Senator Hosts New York Wineries in Washington

Lawmakers and administrators sample New York wine, beer, spirits and food during farm day

by Linda Jones McKee
new york farm day washington
Jamesport Vineyards owner and vineyard manager Ronald B. Goerler (from left to right), Long Island Wine Council executive director Steve Bate, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Anthony Sannino, owner and winemaker at Sannino’s Bella Vita Vineyard, celebrate New York Farm Day on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.—Mention the word “agriculture” and images of corn fields in Iowa, dairy cows in Wisconsin or hundreds of acres of vineyards in California’s Central Valley may come to mind. Most people don’t realize that farming is a $38.4 billion industry in New York state. There are 36,000 family farms on 7 million acres of land, and nationally, the state ranks first in the number of yogurt producers, second in apples and maple syrup, and third in grapes, grape juice and wine.

    Wines from these New York wineries were poured at the 2013 New York Farm Day

    Long Island
    Bedell Cellars
    Jamesport Vineyards
    Lieb Cellars
    Martha Clara Vineyards
    One Woman Wines & Vineyards
    Palmer Vineyards
    Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard
    Wölffer Estate Vineyard

    Hudson Valley
    Brotherhood, America’s Oldest Winery
    Millbrook Vineyards & Winery
    Stoutridge Vineyard

    New York City
    Brooklyn Oenology
    Brooklyn Winery

    Finger Lakes
    Anthony Road Wine Co.
    Casa Larga Vineyards
    Dr. Konstantin Frank Wines
    Fox Run Vineyards
    Glenora Wine Cellars
    Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards
    Heron Hill Winery
    Hosmer Winery
    Hunt Country Vineyards
    King Ferry Winery
    Lakewood Vineyards
    Red Newt Cellars
    Serenity Vineyards
    Standing Stone Vineyards
    Three Brothers Wineries & Estates
    Wagner Vineyards

    Lake Erie and Niagara Escarpment
    Leonard Oakes Estate Winery
    Mazza Vineyards
    The Winery at Marjim Manor
On Sept. 17, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand hosted the annual “New York Farm Day” in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., to remind Congress, the Obama administration and others in Washington that New York is a major agricultural state and that agriculture is a major part of the state’s economy. “Farm Day is an important opportunity for us to show that we are an agricultural state, with great agro-tourism potential,” Sen. Gillibrand told Wines & Vines. “Some of the best wines are produced in New York, and we have wineries from the North Fork (on Long Island) to the Finger Lakes to Lake Erie. We even have wineries in Brooklyn!”

Sen. Gillibrand is the first New York senator to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 40 years, which she describes as “a great honor and privilege.” When asked about the Farm Bill, which was passed by the Senate in June, she noted that the Senate version set aside funds for wine research. “Cornell does an important job,” she said, “It’s important to continue to fund their research for the wine industry.”

According to Jim Trezise, president of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, which organizes the event, the grape, grape juice and wine industry now has production facilities in 53 of New York’s 62 counties and generates more than $3.7 billion annually in economic benefits. “Our ability to grow and contribute even more depends on the business climate, which is shaped by public policy,” he said, “so we thank Sen. Gillibrand for hosting this immensely popular and effective event.”

At the New York Farm Day event, award-winning wines as well as spirits, beers and grape juice were paired with menu selections from regional restaurants and with specialty products from New York farms and businesses. Some food suppliers utilized New York grapes and wine in their food samples at Farm Day. Orwasher’s Bakery, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, presented several specialty breads that use an “aged and fermented Cabernet wine grape starter” from Channing Daughters Winery on Long Island. Next to the bakery at Farm Day were representatives from Brooklyn Winery and Brooklyn Oenology, two wineries located in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn. In another example, the Bilinski Sausage Co. of Cohoes, N.Y. (north of Albany) uses wine from Glenora Wine Cellars in the Finger Lakes when they make their apple and Chardonnay chicken sausage, and Glenora wines were available for tasting at the next table.

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