It's become a $3 billion industry in New York State, but wine makers say when it comes to endorsements, the state is falling short. Tamara Lindstrom tells us why vintners are asking for a little solidarity.
NEW YORK STATE -- Once a region known for little more than its Rieslings, New York wineries have developed a depth of offerings.
"We do a lot with chambourcin, which is a French developed vine, pinot noir, the whites, Riesling, chardonnay, pinot gris. You name it and it's pretty much grown here," said Carol Doolittle, owner of Frontenac Point Vineyard and Estate Winery in Trumansburg.
More than 300 wineries produce thousands of wines across the state, but wine makers say their hard work isn't recognized in one place where it should shine.
"What came to light was the state fair had a restaurant where they had one New York wine and at least four California wines. This doesn't seem appropriate," Doolittle said. "New York State Fair was originally started to promote New York State products."
Doolittle says it's not just about helping out the wine makers. With wineries in every county across New York State, promoting the product will benefit the entire economy.
"It's good for the whole state economy. It's good for taxpayers, it's good for people who do not drink wine because wineries pay not only sales tax to the state, but excise tax to the state and federal government," Doolittle said.
The New York Wine Industry Association has asked the governor to step in and ensure the wine is highlighted not just at the state fair, but at other government-sponsored venues as well.
"We need more consumers to be aware of New York wines. So rather than just telling them our wines are really good, if they were to taste those wines at a senator's reception, or a governor's, or the Department of Environmental Conservation may have some kind of program or an annual meeting," Doolittle said. "Serving New York wines, people will taste the New York wines."
Giving the local wines a shot at winning the taste of new customers.
Representatives from the New York State Fair did not return calls for comment on the issue.