getting
bigger and bigger," Insel said. "In terms of numbers of wineries
and employees, I have the sense it is where Napa probably was in the
'80s."
Helped by a 1976 state law that let wineries sell directly to anyone
who visited their tasting rooms, the ranks of wineries from Long Island
and the Hudson Valley across to Lake Erie multiplied from 19 in 1975 to
125 in the late 1990s. That tally has soared over the last decade and
could top 300 by 2008, predicted Jim Trezise, president of the New York
Wine & Grape Foundation.
A long-awaited state law allowing the direct shipment of wines into and
out of New York went into effect last month. Many vintners think the
potential for sales growth nationally exceeds the risk that the local
market may turn more toward wines from other states.
New York churns out roughly 200 million bottles of wine each year,
generating more than $1 billion in sales, and is the nation's
third-largest wine producer behind California and Washington.
Fifty-two wineries opened in the 1980s and another 52 in the 1990s but
74 have already sprouted since then, Trezise said. Nearly half of the
wineries are rooted in the Finger Lakes region in west-central New
York, where a grape-friendly micro-climate is created by deep, slender,
hill-framed lakes.
The wineries are drawing nearly three times as many visitors as a
decade ago, the New York Agricultural Statistics Service said in a
recent survey. It recorded 4.14 million "person visits" in 2003, up
from 1.4 million in 1993 and 384,000 in 1985. The actual number of
tourists is less since most of those people visited more than one
winery, but should exceed 3 million this year, Trezise said.
-----
On the Net:
New York Wine and Grape Foundation: http://www.newyorkwines.org


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