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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chautauqua Wine Festival to showcase local, state wines



FORESTVILLE - America's Grape Country Wine Festival, being held in Dunkirk, New York at the Chautauqua County Fair Grounds in August, will feature more than 23 wineries from across New York state. The festival will help support the viniculture found locally and in other New York grape growing regions. The festival is the kick off event for America's Grape Country Week between Aug. 9 and Aug. 17.

 

America's Grape Country Wine Festival will take place Aug. 9 and 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

 

The AGC Wine Festival is being held in the heart of the Chautauqua-Lake Erie wine region along the Interstate-90 thruway. This wine region is the oldest and largest Concord grape growing region in the world. It is also home to the largest grape growing region in the entire Eastern United States. The AGC Wine Festival was created and planned to celebrate the Chautauqua-Lake Erie wine region, as well as wines produced in New York state as a whole.

 

The AGC Wine Festival will not only showcase some of the state's finest wines, there will also be live musical entertainment all weekend. Food vendors, arts and crafts, farmer's market and educational wine seminars will all be available both Saturday and Sunday. Every winery in attendance will have their own booth offering free wine tastings and sales by the bottle.

 

Among the festivities available throughout the weekend, local artist Mark Baldwin will present his long anticipated illustration of the America's Grape Country regional geography and history. His presentation will be on Aug. 9 at 2 p.m. Baldwin is the artist responsible for the popular illustration of Chautauqua Lake sold in tourist shops throughout the county. He will be autographing copies of his map after his speech. Also, Shannon Brock of the New York Wine and Culinary Center in Canandaigua will organize the educational seminars at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Aug. 9. The seminars will be instructed by a professional from the Wine and Culinary Center.

 

"When people realize that we produce wine in New York state, they ask what Finger Lake we're on. This area needs this festival. The festival will help local wine producers to become recognized for being in a wine region, not just a grape juice region. And it will also help strengthen the New York State wine market as a whole," said Bill Merritt, President of Merritt Estate Winery in Forestville.

 

The Chautauqua-Lake Erie Wine Trail has 21 wineries between North East, Pa., and Silver Creek. Most of the Chautauqua County wineries will have booths at the AGC Wine Festival.

"Wine production is a huge tourist attraction for Chautauqua County. The wine industry in New York state averages around 4.2 million tourist visits each year," said Edwin Rodriguez, Marketing and Promotions Director for Merritt Estate Winery. "That number alone can tell you something about the popularity of wine and grape products in our state."

According to the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, the wine industry accounts for approximately $3.4 billion in total economic impact for the state.

"We really want to show visitors from other states and individuals in our own communities just how proud we are to offer such a wonderful product, and this festival is the perfect time," Rodriguez said.

 

To purchase tickets to America's Grape County Wine Festival or to find out more information, call 1-888-965-4834 or visit www.agcwinefestival.com.

The Chautauqua-Lake Erie wine region is the largest grape growing region of New York State. The grapes and wines produced in this region rival the quality of premium vintages throughout the world.

 

For more information on Chautauqua Lake Real Estate & Living visit: www.chautauqualakehomes.com

 

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